Challenging Day for Keselowski and Crew in Fontana
March 24, 2013
The Royal Purple 300 at Auto Club Speedway (two-mile oval, Fontana, Calif.)
The No. 22 America’s Tire Ford Mustang
Start Position: 4
Finish Position: 19
Current Owner Points Position: 15
THE RACE REVIEW
· Keselowski began the race from the fourth position as he toured the two-mile oval in 40.683 seconds during the Saturday morning time trials at Auto Club Speedway (ACS).
· As the race began Keselowski had his hands full with a loose racecar. As a result, the former NASCAR Nationwide Series champion would drop back to the 13th position before the first caution of the day at lap 34.
· Following changes on the first pit stop of the day, Keselowski radioed that the handling was improved on the America’s Tire Ford Mustang, but he was still too-loose to make his way forward.
· Crew chief Jeremy Bullins called for heavy wedge adjustments under a lap 95 stop. This brought the chassis more to the liking of Keselowski as he was able to move back inside the top-five cars shortly after the race resumed.
· Keselowski elected to stay on the track as the final caution at lap 111, hoping for a late-race caution that would allow the team to apply fresh Goodyear radials and the fuel needed to make it to end. As a result, he inherited the lead as the race went back under the green flag at lap 116. Unfortunately the much-needed caution never came and Keselowski had to enter a fuel-saving mode with 15 laps remaining, giving up several spots to finish 19th.
WHAT THEY ARE SAYING
“Our day was long. It was a long day. We just missed the setup on the America’s Tire Ford at the start of the race and we didn’t get it close to being right until the end of the race. Then it was just too late to do anything. We had to race for strategy and it just didn’t fall our way today. It was great to see Sam (Hornish) run up front today. We’re going to keep working over here and we’ll be up there with him soon.” - Brad Keselowski
“It was definitely a tough day for the America’s Tire Ford Mustang team. We had a lot of adjustability in the car today and that was a good thing. We just didn’t figure out what the car needed until very late in the race. Days like this happen – not very often for us – and you just have to go back to the shop and work hard. There is a long break coming up for the Nationwide Series. We’ll use that time to get back on our game for Texas.” - Jeremy Bullins, Crew Chief