Keselowski Battles His Way to Sixth-Place Finish
November 4, 2013
AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway (1.5-mile oval, Fort Worth, Texas)
Sunday, November 3
The No. 2 Miller Lite Ford
Driven By: Brad Keselowski
Starting Position: 2
Finish Position: 6
Driver's Points Position: 14
THE RACE REVIEW
· Brad Keselowski and the No. 2 Miller Lite Ford Fusion team qualified second for the AAA Texas 500, as they just missed winning the pole position by .002 seconds.
· After starting the race in the unenviable outside lane at Texas Motor Speedway (TMS), Keselowski dropped to the fifth position before settling in to the bottom lane.
· At lap 30, Keselowski radioed that his car was not turning well in the center of the corners. This was an issue that would plague the No. 2 team for the duration of the event.
· A two-tire pit stop at lap 75 provided a slight improvement to the handling of the Miller Lite machine. In addition, it moved Keselowski into the lead for the first time.
· As the race passed the 100-lap mark, Keselowski held down the second position. However, as the race progressed, the tight-handling condition worsened and he fell back in the running order.
· Crew chief Paul Wolfe continue to make adjustments to the track bar, air pressure and wedge on the Miller Lite Ford, yet nothing seemed to give Keselowski the feel he needed to keep the car at the front of the field.
· A great call by Keselowski and Wolfe to “short pit” during a green-flag pit stop at lap 237 – along with fast work by the Miller Lite crew – resulted in Keselowski recapturing the lead when the pit stops cycled through at lap 243. Unfortunately, an issue during a lap 257 pit stop resulted in Keselowski restarting from the ninth position at lap 263.
· Over the remaining laps of the race the tight-handling condition was exacerbated by Keselowski running further back in the pack. He was nearly able to race his way back inside the top five but ran out of laps before reaching the race leaders.
· With his sixth-place finish, Keselowski improved one spot to 14th place in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver standings with two races remaining in the 2013 season.
WHAT THEY ARE SAYING
YOU WERE ABLE TO LEAD LAPS AND RUN UP FRONT. HOW DID YOUR RACE DEVELOP?
“We had an okay day. I had a lot of confidence heading into this race, but we just missed something on race day. I thought we had decent speed at times with the Miller Lite Ford. We were leading at one point and the yellow flag came out. We decided to pit and after our stop we came out ninth. That pretty much ended our shot of being able to derail Jimmie (Johnson), if there even was one. His car was so much faster than the field. That is the way it goes and we will work to get better. I don’t think we were too far off the rest of the field, though. In fact, I think we could’ve finished second. We were all racing for second place today.”