The Bojangles’ Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway (1.366-mile oval, Darlington, SC)
Saturday, April 12, 2014
The No. 2 Miller Lite Ford Fusion
Driver: Brad Keselowski
Starting Position: 5
Finish Position: 17
Driver's Points Position: 7
THE RACE REVIEW
· Brad Keselowski and the No. 2 Miller Lite Ford Fusion team started Saturday night’s Bojangles’ Southern 500 from the fifth position based on their Friday qualifying performance.
· Early in the race, scheduled for 367 laps, the driver of the Miller Lite Ford reported that the No. 2 machine was running well entering the corners but was tight-handling coming out of the turns.
· The Miller Lite machine dropped back to the ninth position over the first stint of the race as Keselowski managed his ill-handling car.
· The Team Penske pit crew adjusted their Ford Fusion over the course of the race. The No. 2 car alternated from a tight-handling condition exiting the corners on one run to becoming too loose on the next due to the changing conditions on the Darlington track surface over the course of the evening.
· Despite the handling challenges, Keselowski ran solidly in the top 10 for the majority of the race.
· At lap 128, the Miller Lite Ford entered the top three in the running order and Keselowski led four laps at lap 180 as he stayed out on track when green flag pit stop began to cycle through.
· As the race continued, the No. 2 Miller Lite team made air pressure and chassis adjustments to try and get their Ford Fusion to the front of the field.
· At lap 357, with just 10 laps left to the scheduled race distance, Keselowski was scored in the seventh position when a caution flag was displayed. This caution set up a restart and then a green-white-checkered flag finish that saw Keselowski get shuffled back to 17th place as the race concluded.
· The result placed Keselowski seventh in the NASCAR Sprint Cup driver points standings, now 51 points behind leader Jeff Gordon
· Keselowski and the rest of the Sprint Cup Series field will not compete next weekend for the Easter holiday, but the series returns to action in two weeks at Richmond.
WHAT THEY ARE SAYING
BRAD KESELOWSKI, NO. 2 MILLER LITE FORD
THE MILLER LITE FORD RAN UP FRONT MOST OF THE NIGHT, WHAT HAPPENED AT THE END OF THE RACE?
“It was a long night. We didn’t get the finish we wanted, that is for sure. We ran a lot better than where we finished. We got used up on those last restarts and took some bad lines that didn’t go and what not. That is just part of the deal at this place and we will just have to move on to next week. The track was slick but it is the same for everybody, so that is part of the unique challenge of Darlington that we all love. Our Miller Lite team was solid in the pits and our Ford Fusion was fast when we were towards the front. We’ll enjoy the week off and look forward to the next race.”