Keselowski Fights His Way to Top-5 Finish
April 27, 2014
Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond International Raceway (.75 - mile oval, Richmond, VA)
Saturday, April 26, 2014
The No. 2 Detroit Genuine Parts Ford Fusion
Driver: Brad Keselowski
Starting Position: 2
Finish Position: 4
Driver's Points Position: 7
THE RACE REVIEW
· Brad Keselowski and the No. 2 Detroit Genuine Parts Ford Fusion team started Saturday’s 400-lap race from the second position after Friday evening’s qualifying session was cancelled to rain and thunderstorms.
· When the green flag waved to start the race, the No. 2 Ford drove to the front and led for the opening 31 laps of the night.
· At lap 40, a NASCAR-mandated competition caution flag was displayed with Keselowski running third in the order. When asked by the team about the handling of the Detroit Genuine Parts machine, Keselowski said that he needed the car to turn better without giving up drive off of the corners. After the first round of pit stops, it was noted that the right front tire from the Detroit Genuine Parts Ford was cording on the inside shoulder of the tire.
· Green-flag racing resumed at lap 46 with Keselowski running third. By lap 56, he once again took over the top position. He led until a lap 101 pit stop that saw the No. 2 Ford Fusion lose a few spots in the running order.
· Over the course of the race, it became evident that the Detroit Genuine Parts Ford was the class of the field on restarts and short runs as Keselowski raced at or near the front for most of the race. He led a total of four times for 114 laps, the second most of any driver on Saturday night.
· In the second half of the race, a long green flag run revealed that the No. 2 Ford did not possess great long run speed. At lap 365, Keselowski was scored in the 15th position. Keselowski then informed his team that he thought there was an issue with the right front tire.
· A lap 365 caution allowed Keselowski to bring the car to the pits for adjustments and fresh rubber. He restarted the race in 12th place at lap 376 and drove all the way up to the fifth position when the final yellow flag of the night was displayed.
· Keselowski made a spirited charge for the front in the closing laps, almost completing a pass around the outside for the lead, but ultimately he fell short to finish the night in the fourth position.
· With the strong showing, Keselowski remained seventh in the point standings as he now trails series leader Jeff Gordon by 54 points.
WHAT THEY ARE SAYING
BRAD KESELOWSKI, NO. 2 DETROIT GENUINE PARTS FORD
THAT WAS A WILD FINISH, CAN YOU DESCRIBE IT?
“Yeah it was a wild finish. It just came down to a four-way battle between the 2, the 20, the 24 and 22 (cars) and we had a great car for the short runs and we got up there challenging for the lead…I am happy for (teammate Joey Logano’s) team and everybody at Team Penske. I wish it could have been us, but that was the way it goes.”
LOOKS LIKE YOU GUYS WERE SET UP PERFECTLY FOR THE SHORT RUNS BUT NOT SO MUCH ON THE LONG RUNS. WAS THAT THE CASE?
“You can say that again. It came together at the end for us to have a shot at it, and we just got ran off the race track but that is racing and we will move on.”