Quaker State 400 Presented by Advance Auto Parts at Kentucky Speedway (1.5-mile speedway, Sparta, Ky.)
Saturday, June 28, 2014
The No. 2 It’s Miller Time for America Ford Fusion
Driver: Brad Keselowski
Finish Position: 1
Driver's Points Position: 4
THE RACE REVIEW
· Brad Keselowski and the No. 2 It’s Miller Time for America Ford started Saturday night’s Quaker State 400 from the front row for the ninth time this season. The front row start came courtesy of the team’s third pole of the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) season as Keselowski scored his sixth career Cup Series pole position.
· From the moment the green flag waved to start the 267-lap race it was evident that the No. 2 It’s Miller Time for America Ford was the class of the field. By lap 20 Keselowski had lapped 11 cars and held a 4.2 second advantage over the second place car of Team Penske teammate Joey Logano.
· By the 100-lap mark the No. 2 Team Penske Ford Fusion had led an impressive 91 laps as Keselowski maintained a torrid pace.
· Crew chief Paul Wolfe and the No. 2 crew did their part throughout the evening, making small adjustments to Keselowski’s Ford Fusion to keep the car ahead of changing track conditions as day transitioned to night at Kentucky Speedway.
· At several points during the race Keselowski dropped back as far as sixth place due to other teams taking two tires during a stop or losing a position on pit lane, but the No. 2 Miller Lite Ford was unmatched on track and it would not be denied the top spot for long.
· Keselowski led 199 laps on his way to one of the most dominant victories in recent history. The 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion scored an elusive perfect driver rating as well to cap off the evening’s memorable performance.
· With its second win of the season, the No. 2 Team Penske Ford team is virtually locked into the Chase for the Sprint Cup and will once again contend for the title. The win represents Keselowski’s 12th career NSCS victory.
· The brilliant drive allowed Keselowski to improve to the fourth position in the series point standings as he now trails leader Jeff Gordon by 58 points.
· The victory lane celebration did bring about an unusual turn of events as Keselowski cut his hand when he accidently broke a bottle during the celebratory champagne spray. The winning driver had to visit the infield care center where he received four stitches to his right hand. He was then able to continue with his post-race media obligations.
WHAT THEY ARE SAYING
BRAD KESELOWSKI, NO. 2 IT’S MILLER TIME FOR AMERICA FORD
HOW DID IT FEEL TO HAVE SUCH A DOMINANT CAR?
“It feels like don’t screw it up. Our car was awesome. The team did a great job and I’m just really thankful to have a car this good. I don’t know how else to put it. The Miller Lite Ford Fusion was hauling and I just can’t wait to get deeper in the season and the post-season. I think this is where we need to be to have a shot at another championship, so I’m just real proud of everyone right now.”
YOU SAID THIS FEELS LIKE CHAMPIONSHIP FORM AGAIN. WHAT ABOUT THIS RACE AT KENTUCKY MAKES YOU FEEL THAT WAY?
“I think there are a lot of mile-and-a-halves in the Chase. Chicago, Texas, Kansas, Charlotte and then obviously the final race at Homestead. I’m sure there is somewhere else, but a lot of mile-and-a-half tracks and this is kind of one that fits all between them. It doesn’t have the banking of Charlotte, but it’s a little bit rough and Charlotte is a little bit rough. It doesn’t have the smooth surface of Kansas, but it has a very similar layout. The things it takes to go fast here aren’t too far off from those other tracks and I think when you hit this mark in the season some cars might show a little bit more development but not a lot. I think you pretty much get to where everyone has almost what they’re gonna have to finish out the year around this time. And when you can run well at this point in time in the year, it bodes well for the final half of the season. Certainly we’re not content. We had a great night tonight, led a lot of laps and won the race, but the reality is Hendrick cars had won three or four of the last five, I think, and they’re going to continue to be the cars to beat, so we have to keep pushing as well. This is certainly a good night and harkens back some memories of 2012, which I’m very fond of. Last year was a very humbling year for us, so I think I probably appreciate it even more – appreciate the opportunity to have races like this and opportunities to run for a championship.’