Cheez-It 355 at The Glen – Watkins Glen International (2.45-mile road course, Watkins Glen, N.Y.)
Sunday, August 10, 2014
The No. 2 Miller Lite Ford Fusion
Driver: Brad Keselowski
Starting Position: 9
Finish Position: 35
Driver's Points Position: 4
THE RACE REVIEW
· Keselowski and the No. 2 Miller Lite Ford team began Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series 90-lap road course race from the ninth position based on the results of Saturday’s qualifying session.
· Early on in the race, Keselowski was able to advance a couple of positions as he passed his way up to the seventh position.
· At lap 10 he reported that the Miller Lite Ford Fusion was handling a little loose everywhere on the Watkins Glen International (WGI) track and that he was taking it easy on the brakes after some concerns.
· On lap 15 Keselowski made contact with the No. 20 car driven by Matt Kenseth which resulted in moderate cosmetic damage to the right-front of the grille and hood of the Miller Lite Ford. The damage was not significant enough to warrant immediate repair so the No. 2 machine continued on.
· As the field made its first round of pit stops, Keselowski moved up to the fifth spot as he made his first stop for service at lap 26. The team changed tires, added fuel and made an air pressure adjustment to improve the handling of the Ford Fusion.
· The brake issue continued to hamper the Miller Lite Ford, as Keselowski reported that the front brakes were locking up and his efforts to address the issue using the bias adjuster were unsuccessful. By lap 39 the brake problem escalated to the point that Keselowski was unable to maintain pace with the leaders and he began to drop positions.
· The 2012 Sprint Cup Champion driver held on for all he was worth, hoping for a caution flag that would allow the team the opportunity to diagnose and repair the issue with the brakes. A lap 50 caution brought that opportunity with Keselowski scored 19th in the order.
· Crew chief Paul Wolfe made the call to go directly to the garage to investigate and remedy the malfunctioning brake system on the No. 2 Team Penske machine. The crew went to work and found the issue, but while they were making repairs a big accident occurred on lap 56 which necessitated a red flag. Work on all the cars was stopped during the red flag period.
· The Miller Lite Ford rejoined the race at a lap 59, five laps down. Keselowski continued to post fast laps and he improved from 41st to 35th by the time the checkered flag flew to end the long afternoon at Watkins Glen.
· With the result, the No. 2 Miller Lite team and Keselowski now hold the fourth position in the Sprint Cup Series point standings and they are now ranked second in the Chase Grid Outlook.
WHAT THEY ARE SAYING
BRAD KESELOWSKI, NO. 2 MILLER LITE FORD
A TOUGH FINISH FOR THE TEAM TODAY. WHAT HAPPENED?
“We had something in the brakes that broke. The team had to fix it. At Watkins Glen you can’t run without brakes. We nursed it around as best we could and had the yellow flag period to work on it and we came in to start working on it but it took longer than we had hoped and we were sitting in the garage when that horrible accident happened. We had to hang out until the red flag was rescinded and we could finish up repairs on the Miller Lite Ford Fusion and get back out there.”
WHAT WAS THE RACING LIKE OUT THERE?
“I thought it was great racing. Unfortunately there was just a little bit of aero issues for us in the high-speed corners, otherwise it would be phenomenal. I thought all in all it was great racing and we had a fast enough Miller Lite Ford to contend for the win. I was hoping that would play out, but unfortunately it didn’t.