DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (July 2, 2010) – Brad Keselowski, driver of the Penske Racing No. 22 Discount Tire Dodge Challenger in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, finished fourth in the Subway Jalapeno 250 at Daytona International Speedway on Friday night. As a result, the 26-year-old driver set the all-time NASCAR record with his 84th consecutive Nationwide Series race in which he was running at the finish.
Keselowski continues to lead the Nationwide Series driver point standings by 277 points over second-place contender Carl Edwards.
Keselowski led the field to the green flag by virtue of his fourth series pole award of the season. His lap of 49.172 seconds, or 183.031 mph was two tenths of a second faster than his teammate, and fellow Discount Tire Dodge Challenger driver, Parker Kligerman. Keselowski led the first six laps of the race before the first caution flag of the evening flew over the field.
Crew chief Paul Wolfe called for Keselowski to make his first pit stop of the evening on lap 32 after the No. 22 Discount Tire Dodge Challenger developed a loose-handling condition. As Keselowski began to make his way onto pit road another caution flag was displayed. Spotter Joey Meier instructed Keselowski to abruptly return to the track as pit road closed as soon as the caution came out, which would have placed Keselowski at the tail end of the longest line upon restarting the race. Keselowski brought his car down pit road for four Goodyear radials and fuel with the rest of the lead lap cars when pit road opened. Outstanding pit work by the No. 22 pit crew saw Keselowski restart the race in the second position – a pickup of seven spots – as Keselowski gave up track position while attempting to make his green-flag pit stop.
As the race moved towards the halfway point, Keselowski kept his car in the top-five positions. At this point, he began moving his car around to see what it was capable of so that he could capitalize with a solid finish. When another caution flag flew on lap 70, Wolfe brought his driver down pit road for the final time. While entering his pit stall, Keselowski could not stop his car before running through the stall. After pushing the car back, the pit crew performed a four-tire stop with air pressure and track bar adjustments. Keselowski restarted the event in the 12th position.
After quickly working his way back into the top 10, Keselowski had to avoid another competitor, who nearly spun his car directly in front of him. When he got his car back up to speed he was five seconds behind the race leaders. He was able to drive back up to the lead pack before the final caution flag flew on lap 95. Wolfe elected to keep Keselowski on the track instead of giving up track position for what would be a green-white-checkered flag finish. Keselowski was able to bring his Discount Tire Dodge home in the fourth position for his series-leading 14th top-five finish.
Penske Racing teammates Parker Kligerman and Justin Allgaier finished 13th and 17th, respectively.
"The No. 22 Discount Tire Dodge Challenger was really fast tonight,” said Keselowski. “We needed just a little different situation at the end of the race. I think I had a shot at him, but Dale (Earnhardt Jr.) did a good job on the restart. If I could have restarted on the bottom, I think I might have had a shot at him. It just didn’t quite work out, but I’m happy with a solid fourth-place day and happy for Dale to get a win here in the No. 3 car.”
The No.22 Discount Tire Dodge Charger team will move to Chicagoland Speedway next weekend for the Dollar General 300 powered by Coca-Cola. The race can be seen live on Saturday, July 9, on ESPN beginning at 7:30 p.m. EDT. The event can also be heard live on MRN Radio, as well as Sirius Satellite Radio Channel 128.
Brad Keselowski Subway Jalapeno 250 Race Statistics
Laps Led: 16
Points Position: 1