RICHMOND, Va. (September 10, 2010) – Brad Keselowski, driver of the Penske Racing No. 22 Ruby Tuesday Dodge Challenger in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, finished second in the Virginia 529 College Savings 250 at Richmond International Raceway (RIR) on Friday night. Keselowski was able to pull to the rear bumper of eventual race winner, Kevin Harvick, but ran out of laps before being able to make the pass.
Keselowski continues to lead the Nationwide Series driver point standings by 373 points over second-place contender Carl Edwards.
During the Friday afternoon time trials, Keselowski toured the .75-mile oval in 21.879 seconds, or 123.406 mph, which qualified him in the third position. As the race began, Keselowski radioed to crew chief Paul Wolfe that the No. 22 Ruby Tuesday Dodge would not turn in the center of the corners. In an attempt to alleviate the problem until an opportunity to visit pit road arose, Keselowski moved up to run the “high line.” This proved to work as he picked up valuable tenths of a second and he was able to bandage the problem until a lap 113 green-flag pit stop on lap 113 gave Wolfe the opportunity to make significant adjustments to the wedge and air pressure.
As the pit stops cycled through on lap 133, Keselowski found himself running in the 15th position. From this point forward he slowly began to make his way back toward the front of the field. He radioed to Wolfe that the car was much better, but that it still needed to be able to turn in the center. When the caution flag flew on lap 143, Wolfe called Keselowski down pit road for track bar and air pressure adjustments. These adjustments improved the chassis on the No. 22 Dodge Challenger as Keselowski would turn some of the fastest lap times throughout the rest of the event.
After restarting the race from the 13th position on lap 149, Keselowski was able to quickly make his way to the fourth position before another caution flag flew over the field on lap 156. When the race restarted on lap 162, he wasted little time in ascending to the lead by lap 165. Once out front, Keselowski began turning laps four-tenths of a second faster than the field for a short time before his chassis built back to the tight side.
A lap 204 caution gave Wolfe his final chance to give Keselowski what he needed to go for his fifth victory of the season. After another round of track bar and air pressure adjustments, Keselowski restarted the race from the third position on lap 211. After making his way around the second-place car, Keselowski set his sights on the race leader. He was able to get to the No. 33 of Harvick – even pulling alongside for a brief moment – before settling on a second-place finish.
With the finish, Keselowski extends his NASCAR record with his 93rd consecutive Nationwide Series race without a DNF (Did Not Finish).
Penske Racing teammates Justin Allgaier finished in the 12th position.
“We started off OK and really fell off,” said Keselowski. “Paul Wolfe (crew chief) and all the Ruby Tuesday team worked on the car all night and made it way better throughout the race. We just needed a little bit there at the end to catch Kevin (Harvick) because he was awesome all night. What a great battle at the end. He was so good on long runs. We had to slow our cars down on the short runs to try and keep up with him. We were just a little bit off. It was a good night for me and this whole team; I really appreciate all their hard work. This Dodge Challenger was fast, real fast. Another good points night for us. I hope that the fans enjoyed it because that was some great racing.”
The No.22 Discount Tire Dodge Challenger team will enjoy an off-weekend before moving to the Dover International Speedway in two weeks for the Dover 200. The race can be seen live on Saturday, September 25, on ESPN2 beginning at 3 p.m. EDT. The event can also be heard live on MRN Radio, as well as Sirius Satellite Radio Channel 128.
Brad Keselowski Virginia 529 College Savings 250 Race Statistics
Laps: 250 /250
Laps Led: 35
Points Position: 1