Keselowski Earns Second-Place Finish at Fontana
October 10, 2010
FONTANA, Calif. (October 9, 2010) - Brad Keselowski, driver of the Penske Racing No. 22 America's Tire Dodge Charger in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, finished second in the CampingWorld.com 300 at the Auto Club Speedway on Saturday afternoon. Keselowski ran solidly in the top five for the majority of the event.
With the result, Keselowski continues to lead the Nationwide Series driver point standings by 384 points over second-place contender Carl Edwards.
During the Saturday morning time trials, Keselowski lapped the two-mile oval in 39.753 seconds, at a speed of 181.118 mph, capturing a third-place starting position for the No. 22 team. As the race began, Keselowski comfortably maintained the third position on the track. On lap 22 he lost one position, reporting to Crew Chief Paul Wolfe that the car was not turning as well as he would like on the entry of the turns, and it was loose on the exit of the corner.
Lap 40 brought the No. 22 machine to the attention of the America's Tire crew, who quickly made air pressure and track bar adjustments. The Rochester, Mich. native maintained the fourth position after the field cycled through the first round of green flag pit-stops.
On lap 48, the caution flag flew and Wolfe decided to have Keselowski stay out on the track. On the ensuing restart, Keselowski raced his way into the third position, before slipping back to fourth place. As the race wore on, Keselowski informed the crew that the America's Tire Dodge was still tight on entry and loose on exit, yet he was able to hold his position in fourth place.
A lap 78 caution allowed the Penske crew to do a bit more work on the Nationwide Series points leader's car, as well as advance him from fourth place to second place with great execution in the pit stall. When the green flag waved to restart the race on lap 90, Keselowski made his way to the front and pulled out a commanding lead. He went on to lead 22 laps over the course of the afternoon.
As the laps began to count down, the 26-year-old driver radioed that he the car was good in Turns 1 and 2, but he was struggling in Turns 3 and 4, and he just couldn't put both ends of the track together. Wolfe asked him what area of the track he felt would offer the biggest gain in terms of speed and Keselowski said the exit of Turn 4. On the next pit stop, the America's Tire Dodge crew made a left-rear wedge adjustment and sent their driver back into the fray.
Over the waning laps of the race, Keselowski made a determined run for the lead, yet he was unable to pedal his way to the front. In the end, he earned his second consecutive runner-up finish in Nationwide Series competition.
Penske Racing teammate, Justin Allgaier brought the No. 12 Verizon Dodge home in the eighth-position.
"I'm really proud of my team's effort today," said Keselowski. "Our America's Tire Dodge ran good all day. We just needed a little bit more speed to run with the No. 18 and the No. 20 car. It was a great race at Auto Club Speedway. A lot of cars with equal speed ran side-by-side and made it a great race. It was a lot fun and a good points day for us."
The No. 22 Discount Tire Dodge will head home to Charlotte Motor Speedway next weekend for the Dollar General 300. The race will air Friday October 15, on ESPN2 at 7:30 p.m. EDT. The event can also be heard live on PRN Radio, as well as Sirius Satellite Radio Channel 128.