CONCORD, N.C. (October 15, 2010) – Brad Keselowski, driver of the Penske Racing No. 22 Discount Tire Dodge Challenger in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, picked up his fifth win of 2010 in the Dollar General 300 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Friday night. The win gives Keselowski a victory in two of the four races where the new Nationwide Series car was utilized.
Keselowski continues to lead the Nationwide Series driver point standings by 450 points over second-place contender Carl Edwards.
During the Friday afternoon time trials, Keselowski toured the 1.5-mile oval in 29.731 seconds, or 181.629 mph, which qualified him in the third position. Lined up on the inside row when the green flag fell, Keselowski lost several positions as the high line moved significantly faster to start the race. He settled into 10th place while trying to work his way back to the front of the field. Keselowski displayed a calm demeanor as he had supreme confidence in his No. 22 Dodge Challenger and by lap 40 he was running in the third position.
As the race moved past the first 50 laps, Keselowski radioed to crew chief Paul Wolfe that his chassis condition had moved to the tight side. A lap 53, a scheduled green-flag pit stop gave Wolfe the opportunity to adjust the air pressure in the Goodyear radials to help with the problem. As he returned to the track, Keselowski was able to remain inside the top five.
When the fifth caution flag of the day flew on lap 81, Wolfe elected to bring his driver down pit road for a two-tire pit stop. Only a handful of other lead lap cars followed Keselowski onto pit road, meaning the Penske Racing driver would be on a different pit strategy for the rest of the race. He restarted the race in the 14th position, but was quickly able to drive back inside the top 10 by lap 89. As the race leaders – who did not pit under the lap 81 caution period – began to make their way down pit road around lap 120, Keselowski moved to the front of the field. He assumed the lead for the first time on lap 140.
Keselowski visited pit road just once more during the race, which occurred under green-flag conditions on lap 144. Wolfe called for a wedge adjustment to the chassis that made the car, as Keselowski said, “the best that it had been all race long.” As the No. 22 Discount Tire Dodge Challenger remained on the track under a lap 155 caution period, when many of the other lead-lap cars visited pit road, Keselowski assumed the lead once again. He waged a great, hard-nose battle with Martin Truex, Jr. before finally pulling away for his 11th career series victory.
With the finish, Keselowski extends his NASCAR record with his 97th consecutive Nationwide Series race without a DNF (Did Not Finish).
Penske Racing teammates Justin Allgaier and Parker Kligerman finished in third and 43rd position, respectively.
“It’s just amazing how good these cars run and how good things are going over here in the Nationwide Series side with our cars and our team,” said Keselowski. “I’m really proud of everyone that works on these cars that make them so fast. This is really a team sport and we work together as a team and win together as a team. That’s something to be very proud of, what a great night.”
The No.22 Discount Tire Dodge Charger team will move to Gateway International Raceway outside St. Louis, Mo. next week for the 5-Hour Energy 250. The race can be seen live on Saturday, October 23, 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 Dollar General 300 Race Statistics
Laps Led: 46
Points Position: 1