Keselowski Earns Second-Place Finish at Dover
October 2, 2011
Photo Courtesy of Autostock
DOVER, Del. (October 1, 2011) – Brad Keselowski, driver of the No. 22 Ruby Tuesday Dodge Challenger in the NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS), finished second in the OneMain Financial 200 at Dover International Speedway (DIS) on Saturday afternoon. Keselowski was able to lead laps on two separate occasions throughout the event, but he could not make his way around eventual race winner, Carl Edwards, in the waning laps.
Keselowski began the 200-lap race from the eighth position after posting a lap of 23.599 seconds, or 152.549 miles per hour, during the Saturday morning qualifying session. When the green flag flew to start the event, Keselowski radioed to crew chief Todd Gordon that the Ruby Tuesday Dodge was handling loose while exiting the DIS corners. Early on in the run, Keselowski began searching around for lines where his car would work the best on the track. While dealing with the loose-handling condition on corner exit, Keselowski was very happy with how his car worked in the center of the turns. Playing to his strong suit, Keselowski was able to make his way inside the top-five at lap 20.
NASCAR called for a competition caution flag at lap 40 to give teams a chance to check tire wear as rain showers moved through the area overnight and washed away any tire rubber on the racing surface. When Keselowski made his way down pit road, Gordon called for a two-tire stop, which placed Keselowski in the lead when the race restarted at lap 48.
After starting the second run of the race with a tight-handling chassis, the condition moved back to the loose side by lap 70. Keselowski was able to maintain a spot inside the top-five cars as the race advanced past the halfway point.
The final pit stop of the day for the Ruby Tuesday Dodge team came at lap 162, when Gordon called for a sizeable chassis adjustment to give Keselowski a car that he could use to challenge Edwards for the win. Track bar and air pressure adjustments were made to the car and more tape was added to the nose of the No. 22 Dodge before Keselowski returned to the track in the second position at lap 168. The reigning NNS champion furiously tried to get to the rear bumper of the No. 60 car driven by Edwards, but Keselowski ultimately settled for a second-place finish. The result marked Keselowski's 10th top-five finish on the season.
Following Saturday's result, Keselowski and the No. 22 team remain seventh in the Nationwide Series owner point standings.
"We fought hard all day," said Keselowski. "I thought that we might steal one. When the yellow flag came out, we just missed keeping the 60 car (Carl Edwards) back there. All and all, it was a good day for the Ruby Tuesday Dodge Challenger. We just needed a little bit more speed."
The No. 22 Ruby Tuesday Dodge team will visit Kansas Speedway on Saturday, October 8 for the Kansas Lottery 300. Live coverage will begin at 3:30 pm ET on ESPN2. The race will also be heard on the Motor Racing Network and Sirius Satellite Radio Channel 90.