The O’Reilly Auto Parts 300 at Texas Motor Speedway (1.5-mile speedway, Fort Worth, Texas)
April 12, 2012
The No. 22 Discount Tire Ford Mustang
Start Position: 5
Finish Position: 2
Owner Standings: 10
THE RACE REVIEW
· Keselowski began the race from the fifth position as he toured the 1.5-mile oval in 29.526 seconds during the Friday afternoon time trials at Texas Motor Speedway (TMS).
· Over the opening laps of the race it was evident that Keselowski had a Discount Tire Ford Mustang that could contend for the win as he assumed the lead for the first time at lap 24. His only complaint was that he was loose on entry, but he was great through the center of the corners
· At lap 66, crew chief Jeremy Bullins called his driver down pit road for a fuel-only stop as he wanted to save his sets of “sticker” tires for later in the race. As Keselowski restarted the race from the first position at lap 70, he quickly lost ground to those that elected to take on fresh rubber.
· Keselowski dropped to 14th before the next caution period, but the strategy worked as the caution came out perfectly for their remaining sets of tires.
· Keselowski restarted the race from the 20th position at lap 99. With the grip provided by the new tires, he was up to the fifth position by lap 110.
· Over the remaining laps, Keselowski was able to make his way up to the second position and crossed the finish line there to record his best NASCAR Nationwide Series finish since earlier this season at Phoenix International Raceway.
WHAT THEY ARE SAYING
A GOOD OWNER POINTS DAY. TALK ABOUT YOUR NIGHT
“I just came up a little bit short of beating Kyle and didn’t quite have enough. I had a pretty strong Discount Tire Ford Mustang, but didn’t have enough. I gave it all I had. The team did a decent job and overcame some early problems on pit road to execute pretty well there at the end. I was proud of them for that. We definitely gave it all we had and I was really happy with our effort. We just came up a bit short and that was it.”
YOU WERE TALKING ON THE TEAM RADIO ABOUT BEING FIRED UP FOR THIS RACE. WHAT WAS THE REASON?
“I was just trying to have fun with my guys, but I also wanted them to know that I really wanted to win this race. We’ve had such fast cars to start the season and we’ve rarely finished where we deserved. It was more about letting my team know that even though this season hasn’t started like we had hoped, I am committed to turning it around. I felt really good going into the race, thought we could get the win. We just came up a bit short.”