Sta-Green 200 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway (1.056 mile speedway, Loudon, NH)
Saturday, July 12, 2014
The No. 22 Discount Tire Ford Mustang
Driver: Brad Keselowski
Starting Position: 1
Finish Position: 1
THE RACE REVIEW
· Brad Keselowski and the No. 22 Hertz Ford Mustang team qualified on pole for Saturday’s race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. The effort represented his third NASCAR Nationwide Series pole of the 2014 season, as well as his 17th career NNS pole and his fourth NNS pole at NHMS.
· On the opening lap of the 200-lap event, Keselowski went high through turns one and two as tire rubber from the previous race left the racing surface very slick. This allowed the No. 54 of Kyle Busch to pass him for the lead.
· Keselowski held steady in the second position until the two lead cars caught lap traffic at lap 34. On the next lap, the veteran driver used lapped traffic to pass for the lead.
· The No. 22 Hertz Ford led through the mid-point of the race, slipping back to second as the No. 42 of Kyle Larson briefly took the top spot for a few laps as he got past Keselowski on a restart followed by an immediate caution.
· The 200-lap race required just two pit stops and, on the final stop, many competitors, including the No. 22 machine, took just two tires. This strategy allowed Keselowski to maintain the lead leaving pit lane.
· Keselowski led 152 of 200 laps, never running lower than second.
· The Hertz Ford cruised to victory as it led the final 55 laps unchallenged. The win was the second of the 2014 season for the No. 22 Team Penske Ford team and the second for Keselowski.
· The result represents Keselowski’s 29th-career NASCAR Nationwide Series victory and his second NNS victory at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. He is now sixth-place on the all-time NASCAR Nationwide Series victory list.
· The strong performance allowed the No. 22 to close to within 33 points of the No. 54 in the Owners’ point standings.
WHAT THEY ARE SAYING
BRAD KESELOWSKI, DRIVER, NO. 22 HERTZ FORD
THAT WAS A DOMINATE PERFORMANCE, WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ABOUT THE RACE?
“This is really satisfying. This team has deserved to win a few races and things just haven’t quite gone their way and it is nice to put it together here at Loudon with a strong car and great team. Loudon is one of my favorite places to go race. That is why I am running the Nationwide race here. I really enjoy being out here. I want to thank the fans for coming out and we hope to see you tomorrow and hopefully we can do the same thing.”
A BIG WIN TODAY OUT THERE AND A LOT OF STATS, INCLUDING GOING FROM THE POLE TO WINNING THE RACE.
“What a hell of a Saturday. I am going to need a little time to soak it in. It has been a really busy day and sometimes on these really busy days you get so caught up in the action that you really can’t appreciate all that has transpired. Hearing you say all that is really cool. Thank you for sharing those things. The Cup car was fast this morning, the Nationwide car in qualifying we had a lot of adversity and fought through that and got the pole which was very rewarding today in the Nationwide race. The car was really fast at the beginning and it seemed we leveled off to Kyle the last run. I thought he might have been a little faster than we were but it was all about getting through lap traffic which was a big of a dogfight and personally that may not have looked it on TV but it was one of the most challenging races I have ever ran. Knowing you have Kyle Bush behind you and he is a tiny bit faster and you have to fight through lap cars and there was always something coming at us. We dodged a lot of bullets there today between qualifying and the end of the race and I think it is showing the strength of the 22 Team Penske Nationwide team. There is so much to be proud of there and I am obviously looking forward to tomorrow and the tremendous opportunity we have. The Cup cars are running so strong right now. We didn’t get the qualifying effort we wanted form the Cup level but the performance has been there in every other category. We just need to execute and keep that going. I think we can do it. I am very optimistic and very pleased with how the weekend is going so far. I want to keep the momentum up. Like you said, on Tuesday we are having a little fun and doing some TV Land stuff with Sullivan and Son, which is a TV show I have a recurring role on I guess you would say. That should be fun on TBS. Life is good. Thank you Kristi for sharing that stuff, it is good to soak it in.”