Keselowski Finishes 2nd at Watkins Glen International
August 12, 2012WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. (August 11, 2012) – Brad Keselowski, driver of the No. 22 Discount Tire/SKF Dodge Challenger in the NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS), finished second in the Zippo 200 at the Glen at Watkins Glen International (WGI) on Saturday afternoon. Keselowski dominated much of the event – leading a race-high 44 laps – but he was unable to hold off Carl Edwards on a late-race restart for what would have been a third-consecutive NNS victory.
Keselowski began the 82-lap race from the fourth position, based on his lap of 72.250 seconds, or 122.076 miles per hour, around the 2.45-mile road course. When the race began, Keselowski wasted little time in moving into the third position on the first lap. By the fourth lap, he was turning lap times faster than the race leader, despite being slightly loose in the right-hand turns. When the first caution of the day was displayed at lap six, crew chief Jeremy Bullins elected to keep his driver on the racing surface as they were not yet in a fuel window. As the race resumed at lap 10, Keselowski quickly began his assault on the race lead, which he assumed at lap 12.
The Discount Tire/SKF crew made their first pit stop of the day at lap 20 with Keselowski still maintaining the race lead. They made no adjustments, only filling the car with fuel and changing four tires. The pit stop came earlier than many of the race leaders, so Keselowski patiently let the pit stops cycle through before retaking the lead at lap 30.
Keselowski continued to deal with a loose-handling condition in the right-hand turns as the race moved past the halfway point, but he kept his Discount Tire/SKF machine at the front of the field. Bullins called his driver down pit road for the second, and final, time at lap 51 for a stop that included fuel, a four-tire change and an air pressure adjustment. Once again, as the pit stops cycled, he maintained the race lead.
The racing intensified over the final 25 laps, due to several cautions that continued to bunch up the field. Following a lap 73 restart, Keselowski was passed by the No. 60 of Edwards. He was able to make several moves in an attempt to get by Edwards, but was not able to complete the pass. Crossing the finish line in the second position gave the team their ninth top-five finish of the season.
Penske Racing teammate Sam Hornish finished third in the Zippo 200 on Saturday afternoon.
Following Saturday’s result, Keselowski and the No. 22 team remain sixth in the NNS owner point standings.
“We had a really strong Discount Tire/SKF Dodge today,” said Keselowski. “This race was a lot of fun, but any race is fun when you have that good of a car. We just came up a little short.”
The No. 22 Discount Tire Dodge team will next compete at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, with driver Jacque Villeneuve, on Saturday, August 18, in the NAPA Auto Parts 200 presented by Dodge. Coverage will air live beginning at 2:00 p.m. ET on ESPN. The race will also be broadcast on the Motor Racing Network and SiriusXM Satellite Radio Channel 90.
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