Keselowski Races to Victory at Richmond
September 7, 2013THE RACE
Virginia 529 College Savings 250 at Richmond International Raceway (.75-mile oval, Richmond, VA)
Friday, September 6, 2013
The No. 22 Hertz Ford Mustang
Driven By Brad Keselowski
Start Position: 4
Finish Position: 1
Current Owner's Points Position: 1
THE RACE REVIEW
· Keselowski began the Friday night race from the fourth position after his lap of 21.776 seconds during the afternoon time trials.
· As the race began, Keselowski gave up several spots on the initial laps as he worked his way down into the bottom line, which is the preferred line around Richmond International Raceway (RIR).
· Keselowski radioed to crew chief Jeremy Bullins that his Hertz Ford Mustang was loose on corner entry and exit, but tight in the center. On the first pit stop of the night at lap 69, Bullins elected to make his first of several pit stops that included adjustments to the track bar and air pressure as each time they had a positive effect on the car’s handling.
· Keselowski was able to maneuver his way inside the top five prior to a pit stop at lap 135. During the pit stop the car fell off the jack and led to the team restarting from the 15th position at lap 139.
· The 2010 NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) champion displayed great resolve as he began to slice his way back to the front of the field, eventually entering the top five again after a strong move following a restart at lap 181 where he passed four cars on the first lap to move into the fourth position.
· Keselowski eventually passed the No. 2 machine of Brian Scott – who led 239 laps on the night – with a pass on the outside during a late-race restart at lap 240. He would hold off Scott yet again on a lap 245 restart to cruise to his 25th career NNS victory in the 1,000th race in series history
· With the win, Keselowski swept both NNS races at RIR in 2013.
· The No. 22 Ford Mustang team has won four of five races in the Hertz colors in 2013, the first year of the partnership.
· With their ninth win of the year, the No. 22 team now holds an 18-point lead over the No. 54 of Joe Gibbs Racing in the NNS owner’s point standings.
WHAT THEY ARE SAYING
TALK ABOUT THOSE LAST FEW LAPS AND HOW YOUR FOUND VICTORY LANE TONIGHT.
“I give Jeremy (Bullins) more credit than me. He positioned us to where we had a really fast Hertz Ford Mustang for the last few runs of the race and then it was just about executing from there, whether it was the restarts or making passes. We restarted seventh with 60 or 70 to go and got up to second or third there and then had a couple other restarts from third to second and then second to first. It all came together for us. The big thing, like I said, was having the car to do that the last few runs.”
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO WIN THE 1,000TH NATIONWIDE SERIES RACE?
“That is a question, and I say this more often that probably I should, but that is a question that I think you answer when you have the benefit of hindsight. I am kind of too close to it right now to understand it. Obviously the 1,000th race for this series is a big deal. To be a winner – I feel lucky as I look back at my first days in the sport – I felt like I would be lucky just to be around for awhile and make a living out of this. Then over time your goals and aspirations get a little bigger.”
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