Keselowski Wins O'Reilly Auto Parts Challenge at Texas
November 3, 2013THE RACE
O’Reilly Auto Parts Challenge at Texas Motor Speedway (1.5-mile oval, Fort Worth, Texas)
Saturday, November 2, 2013
The No. 22 Discount Tire Ford Mustang
Driven By Brad Keselowski
THE RACE REVIEW
· Brad Keselowski and the No. 22 Discount Tire Ford Mustang team began Saturday’s O’Reilly Auto Parts Challenge from the second position.
· Keselowski quickly showed the strength of his Ford as he grabbed the lead for the first time at lap nine. He would dominate the first 50 laps of the race, eventually extending his lead to over 4.5 seconds.
· Despite a slight, loose-handling condition the former NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) champion kept his No. 22 Ford at the front of the field after crew chief Jeremy Bullins elected to make a fuel-only pit stop at lap 72 in order to save their Goodyear radials until later in the event.
· At lap 80, Keselowski relinquished the lead to competitors who had fresher tires. He eventually settled into the eighth position while patiently waiting for a caution flag that would allow his pit crew to change his tires.
· A lap 110 caution flag brought Keselowski down pit road for four tires and a track bar adjustment. After restarting from the seventh position at lap 117, he began to make his way back to the front of the field.
· Keselowski reclaimed the lead at lap 156 and would lead the field until making a green-flag pit stop at lap 170.
· Following the penultimate caution flag at lap 172, Keselowski restarted the race from the second position at lap 177. Following a great, hard-fought battle with the No. 20 of Denny Hamlin, Keselowski made his way back to the top spot at lap 186 and held on for his sixth victory of 2012.
· In two NNS starts at Texas Motor Speedway in 2012, Keselowski has led a total of 139 laps with an average finish of 1.5.
· The victory marks the 12th win of the season for the No. 22 Discount Tire Ford Mustang team. They lead the NNS owner’s point standing by 26 with just two races remaining.
WHAT THEY ARE SAYING
BRAD KESELOWSKI NO. 22 DISCOUNT TIRE FORD
TALK ABOUT HOW STRONG YOUR CAR WAS TODAY.
“Our Discount Tire Ford Mustang from the get-go just took off fast and it looked like it was going to be a classic battle between the 54 and us. Obviously it didn’t shake out that way. Some circumstances played out with the way the yellows fell and we elected not take tires trying to get through that scenario. We made it through that run and the 54 did not. The 18 and the 20 were the cars up front and we kind of shuffled at that point. I think the team did a great job of getting us to where we could utilize our strengths of having a fast car and being able to get through traffic fairly well and we utilized those strengths to perfection at the end to get back by the 18 and the 20. I think that was some pretty good Texas side-by-side racing.”
YOU HAVE SIX WINS IN 14 STARTS. DO YOU GET A SENSE OF PRIDE FROM THAT?
“I don’t really like stats because I feel like you can twist stats to your favor and they don’t really tell the whole story. If there is one that I do like, that is it. The car has been really strong this year and that is something that will really stick out for me. I think Ford has an excellent package for this Nationwide side and a lot of that credit goes to Doug Yates and his group at Roush Yates engines which I think is kind of another story about the potential that the Ford product has in being in the first year together.”
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