Keselowski Finishes Sixth in Sprint Cup Season Finale
November 18, 2013THE RACE
Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway (1.5-mile oval, Homestead, Florida)
Sunday, November 17, 2013
The No. 2 Miller Lite Ford
Driven By: Brad Keselowski
Starting Position: 4
Finish Position: 6
Driver's Points Position: 14
THE RACE REVIEW
· Brad Keselowski and the No. 2 Miller Lite Ford Fusion team started the Ford EcoBoost 400 from the fourth position on Sunday afternoon, which marked their third-consecutive top-five start at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
· It was clear from the outset of the race that the Miller Lite Ford was remarkably fast over the start of a run as Keselowski was easily able to pass several cars in the first few laps.
· Knowing that fresh tires would play an important role throughout the afternoon, crew chief Paul Wolfe stuck with his plan to only make four-tire pit stops during the 267-lap race. As a result, Keselowski found himself losing positions on pit road to competitors who elected to change only two tires
· For the first 100 laps of the race, Keselowski fought a loose-handling condition on corner exit – specifically in turn four – which hampered his ability to consistently stay at the front of the pack.
· Wolfe and the team made several adjustments to give their driver a better handling Ford Fusion. When the sun began to fade and the track cooled, the handling started to improve for Keselowski.
· Following another tremendous restart, Keselowski took his only lead of the race at lap 214. He led a total of nine laps on the evening.
· After a debate on whether to come down pit road or save their final set of tires during a lap 231 caution period, Keselowski and Wolfe elected to make their final pit stop.
· This proved to be the correct call as the race remained under the green flag the rest of the way. While Keselowski was not able to race his way back to the lead, he was able to come home with a solid sixth-place finish to close out the season strong.
· With the result, Keselowski finished the 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season in 14th-place in the driver standings with one win, nine top-five finishes, 16 top-10 results and one pole position earned on the year.
WHAT THEY ARE SAYING
THE MILLER LITE FORD DEFINITELY HAD A LOT OF SPEED TONIGHT. WAS IT JUST A CASE OF TOO MUCH FALLOFF OVER THE COURSE OF A RUN?
“We definitely had the car on the short runs, but just weren’t too good on the long runs. I guess that was kind of the tradeoff. We had a lot long runs here at Homestead, which is normally the case. If the Miller Lite Ford Fusion had the long-run speed to go with the short-run speed we would have killed them tonight, but we just didn’t have that.”
WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS AS YOUR FIRST TITLE REIGNS COMES TO AND END?
“A champion is forever. It might not be reigning, but you’re still a champion forever. I’m proud of that. I’m looking forward to the opportunities in the future to become a two-time champion. It didn’t’ happen this year, but there’s a long road in front of us. In the meantime Jimmie (Johnson) is the champion. Congratulations to him and his team.”
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