Keselowski Scores Third-Consecutive Top-3 Result at MIS
June 16, 2014
Quicken Loans 400 at Michigan International Speedway (two-mile speedway, Brooklyn, Mich.)
· The race began with a series of early cautions as the yellow flag was displayed on lap one and lap six for incidents on track. Keselowski held strong, running inside the top seven through first pit stop of the day at lap 44.
· The No. 2 Miller Lite Ford maintained a solid presence in the top seven for much of the race. Keselowski’s Ford Fusion proved tough to handle in traffic as it was loose-handling in Turns 3 and 4 for the duration of the event.
· The Team Penske pit crew made adjustments to the Miller Lite machine throughout the course of the 200-lap event.
· Keselowski led three times on the day for a total of four laps.
· At lap 104, the team made the first two-tire stop of the race, which catapulted Keselowski into the top four in the running order. The No. 2 Miller Lite Ford came to life as Keselowski, the native Michigan driver, reported that his Fusion ran much better in clean air.
· Crew chief Paul Wolfe and the Miller Lite crew calculated fuel strategies throughout the closing laps of the race, but a caution on lap 147 negated much of the advantage they were planning for to maximize a strong finish.
· Keselowski ran strong over the last 20 laps of the race as he went from 16th to second place as many competitors had to pit for a splash of fuel. He held on to bring home a third-place finish.
· The result marked Keselowski’s third consecutive top-three finish as well as his seventh top-five result of the year. He remains fifth in the series standings, now trailing leader Jeff Gordon by 47 points.
HOW REWARDING IS IT TO EARN A TOP-THREE FINISH IN YOUR HOME STATE?
“It’s always good to run well here and we didn’t run as well as we wanted to, but we certainly didn’t run poorly. Like I said, it was a good day, not a great day. Third is nothing to hang your hat on. We have consistency, which is good. Unfortunately, it doesn’t mean much right now at this time of the year in the sense of points, but it does mean a lot to us in the sense of overall morale and our ability to really make a push as the fall months come in the Chase. So that’s important to us even if it might not show a tangible result in the short term. So I’m happy for that, but to be really happy I’d want to win here today, especially on Father’s Day. That would be really special for me and my family here at my home track in Michigan.”
THIS TURNED INTO A STRATEGY RACE. DID YOU EXPECT THAT SEVERAL CARS WERE GOING TO STAY OUT ON TRACK DURING THE LAST CAUTION?
“I sympathize for the crew chiefs here. This is such a tough race to call strategy-wise, and you’re really at the mercy of debris yellows at the end and where they fall. I thought Kevin (Harvick) was probably the guy to beat today and he probably feels that way too, I would imagine, and the way that yellow (flag) fell just kind of completely killed him, but that’s just the way it is.”
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