Keselowski Finishes Twenty-Third at the Tricky Triangle
August 4, 2014
GoBowling.com 400 at Pocono Raceway (2.5-mile speedway, Pocono, Penn.)
The No. 2 Alliance Truck Parts Ford Fusion
THE RACE REVIEW
· Brad Keselowski and the No. 2 Alliance Truck Parts Ford team started the GoBowling.com 400 from inside of the second row in the third position on Sunday. The effort marked Keselowski’s 13 top-three start through 21 races this season.
· The opening lap of the 160-lap event included a close call as Keselowski entered Turn 2 on the inside of Kurt Busch and Keselowski’s Ford Fusion got very loose and it made light contact with Busch’s car. Keselowski made an incredible save to keep the Alliance Truck Parts machine off of the wall, though he did lose several positions in the process.
· At the end of the first lap on the 2.5 mile tri-oval, Keselowski was scored 12th in the running order. At lap eight he reported that his No. 2 Alliance Truck Parts Ford was handling tight everywhere on track, with the exception of Turn 1.
· The veteran driver held steady in the top 10 through the first pit stop, which occurred during a caution at lap 31. At this point, several competitors elected to stay out on track and subsequently the Alliance Truck Parts Ford fell back to 21st in the order. It was discovered during this stop that the right side of the car had suffered damage from the first lap incident with Busch. While the damage was not extensive, it had a negative impact on the machine’s aerodynamics.
· Through the middle of the race, Keselowski ran well enough to work his way back into the top 10 in the Alliance Truck Parts Ford as the various pit strategies cycled through the running order.
· On lap 116 there was a multi-car accident that collected Keselowski and the Team Penske Ford Fusion. Keselowski was able to nurse the wounded machine back to the pits.
· The lengthy caution allowed the Alliance Truck Parts crew to make repairs to their battered machine. It took four separate stops to patch up the car well enough to allow it to rejoin the fray, running one lap down to the race leaders.
· Unfortunately, the No. 2 Ford did not have the pace of the leaders after the repairs as Keselowski finished the race a lap down, scored in the 23rd position.
· Despite a less than ideal outcome on the day, Keselowski and the No. 2 team maintain the third position in the driver point standings and they are now second in the Chase for the Championship Playoff Grid.
BRAD KESELOWSKI, NO. 2 ALLIANCE TRUCK PARTS FORD
DID YOU FEEL LIKE THINGS JUST DID NOT GO YOUR WAY TODAY?
“We overcame a tremendous amount of adversity to just finish this race. Our day literally went sideways on the first lap when I got loose and got into the 41 (car driven by Kurt Busch) in Turn 2. From that point on we were continually trying to dig out and make up track position. It seemed like each time that we overcame one setback something else would happen. At about the halfway point of the race I thought we had a shot, but then we had a loose wheel so we pitted for tires and an adjustment. I thought okay, we can make a go of it from here, and then a few laps later we got caught in a big wreck. The team did a great job repairing the car, but our day was effectively ended at that point and we were just running around to get as many points as we could. It was a long day.”
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