Keselowski Finishes Seventh in NASCAR All-Star Race

May 24, 2010

CONCORD, N.C. (May 22, 2010) – Brad Keselowski, driver of the No. 12 Penske Dodge Charger in the NASCAR Cup Series, finished seventh in the 2010 NASCAR All-Star race Saturday night at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Keselowski had one of the fastest cars in the field prior to the final segment of the race, but the handling on the car became an issue late in the race and he was not able to contend for the win.

The NASCAR All-Star Race is made up of four segments. The first segment is 50 laps with a mandatory pit stop, followed by two 20-lap segments. Another mandatory, four-tire stop set the field for the 10-lap final segment, which paid over $1 million.

Keselowski started the race from the third position as rain canceled the Friday evening qualifying session. The field was set by the qualifying order for the race. As is typical of this race, the action began from the drop of the green flag. On lap 2, Keselowski had to dodge the No. 24 car of Jeff Gordon as he bounced off the outside wall. Only a few laps later, Keselowski radioed to crew chief Jay Guy that something was not right with the steering in the No. 12 Dodge Charger. As a result, he dropped a few positions while the team tried to diagnose the problem. Keselowski came down pit road in the seventh position on lap 25. Crew chief Jay Guy called for air pressure adjustments and the No. 12 pit crew performed a fast pit stop that allowed Keselowski to restart the race in the same position.  

The fresh Goodyear radials had a positive effect on the steering problem. Keselowski was able to turn top-five lap times over the last half of the first segment. Towards the end of the segment the chassis on the No. 12 Penske Dodge Charger began to develop a loose-handling condition while exiting the corners. To fix the loose condition, Guy called for track bar and more air pressure adjustments, along with four tires, when the segment ended. Many of the other competitors elected to take two tires and, as a result, Keselowski started the second segment from the 12th position.

As the first 20-lap segment began, it was evident that the adjustments had given Keselowski a car that could contend for the win. He quickly raced his way into the eighth position on the 52nd lap of the race and radioed that the car was “the best it had been all night.” He and Guy were confident that they had hit on the setup that would work perfectly over the last 10 laps of the race. Only minor adjustments to the air pressure were made during the pit stop at the end of the second segment.

After restarting the race from the ninth position for the second 20-lap segment, Keselowski began to pick off the cars in front of him one by one. On the 75th lap of the race, Keselowski was running solidly inside the top-five.. Despite a chassis that was slightly loose at both ends of the 1.5-mile oval, he was able to finish the segment in the fourth position. 

After the mandatory four-tire stop to set the field for the final 10 laps, Keselowski restarted the event from the seventh position. When the first of three caution flags flew on the first lap of the final segment, Keselowski was back inside the top-five. The No. 12 Dodge Charger, however, was too loose on new tires and Keselowski raced hard to cross the finish line in seventh place. 

“We swung two different directions on our setup tonight and didn’t find what we needed to challenge at the end,” said Keselowski. “We needed to be faster. We came in and fixed what was wrong, but didn’t have enough laps. We had a car I thought was capable of winning the race. We just missed it at the end.”

Penske Racing teammate Kurt Busch was the winner of the event. The victory was the first NASCAR All-Star race win of his career.  

The No.12 Penske Dodge team will stay in the Charlotte, N.C. area for the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. The race will be seen live on Sunday, May 30 on the FOX television network beginning at 5:45 p.m. EDT.  The event will also be heard live on PRN Radio, as well as Sirius Satellite Radio Channel 128.


Brad Keselowski NASCAR All-Star Race Statistics
Start: 3
Finish: 7   
Laps: 100/100 
Laps Led: 0 
Status: Running
Points Position: 24