Keselowski Grabs Another Top-15 Finish at Richmond

September 12, 2010

RICHMOND, Va. (September 11, 2010) – Brad Keselowski, driver of the No. 12 Penske Dodge Charger in the NASCAR Cup Series, finished 15th in the Air Guard 400 at Richmond International Raceway (RIR) on Saturday night. The result was the second-consecutive top-15 finish at RIR – both of which came from top-10 starting spots – for the young driver.

Keselowski began Saturday’s event from the eighth position, nearly matching his season-best sixth-place qualifying effort from the previous race at Richmond in May. In addition to his solid starting position, Keselowski also owned the sixth-fastest 15-lap average during the Friday practice session, which gave the No. 12 Penske Dodge team a lot of confidence heading into Saturday night’s race.

As the early portion of the race unfolded, Keselowski was able to keep his car inside the top-10 in the running order despite a tight-handling condition in the center of the corners. On lap 30, while running in the eighth position, the No. 12 Penske Dodge was the fastest car on the track. After Keselowski did a great job in avoiding the car of a spinning competitor, the ensuing lap 56 caution period gave crew chief Jay Guy an opportunity to prescribe track bar and air pressure adjustments to help the ailing No. 12 chassis. Keselowski restarted the race from the 13th position on lap 63.

Following the first round of adjustments, Keselowski was very happy with the Penske Dodge on the initial, short run. However, the car continued to develop a tight condition the longer Keselowski ran. The next opportunity to work on the car came under a lap 146 caution period. Guy called his driver down pit road for a small wedge adjustment. Keselowski restarted the event from the 16th position on lap 154.

Light rain showers, which threatened the area throughout the event, brought out the third caution flag of the race on lap 225. Keselowski once again visited pit road for track bar and wedge adjustments in hopes of making the necessary chassis changes that would allow Keselowski to pick up his first top-10 finish of the 2010 season. Keselowski did a good job saving his brakes until the end of the race and he began to take advantage of this as the 400-lap race entered its final stages. His car was particularly strong on the exit of Turn 2 as he once again began to post top-10 lap times. Unfortunately, the No. 12 Dodge Charger began to fade over the final 25 laps. Keselowski fell a lap down to eventual race winner, Denny Hamlin, in the closing laps. The 15th-place result, however, represented Keselowski’s best finish since a 12th-place run at Darlington Raceway in May. 

Keselowski and the No. 12 Penske Dodge Charger team sit 26th in both the driver and owner point standings following Saturday’s result.

Penske Racing teammates Kurt Busch and Sam Hornish Jr. finished in 18th and 28th place, respectively.

“I guess it was a decent day, but it could have been a little bit better,” said Keselowski. “We’re trying so hard.  We can’t seem to get that top-10, but it isn’t for lack of effort. A lot of heart and a lot of hard work have gone into our program, but we haven’t gotten there yet.” 

The No. 12 Penske Dodge Charger team will move to New Hampshire Motor Speedway next weekend for the second time this season. The Sylvania 300 will be seen live on Sunday, September 19 on ESPN, beginning at 1 p.m. EDT. The event will also be heard live on the Performance Racing Network, as well as Sirius Satellite Radio Channel 128.


Brad Keselowski Air Guard 400 Race Statistics
Start: 8
Finish: 15
Laps: 399/400
Laps Led: 0
Status: Running
Points Position: 26