Keselowski Finishes 26th in Miller Lite Dodge at Las Vegas

March 6, 2011

LAS VEGAS, Nev. (March 6, 2011) – Brad Keselowski, driver of the No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger in the NASCAR Cup Series, finished 26th in the Kobalt Tools 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway (LVMS) on Sunday afternoon. Keselowski fought an ill-handling racecar for much of the event, but persevered to garner the best possible finish for the team.
Keselowski started the 267-lap race from the 20th position after posting a lap of 29.020 seconds, or 186.079 miles per hour, during Friday's qualifying session. When the race began, Keselowski radioed that his car was loose on the exit of the LVMS corners. An early-race caution on lap 9 gave crew chief Paul Wolfe an opportunity to bring his driver down pit road for a track bar adjustment. Following a race restart on lap 13, Keselowski commented that the chassis condition had tightened up and he moved to the upper groove of the racetrack, where he began to make his way forward.
As the race settled in to an 82-lap, green-flag run, the No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge began to handle too tight from the center to the exit of the corners. As a result, Keselowski lost a lap to the race leaders. When the caution flag finally flew on lap 97, Wolfe decided the team would make a substantial change to the chassis in an attempt to free it up for their driver. Adjustments to the track bar and wedge moved the handling condition back to the loose end and Keselowski radioed that he was happy with the balance of the car.
Over the next 100 laps, the No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge remained loose on entry and exit of the corners, but it also developed a tight-handling condition in the center of the turns. These conditions helped prevent Keselowski from working his way into contention for the "Lucky Dog" award that would have placed him back on the lead lap.
After a lap 199 pit stop that included wedge adjustments and tape added to the nose of the car for more downforce, Keselowski began to make up some time. He radioed that the car's handling had improved, especially the tight condition in the center of the corners. However, he was never able to regain the lost track position, eventually falling another lap down to the race leaders before the checkered flag on his way to a 26th-place result.
Penske Racing teammate, Kurt Busch, finished ninth Sunday in the Kobalt Tools 400.
Following Sunday's result, Keselowski and the No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge team sit 23rd in the Cup Series driver point standings and 25th in the owner point rankings.
"We missed something all day. I'm not sure what," said Keselowski. "Kurt (Busch) was a little bit better, but neither of our Dodges were where we wanted them to be. We'll go back to the drawing board. These rough race tracks seem to be our Achilles heel. We tried a lot of different things and just never hit on anything."
Keselowski and the No. 2 Miller Lite team will enjoy an off-weekend before moving to the Bristol Motor Speedway for the Jeff Byrd 500 on Sunday, March 20. Coverage can be seen live beginning at 1 pm EST on the FOX network. The race will also be heard on the Performance Racing Network and Sirius Satellite Radio Channel 128