Keselowski Races Way to Top-Five Finish at Watkins Glen International

August 15, 2011

WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. (August 15, 2011) – Brad Keselowski, driver of the No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS), finished second in the Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips at the Glen at Watkins Glen International. The finish marked the first top-five result on a road course in NSCS competition for the Penske Racing driver. It also spelled Keselowski’s third-consecutive series top-10 finish as he moved up to the 14th position in the NSCS driver standings.

Rain showers in the Finger Lakes region of New York pushed the race back to a Monday start at Watkins Glen. Keselowski began the 90-lap event from the 12th position after posting a lap of 70.612 seconds, or 124.908 miles per hour, during Saturday’s qualifying session. From the moment the green flag flew, Keselowski began a march toward the front of the field. The Miller Lite Dodge Charger was very strong through the exit of all seven corners that make up the Watkins Glen layout, which led to Keselowski turning some of the fastest laps on the track during the early portion of the event.

Keselowski made his first entry into the top-five in the running order on lap 18 and when the first caution flag of the day flew at lap 28, he had made his way up to the third position. Miller Lite team crew chief Paul Wolfe brought his driver down pit road during this caution period as it fit perfectly into the team’s plan of making it to the end of the race on two pit stops. Wolfe called for fuel and four tires only and Keselowski restarted the event in the 10th position.

When the race resumed, Keselowski was able to get a great restart and he quickly passed three cars on the first lap. He was able to continue turning the fastest laps of anyone during the second run of the day. As other cars darted to pit road, Wolfe stuck to his pre-race strategy to keep the No. 2 car on track and, as a result, Keselowski moved up to the second position at lap 46. Following a lap 53 restart, Keselowski proceeded to put extreme pressure on the bumper of the No. 18 car of Kyle Busch until he was able to get around Busch for the lead at lap 59. Once the Miller Lite team was inside of its fuel window, Wolfe brought his driver down pit road for the final time at lap 60.

With enough fuel to make it to the end, Keselowski was able to maintain his position inside the top three as the laps wound down. A lengthy caution period at lap 85 set up a “green-white-checkered” flag finish that saw the race extended past its scheduled distance by two laps. When the race resumed at lap 91, Keselowski was able to quickly grab the lead, but he could not hold off the No. 9 car driven by Marcos Ambrose. Keselowski crossed the line in the second position as he earned his fourth top-five finish of the season.

Penske Racing teammate, Kurt Busch, finished 38th in Monday’s Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips at the Glen.

Following Sunday’s result, Keselowski and the No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge team improved to 14th in the Cup Series driver and owner point standings. The team currently holds the No. 1 wild card position for the “Chase for the Championship.”

 “It was just a really good Dodge Charger today,” said Keselowski. “I’m really proud of my guys for giving me a fast Miller Lite Dodge Charger. I wanted to win, but if I’m going to lose on a road course to someone, Marcos Ambrose is the man. He’s so good on restarts and I thought we had a shot at it and that’s all you can ask for as a driver. We were really good on long runs today. I’m proud of the day. I’m proud of the finish. It was a good points day for us.”

 Keselowski and the No. 2 Miller Lite team will next compete in the Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway on Sunday, August 21. Live coverage will begin at 1:00 pm ET on ESPN. The race will also be heard on the Motor Racing Network and Sirius XM Satellite Radio Channel 90