No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Preview-Daytona 500

February 22, 2012

Brad Keselowski
No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger
54th Daytona 500
Daytona International Speedway
February 26, 2012
TV: FOX at 12:00 PM ET   Radio: MRN/Sirius Channel 90

No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger News and Notes
• This Week’s Charger…
The No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger team will race chassis PRS-643 during Sunday’s 54th running of the Daytona 500. This is a new chassis to the No. 2 fleet.
• Qualifying Race… Driver Brad Keselowski will start 11th in the first Duel at Daytona qualifying race on Thursday afternoon, Feb. 23. These races determine the Daytona 500 starting positions behind the front row, which was set during Sunday’s time trials. The qualifying races begin at 1 pm ET and can be seen on SPEED.
• 350 and 100… Two nice, round numbers that represent the total number of all-time race victories by Penske Racing and the total number of NASCAR wins by Penske Racing, respectively. The most recent victory came in the 2011 NASCAR Nationwide Series season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway when Keselowski scored the win. 
• Shedding the Dark Horse Label… Thanks to three wins, 10 top-five finishes, 14 top-10 results and 19 races led for a total of 287 laps, Keselowski’s breakout 2011 Cup Series season has him poised to enter 2012 as a legitimate contender for the championship.
• Driven to Greatness… Continuing one of the most-popular features of the “Blue Deuce” from 2011, the featured tag line on the rear bumper this weekend in Daytona will be “Driven to Greatness.” On the heels of a breakout season – one in which he won two races on a broken ankle – there is no one doubting the drive that Keselowski has toward winning a Cup Series championship for Miller Lite and Roger Penske.
• Meet Brad Keselowski… Keselowski will make a public appearance at the Ocean Walk entertainment complex located at 250 North Atlantic Avenue in Daytona Beach, Fla. on Thursday, February 23 at 9 pm ET.
• The Rest is History... In 85 combined Cup Series starts at DIS, Penske Racing drivers have recorded one points-paying win, 20 top-five finishes and 29 top-10 results. The lone victory came in the 50th running of the Daytona 500 in 2008 as Penske Racing finished first and second with drivers Ryan Newman and Kurt Busch, respectively. The organization also scored victories in the 1998 and 2011 Shootout at Daytona, an all-star event.

Brad Keselowski on the qualifying races
“The goal for us is to make it through the Duel without tearing up the Miller Lite Dodge. I think that you'll see the guys who have to make it in the show run really, really hard in the qualifying races.  I think everybody else will be pretty chill. At least I hope they will be. The Shootout got pretty crazy at times. We’ve been doing the two-car tandem drafting for a couple of years now so it takes a different mindset to go back to pack racing. We’ll figure it out and put on a good race for the fans. The Duels are always exciting.”

Brad Keselowski on the Daytona 500
“From what I saw at the test in January to where we are now in Speed Weeks, I still believe that AJ and I can win the Daytona 500. Our cars are really fast in race trim. Penske Racing has always built really good superspeedway cars, but for various reasons we’ve not been able to win many of these races. I’m still like a kid dreaming of hitting the game-winning shot except I dream of winning the Daytona 500. It would mean so much to me and my family to win our sport’s biggest race.”

Crew chief Paul Wolfe on the Daytona 500
“I was really pleased with the speed of the Miller Lite Dodge during the Shootout on Saturday night. We had a little different strategy because we had already wrecked one car in practice, but when it was time to go to the front, Brad was able to do that. That is just a testament to the guys back at the shop that build these cars. I know I’m not the first to say it, but it’s almost impossible to improve your car or find speed once you are down here. All the work is done before you get here and it’s clear that the engineering department worked hard during the winter months.”