Keselowski Guides Miller Lite Dodge to Victory

March 18, 2012

BRISTOL, Tenn.  (March 18, 2012) – Brad Keselowski, driver of the Penske Racing No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS), scored his first win of the 2012 season in the Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway (BMS) on Sunday afternoon. Keselowski raced with a dominant car – leading a total of 232 laps – as he scored his second consecutive victory at the “World’s Fastest Half-Mile.”

Keselowski began the 500-lap event from the fifth position based on his qualifying lap of 15.367 seconds, or 124.865 miles per hour, during the Friday afternoon qualifying session. The Miller Lite Dodge took several laps to come alive and, as a result, Keselowski dropped two spots at the drop of the green flag. When the handling condition on the “Blue Deuce” came around to Keselowski’s liking, the Rochester Hills, MI., native began turning some of the fastest laps on the track. Keselowski avoided disaster at lap 24 as two competitors immediately in front of the Miller Lite machine made contact, setting off an incident that collected several contending cars. Keselowski was able to escape with only minor damage to the nose of the car, which was repaired during the caution period. Keselowski restarted the race from the 10th position at lap 47, following a lengthy clean up from the incident.

As the race resumed, Keselowski radioed to crew chief Paul Wolfe that his car had excellent stability on corner entry and great forward drive. His only complaint was that the car handled a touch tight in the center of the corners. Keselowski was able to move up to the middle groove on the track as he set his sights on the front of the field. The second of five caution flags on the day fell at lap 116 with Keselowski running in the seventh position. After bringing his car to the attention of his pit crew for air pressure and track bar adjustments, Keselowski returned to action in fifth place as the Miller Lite team continued their great pit work on the year.

Once again, Keselowski posted some of the fastest lap times on the track as he quickly worked his way into the second position. Once there he began to stalk race leader Brian Vickers like a lion after his prey. Following a great battle with the No. 55 car, Keselowski claimed the top spot at lap 218. The Miller Lite Dodge visited pit lane on lap 255 as green-flag pit stops cycled through.

Following a lap 347 restart, Keselowski began a long, tough fight with the No. 17 car driven by Matt Kenseth. The two drivers raced hard and clean for the lead, giving the fans exactly what they hoped to see at the famed BMS oval. The drivers swapped the top spot several times before Keselowski took control again at lap 391. A late-race caution flag at lap 477 offered Keselowski and Wolfe an opportunity to either stay out to maintain track position, or pit for fresh tires. Wolfe elected to keep his driver on the racing surface as Kenseth followed suit. Keselowski was able to hold off the former Cup Series and current Daytona 500 champion to secure a hard-fought victory.

Penske Racing teammate, AJ Allmendinger, was credited with a 17th-place finish in Sunday’s Food City 500.

“This Miller Lite Dodge here (is) a brand new car that Penske Racing built – everybody back in the shop did a phenomenal job,” said Keselowski. “The last few races have been really good, and I knew we had a shot at winning one if we ran like we had over the last few weeks. You know Matt (Kenseth) didn’t make it easy. He raced me hard and I raced him hard. We rubbed a little bit, but that’s good racing. I don’t know how anyone can say Bristol racing isn’t as good as it’s ever been.”

Following Sunday’s event, Keselowski and the No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge team are ranked 13th in the driver point standings and 14th in the owner point rankings.

Keselowski and the No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge team next advance to Auto Club Speedway on Sunday, March 25, for the Auto Club 400. Coverage will be seen live beginning at 2:30 pm EST on FOX. The race will also be heard on the Motor Racing Network and Sirius Satellite Radio Channel 90.