Keselowski Finishes Third In Wild Texas Showdown

November 3, 2014


AAA Texas 500
Texas Motor Speedway
Sunday, November 2, 2014


The No. 2 Miller Lite Ford Fusion
Driver:  Brad Keselowski

Starting Position: 26
Finish Position: 3
Driver's Points Position: 7


· Brad Keselowski and the No. 2 Miller Lite Ford team started Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) race at Texas Motor Speedway from the 26th position after an uncharacteristically disappointing qualifying result on Friday afternoon.

· As the AAA Texas 500 began, the No. 2 Ford Fusion lost one position on the opening lap and then began making slow progress forward.

· When the first caution flag of the night was displayed at lap 46, Keselowski was scored in 20th position. He radioed to his team that the car was lacking turn into Turns 1 and 3 and that it was handling loose on corner exit. The Miller Lite team made air pressure adjustments to improve the performance of the No. 2 Ford.

· The handling improved in the next segment of the race and Keselowski drove his way into the top 15 by lap 63.

· The former series champion continued to struggle with a car that was at times lacking turn and also handling loose in the same corner for much of the race. During each pit stop the No. 2 Miller Lite crew made chassis and air pressure adjustments to keep up with the changing track conditions.

· By lap 146, Keselowski broke into the top 10 where he ran through much of the middle of the 500-mile event. He did slip back in to the top 15 as the team stopped for service and the pit stops cycled through.

· A key moment occurred at lap 251 when a yellow flag was displayed with Keselowski running 12th. The decision was made to stay on the racing surface while the majority of the lead pack elected to pit for service. The strategy gave Keselowski the race lead. He led for 18 laps before he was passed by Jimmie Johnson.

· Over the final 84 laps, the Miller Lite Ford ran as high second and as low as 13th as the running order shuffled with pit stops and multiple yellow flags over the closing segment of the race.

· At lap 320 of the scheduled 334 lap race, Keselowski was scored fifth in the order. During a lap 334 green-white-checkered flag restart the No. 2 car and the No. 24 machine driven by Jeff Gordon made slight contact and Gordon fell back after his car had a tire issue. Keselowski got past Johnson for the race lead, but the yellow flag flew for Gordon’s incident, which bunched the field one last time.

· On the final restart of the night at lap 339, Keselowski made a spirited charge but could not quite hold off Johnson who went on to win. Keselowski ran strong to finish third on the night as he scored his 14th top-three result of the season.

· Following the race, as Gordon was having words with Keselowski on pit lane, there was a dust up that involved the crews of the two teams.

· The solid race result placed Keselowski 17 points out of first place in the Chase, yet he is now only four points out of making to the next round in the Chase, which will be set next Sunday at Phoenix.




“Yeah, we just weren’t as fast as we wanted to be. Pretty much all weekend that was the case. It was a scratch and claw fest. We needed some breaks to get back in it and every time I thought we were going to catch one it would kind of fall short. Whether it was coming in and putting tires on and driving all the way to fifth and needing to get to fourth to be in one of the front two lanes and the yellow came out. That jammed us up. Then another yellow and another yellow and they all jammed us up. It was one consecutive loop of yellow after yellow and we couldn’t get momentum but (crew chief) Paul Wolfe and the guys did a great job of never giving up and adjusting and having good strategy at the end. We almost made a win out of it despite that. In the end, Jimmie was just stronger than we were. Even with a little bit older tires he was just stronger. I didn’t have the turn I needed to really run with him and he did a great job holding us off. That was just the story of the night. The stuff afterwards, which I am sure you will ask your own questions about, I am doing everything I can to win this championship racing at 100 percent and that is something I am not going to be ashamed for. If I was out there wrecking guys to do it, that would be one thing, but a little bit of rubbing is how this sport was created and probably how it should move forward. I don’t mind getting raced that way and I don’t mind racing that way. I got a little rub there at the end too from the 4 car and that was just good racing. I am proud of our effort but just wish I would have been able to make two more spots out of it.”