Keselowski Starts First, Finishes Second at Bristol

March 20, 2010

BRISTOL, Tenn. (March 20, 2010) Brad Keselowski, driver of the Penske Racing No. 22 Discount Tire Dodge Charger in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, finished second in the Scotts Turf Builder 300 at Bristol Motor Speedway (BMS) on Saturday afternoon. Penske Racing teammate Justin Allgaier picked up his first career series victory in a one-two finish for the organization.


Keselowski led the field of 43 cars to the green flag for the second consecutive race after qualifying on the pole position earlier in the day. He toured the .533-mile oval in 15.405 seconds, or 124.557 miles per hour, for the fifth Coors Light Pole Award of his 108-race career.


Keselowski picked the outside lane to start the race as he felt that that would give him the best opportunity to quickly distance himself from the field. However, low air pressure in the tires caused the car to bounce as it entered the high-banked corners of BMS. As a result, Keselowski fell back to third place by lap three. Around lap 15, the air pressures had built and the No. 22 Discount Tire Dodge Charger was one of the fastest cars on the track. Keselowski radioed to crew chief Paul Wolfe that the balance of the car was exactly where he needed it to be.


By lap 88, the car had developed a slight tight condition in the center of both ends of the track. A lap 90 caution period brought Keselowski down pit road to the attention of his pit crew for the first time. Wolfe elected to make no adjustments, only placing four new Goodyear tires on the No. 22 Dodge Charger, correctly predicting that “sticker” tires would sufficiently loosen the chassis.  


Keselowski preferred the middle groove on restarts, however he was caught in the low groove when the race resumed. He dropped back to the eighth position in the running order, which would mark his lowest position of the race. On lap 186, Keselowski did a great job narrowly missing a spin in front of him. The resulting caution gave Wolfe the chance to make his only adjustments of the race. After air pressure and track bar changes, Keselowski restarted the race from the fifth position. He would not visit pit road again. 

A great restart on lap 196 saw Keselowski drive from fifth to second in two laps. On lap 203, he would assume the lead for the first time, where he would remain for 73 laps. The final 100 laps of the race were marred by a series of cautions, each time allowing Allgaier to get to the back bumper of the No. 22 Dodge Charger. He was able to make his way around Keselowski on a lap 273 restart. The two teammates provided the fans with quite a show over the final laps as they raced hard and clean around the BMS bullring. Keselowski was able to get his nose inside of Allgaier on several occasions, but was not able to make the pass. However, his third consecutive top-five finish is a strong sign to the rest of the Nationwide Series field that the first-year team will be a year-long contender for the championship title.


Keselowski and his No. 22 Discount Tire Dodge Charger team remain in the second position in the NASCAR Nationwide Series point standings. He sits just 26 points behind leader Carl Edwards.      


“I’m real proud of Justin,” said Keselowski.  “He’s been running great and I’m really happy for his team and for Roger Penske. This was a great effort for our Nationwide Series team. I hope everyone back home is really proud of that one. I’m glad to have another solid finish with the Discount Tire/Ruby Tuesday Dodge. This gets us right to where we need to be in points. I feel really good about our effort and how we’re running.”


The No.22 Discount Tire Dodge Charger team will enjoy another break in the NASCAR Nationwide Series schedule before heading to back to the state Tennessee for the Nashville 300 at Nashville Superspeedway in two weeks. The race can be seen live on Saturday afternoon, April 3 on ESPN beginning at 3:30 p.m. EDT.  The event can also be heard live on MRN Radio, as well as Sirius Satellite Radio Channel 128.





Brad Keselowski Scotts Turf Builder 300 Race Statistics