Keselowski Rebounds from Contact to Finish 14th at Bristol

August 21, 2010

BRISTOL, Tenn. (August 20, 2010) – Brad Keselowski, driver of the Penske Racing No. 22 Discount Tire Dodge Charger in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, finished 14th in the Food City 250 at Bristol Motor Speedway (BMS) on Friday night. Keselowski was spun by the No. 18 of Kyle Busch on lap 219 while leading the race, ending any chance the Penske Racing driver had to score consecutive wins in the Nationwide Series.

Keselowski continues to lead the Nationwide Series driver point standings by 313 points over second-place contender Carl Edwards.

For Keselowski the day began by running 132 laps during the morning practice session, which were the most of any driver. His 129th circuit around the .533-mile BMS oval placed him at the top of the speed chart for the session. However, he was unable to translate that into his sixth pole award of the year as he was too tight during his qualifying lap and lined up to start the race from the 13th position.

As the early portion of the race unfolded, Keselowski quickly drove his way into the top 10 in the running order. He was turning some of the fastest lap times on track throughout the first 75 laps of the race and he radioed to crew chief Paul Wolfe that he was very happy with the handling of the car. After racing his way into the lead on lap 59, Keselowski settled into the second position and remained there until Wolfe called him down pit road for minor adjustments under a lap 82 caution period.

Keselowski restarted the race in 12th place on lap 119, and he quickly began knifing his way through the field. By lap 117, he had moved up to third when the third caution flag of the day flew over the field. A great stop by the No. 22 pit crew allowed Keselowski to be the second driver to exit pit road. He restarted the race from the seventh position as several cars elected to remain on the track.

On lap 162, Keselowski reassumed the lead and began to show that he had a car that could contend for the win. He led the field for a total of 62 laps overall. Keselowski was able to keep his Dodge Charger at the front of the field until – during some hard, side-by-side racing with the No. 18 of Busch – he inadvertently made contact with the rear bumper of Busch’s car after he abruptly slid up in front of Keselowski. Busch then intentionally spun Keselowski, effectively ruining his day. Keselowski also suffered damage to the rear spoiler of his No. 22 Discount Tire Dodge Charger on a lap 226 incident. The team did a great job in making the necessary repairs to allow Keselowski to race his way back to a top-15 finish.

With the finish, Keselowski extends his NASCAR record with his 91st consecutive Nationwide Series race without a DNF (Did Not Finish).

Penske Racing teammate Justin Allgaier finished 33rd. 

"We had an awesome Discount Tire Dodge,” said Keselowski. “We ran a heck of a race. We got up to the front legitimately. I’m proud of my team for that and then we got intentionally wrecked. It is what it is. We'll go to work and work on beating (Kyle).”

The No.22 Discount Tire Dodge Charger team will move north of the border to Circuit Gilles Villeneuve next weekend for the Napa Auto Parts 200 presented by Dodge. The race can be seen live on Sunday, August 22, on ESPN2 beginning at 2 p.m. EDT.  The event can also be heard live on MRN Radio, as well as Sirius Satellite Radio Channel 128.

Brad Keselowski Food City 250 Race Statistics
Start: 13
Finish: 14
Laps: 250/250 
Laps Led: 62
Status: Running
Points Position: 1