Pit Road Issues Result in 23rd-Place Finish for Keselowski at Las Vegas Motor Speedway

March 11, 2012

LAS VEGAS, Nev. (March 10, 2012) – Brad Keselowski, driver of the No. 22 Discount Tire Dodge Challenger in the NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS), finished 23rd in the Sam’s Town 300 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway (LVMS) on Saturday afternoon due to an issue with the fueling system on pit road

Keselowski began the 200-lap race from the fifth position after posting a lap of 29.905 seconds, or 180.572 miles per hour, during the Saturday morning qualifying session. The Discount Tire Dodge needed a few laps to get going and, as a result, Keselowski lost two positions at the drop of the green flag. He radioed to crew chief Jeremy Bullins that he developed a tight-handling condition on the entry of Turn 3, but he was happy with his car in Turns 1 and 2. He was able to race his way inside the top five by lap 16 based on the strength of his car in the first two corners.

A lap 26 caution gave Bullins an opportunity to make air pressure adjustments to the four Goodyear radials that would improve the handling condition for his driver. Keselowski restarted the race from the eighth position at lap 31. The air pressure adjustments had a positive effect on the No. 22 Dodge as Keselowski began to turn some of the fastest laps on the track.

Prior to a lap 70 caution period, Keselowski had made his way up to the second position. Fast pit work by the No. 22 team resulted in Keselowski maintaining second-place when the race resumed at lap 74 and he was able to make his way around the race leader on the first lap back under the green flag. Keselowski would build his lead to 1.7 seconds before another caution flag at lap 96 brought him down pit road for service. Bullins elected to go with a four-tire stop to set the team up to make a track position move later in the race by taking two tires. When the race resumed at lap 104, Keselowski was running in the fourth position with fresher tires than the cars in front of him.

Shortly thereafter it was discovered that the Discount Tire Dodge was not full of fuel. At lap 131, Keselowski radioed that he was out of fuel and made his way down pit road. He lost three laps while attempting to restart the engine in his Dodge. To make matters worse, NASCAR penalized him for speeding on pit road, a common occurrence in this situation, as the tachometer does not work when the car is not running. The subsequent “pass through” penalty resulted in the loss of two more laps. Keselowski was able to make up one of his lost laps, but not many positions in the running order as he crossed the finish line in the 23rd position.

Penske Racing teammate, Sam Hornish Jr., finished ninth in the Sam’s Town 300 on Saturday afternoon.

Following Saturday’s result, Keselowski and the No. 22 team are ranked eighth in the NNS owner point standings.

“We just had a fueling problem there,” said Keselowski. “I had a Discount Tire Dodge that I felt could win the race. It’s kind of been the tale of the tape for me here at Vegas. I’m so excited to have a fast car. That’s where it all starts, we just have to execute from there. It wasn’t meant to be.”

Keselowski and the No. 22 Discount Tire Dodge team will move to Bristol Motor Speedway next Saturday, March 17, for the Ford EcoBoost 300. Coverage will air live beginning at 1:00 pm EST on ESPN. The race will also be broadcast on the Performance Racing Network and Sirius Satellite Radio Channel 90.