Keselowski Battles Engine Issues at Texas

April 14, 2012

FORT WORTH, Texas (April 13, 2012) – Brad Keselowski, driver of the No. 22 Discount Tire Dodge Challenger in the NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS), finished 35th in the O'Reilly Auto Parts 300 at Texas Motor Speedway (TMS) on Friday night. Keselowski had a car that was as fast as any on the racetrack, but an engine issue at lap 46 resulted in an unfortunate finish.
Keselowski began the 200-lap race from the 13th position after posting a lap of 30.382 seconds, or 177.737 miles per hour, during the Friday afternoon qualifying session. When the green flag waved to start the event, Keselowski stayed patient to allow the air pressure to rise in the Goodyear radials before setting sail for the front of the field. By lap 15, the Discount Tire machine was turning some of the fastest laps on the track as he entered the top 10 for the first time.
After radioing to crew chief Jeremy Bullins that his car was tight in the center on Turns 1 and 2 – as well as having a loose-handling condition on the exit of both ends of the racetrack – the duo began to develop a plan to improve the handling on the Discount Tire Dodge. However, before Keselowski could enter pit road, his car lost power at lap 46. A debris caution at lap 47 gave the No. 22 crew extra time to diagnose and repair what proved to be a faulty distributor, but by the time Keselowski returned to the racetrack he was scored 38 laps down to the race leaders.
When he returned to the track, Keselowski again turned some of the fastest laps of anyone in the field. Bullins, in his first year at Penske Racing, proved to be a great team player as he began to make adjustments to help Keselowski's No. 22 Dodge. With a fast car to the very end, Keselowski crossed the finish line in the 35th position, 41 laps down to the race leaders.
Penske Racing teammate, Sam Hornish Jr., finished 11th in the O'Reilly Auto Parts 300 on Friday night.
Following Friday's result, Keselowski and the No. 22 team are ranked eighth in the NNS owner point standings.
"Just one of those weird days of racing," said Keselowski. "We never have problems with our Discount Tire Dodge mechanically and tonight it got us. I don't know, maybe it was Friday the 13th to blame. The car was fast. We didn't qualify great (13th) but we worked our way up front and inside the top five or six when we had a distributor malfunction. I felt the car start to miss, then it quit running so we had to come to the garage to see what the heck happened; nothing that you can do. I thought that we had a competitive car. The guys did a good job finding the problem and getting us back out there to run some laps."
Keselowski and the No. 22 Discount Tire Dodge team will enjoy a week off before moving to Richmond International Raceway on Friday, April 27, for the NASCAR Nationwide Series 250. Coverage will air live beginning at 7:00 pm EST on ESPN2. The race will also be broadcast on the Motor Racing Network and Sirius Satellite Radio Channel 90.