Multi-Car Wreck Leaves Keselowski 35th at Daytona

July 7, 2012

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (July 6, 2012) – Brad Keselowski, driver of the No. 22 Discount Tire Dodge Challenger in the NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS), finished 35th in the Subway Jalapeno 250 at Daytona International Speedway on Friday night. Keselowski was able to run at the front of the field until becoming involved in a multi-car wreck on lap 66 that ended his night.

Keselowski began the 100-lap race from the seventh position based on his lap of 50.921 seconds, or 176.744 miles per hour, during the Friday afternoon time trials. When the green flag waved, Keselowski was immediately pushed by the No. 18 of Joey Logano as the two performed the two-car draft. Logano was able to push the Discount Tire Dodge into the lead for the first time on the evening at lap five. As the first caution flag of the night fell at lap eight, Keselowski radioed that he had picked up a vibration, but was unsure of where it was on the car. Crew chief Jeremy Bullins elected to bring his driver down pit road for fuel and adjustments to the track bar and left-side wedge, but elected not to take tires. Keselowski restarted the race from the second position at lap 12.

As the race resumed, Keselowski was able to find his Penske Racing teammate, Sam Hornish Jr., and pushed the No. 12 Wurth Dodge to the lead. Four-wide racing ensued around the 2.5-mile oval, forcing Keselowski and Hornish to separate. Keselowski then latched on to the rear bumper of the No. 7, driven by Danica Patrick, to push her into the lead at lap 18. The two worked well together as they maintained their position at the front of the field. A lap 41 caution allowed Keselowski to bring No. 22 Dodge down pit road for four tires and fuel before restarting the race in the seventh position at lap 46.

The three-time restrictor-plate winner began working his magic when the race resumed under the green flag. Using multiple drafting partners, Keselowski was able to stay near the top-five as the race moved past the halfway point. At lap 46, he began working with the No. 30 of James Buescher, eventually pushing him to the front of the pack at lap 64. Unfortunately a multi-car accident was triggered on the 66th lap, badly damaging the Discount Tire machine. Keselowski drove the car to the garage, in an attempt to make enough repairs to return to the track, but the damage was too severe.

Penske Racing teammate, Sam Hornish finished 10th in the Subway Jalapeno 250 on Friday night.

Following Friday’s result, Keselowski and the No. 22 team remain ninth in the NNS owner point standings.

“I hate that we tore up a good racecar,” said Keselowski. “James (Buescher) and I were running well together, staying up toward the front of the field. The next thing I know he gets hit in the right rear, which sends him into my left rear, and that was all she wrote. These races are all about survival for the first 75 percent of the race. Tonight we just didn’t survive.”

The No. 22 Discount Tire Dodge team will next compete at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, with driver Brad Keselowski, on Saturday, July 14, in the F.W. Webb 200. Coverage will air live beginning at 2:30 p.m. ET on ESPN. The race will also be broadcast on the Motor Racing Network and SiriusXM Satellite Radio Channel 90.