Series point leader Keselowski preview for Sylvania 300

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The No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger team will race chassis PRS-829 during Sunday’s Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway (NHMS). This is a new chassis to the No. 2 fleet.

After winning the first race in the 2012 Chase for Championship at Chicagoland Speedway last weekend, Keselowski and the No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger team claimed the early playoff lead in the Sprint Cup driver and owner point standings. The win was the fourth of the year for the team, which ties them for the series lead.

Brad Keselowski, Penske Racing Dodge
Brad Keselowski, Penske Racing Dodge

Photo by: Action Sports Photography

For the first time in his NASCAR Sprint Cup Series career that has spanned 116 races, Keselowski is the new series point leader. It marks the first time Penske Racing has been at the top of the standings since Kurt Busch led the standings in March of 2011.

Keselowski won his first career NSCS pole position at NHMS on September 17, 2010 with a then-track record run of 28.515 seconds, or 133.572 miles per hour, around the flat, one-mile oval.

Crew chief Paul Wolfe has an extensive driving history at NHMS. The 35-year-old has one career start in the NASCAR Nationwide Series at the venue, along with 11 starts in NASCAR K&N Pro Series East (KNPSE) competition. In those 11 KNPSE starts, Wolfe accumulated four top-five finishes, six top-10 results and 137 laps led at New Hampshire.

The featured tag line on the rear bumper of the No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge this weekend at New Hampshire is “It’s Miller Time.” One of the most recognized marketing slogans in recent memory, “It’s Miller Time” can be found within many popular culture references. MillerCoors decided to bring back the slogan earlier this year.

In the first-ever race for Penske Racing at NHMS, Rusty Wallace started from the 33rd position and finished in Victory Lane on July 11, 1993. In 64 combined starts at the oval, Penske Racing has notched four wins (Ryan Newman – two, Wallace – one and Kurt Busch – one), seven poles, 16 top-five and 30 top-10 finishes. Penske Racing entries have led 928 laps in those races.

Brad Keselowski on being the series point leader for the first time in his career...

“The points lead is nice. It means we won the first race in a 10-race playoff format. But that’s really about all. I refuse to let it sink in because there is so much work left to be done. We need to keep our eyes looking forward.

I’m going to focus on the next nine races and I know everyone on the Miller Lite Dodge team is going to do the same. It would be a disservice to Sunday’s win if we allow our focus to get away from tomorrow’s workload.”

Brad Keselowski on racing at New Hampshire Motor Speedway...

“It’s always a lot of fun when we go up to Loudon to race. The fans really love what we do and they show it by filling the stands. It’s one of those tracks we can go to and almost guarantee that it will be sold out. The racing that we put on at New Hampshire sometimes gets a bad rap, but I think it has produced some of the most exciting finishes over the last few years.

It’s a one-mile track, but it races like a short track. There is a lot of beating and banging going on and the fans love to watch it unfold. Loudon has been an underrated track for us over the last couple of years. I think we can run well there again and keep the points lead.”

Crew chief Paul Wolfe on this weekend’s race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway...

“Loudon is a unique racetrack. It has aspects of both Richmond and Phoenix all rolled into one. We work really hard to get the car to turn in the center (of the corners) and maintain forward drive for late into a run. It’s a very flat layout, which presents a lot of different challenges.

With no banking to catch the car, it can be very hard on brakes because the straightaways are long and you can build up a lot of speed before you get to the corner. It is so hard to pass, you really need the complete package to win there – good brakes, handling and pit stops.

I couldn’t be prouder of how we started the Chase last week. It’s going to take a team effort to win it all, and I think this Miller Lite team is up to the challenge.”

Source: Penske Racing

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Series NASCAR-CUP
Article type Preview
Tags dodge, keselowski, loudon, nascar-cup, new hampshire, nhms, sylvania 300