Brad Keselowski, driver of the No. 2 Draw-Tite Ford F-Series, made his inaugural season start in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) during the 11th Annual North Carolina Education Lottery 200 Friday night at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Keselowski opted to not pit during the second caution of the night on lap 25, instead, elected to stay out which positioned the Draw-Tite Ford in the 12th spot once the green flag fell again. On lap 71, under caution, Keselowski brought his Ford down pit road for four tires, fuel and an air pressure adjustment, saying he can see the leaders lift in the corners, but not being able to make up any ground.
After battling all night long to get up to the lead pack, Keselowski found himself sitting in the 2nd position with a little under 50 laps to go. The caution came out on lap 115 - Keselowski stayed out to sustain track position, restarting in the 4th spot.
With 15 laps to go, the No. 54 truck got loose under Keselowski, pushing him into the wall out of turn two, which damaged the Draw-Tite machine. The accident forced him back down pit road for repair and ultimately costing him a top five finish, placing him in the 14th spot overall.
Keselowski is slated to run additional NCWTS races for BKR later this season.
Brad Keselowski: "It was a tough night behind the wheel and with my owner's cap on tonight at Charlotte Motor Speedway. The team continues to improve and we are heading in the right direction, just need a little bit more speed in our trucks.
I want to thank Draw-Tite and Cooper Standard for bringing all their employees and customers to the track today. I'm looking forward to my next (NASCAR Camping Wolrd Truck Series) start in Kentucky."
No. 19 Melon1 Ford F-Series Driven by Ross Chastain
Ross Chastain , driver of the Brad Keselowski Racing Melon 1 Ford F-Series, started in the 7th position Friday night at Charlotte Motor Speedway during the 11th Annual North Carolina Education Lottery 200. It was Chastain's third start for BKR after finishing in the top 20 at Daytona International Speedway and Martinsville Speedway earlier this season.
Chastain had a solid start to the night racing in the top 10, before the caution came out on lap 72 for a wreck. Chastain said he was having trouble in the center off so, crew chief Chad Kendrick brought his Ford F-Series to pit road for one track bar adjustment, four tires and fuel.
The night all but came to a close for Chastain on lap 77 under green when there was a hole in the right rear of his Melon 1 Ford, forcing Chastain down pit road for two right side tires under green, knocking him off the lead lap.
The yellow flag waved again on lap 101 and Kendrick called Chastain back to pit road for a half a track bar adjustment and fuel. Chastain was granted with the lucky dog, putting him back on the lead lap in the 17th position. Chastain kept digging in the closing stages of the race and found himself placing in the 9th position overall after an up and down night.
The No. 19 BKR team now sits 11th in NCWTS owner point standings, 151 points back from first.
Ross Chastain: "It was one of those nights at Charlotte, I have to thank my team for not giving up. We saw a fast race Truck slip out of contention, but we battled hard to get back on the lead lap and place in the top 10. I'm proud of everyone and we are looking forward to Dover in a couple of weeks."
No. 29 Cooper Standard Ford F-Series Driven by Ryan Blaney
Ryan Blaney, driver of the Brad Keselowski Racing No. 29 Cooper Standard Ford F-Series, made his first career NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) start at Charlotte Motor Speedway Friday night, after posting a 9th place qualifying effort earlier in the day.
Blaney got off to a solid start staying around the top 10 before the first caution flew of the evening. Crew chief, Doug Randolph, brought Blaney to pit road for three adjustments up on the track bar, four tires and fuel - after Blaney had been complaining of a very tight truck.
After the No. 18 wrecked and brought out caution number three on lap 73, Randolph, brought Blaney back to pit road for four tires, fuel and two adjustments up on the track bar, since the previous three track bar adjustment stop had tightened up Blaney's Race Truck too much.
The night took a turn for the worse for Blaney and No. 29 Cooper Standard team, when Blaney radioed in under green on lap 97 saying his Truck was really, really bad. Randolph brought Blaney to pit road under green and realized one of the air guns being used to change tires had jammed and was not tightening the lug nuts accordingly, costing Blaney to go three laps down.
With a combination of bad luck and being in the wrong place at the wrong time all night long, Blaney and the team did all they could do to salvage a 25th place finish.
Blaney and the No. 29 Cooper Standard team now sit 7th in NCWTS driver point standings, 42 points back from first.
Ryan Blaney: "That's just racing. We can't hang our heads over something out of our control. We'll go back to the drawing board and prepare accordingly for Dover in a few weeks where I know we can get back on track. It's really unfortunate to have a night like that in Charlotte of all places, because you want to show your best stuff at home where your friends and family are."
Brad Keselowski Racing