BUSCH: Dover II: Jason Keller preview

The Albertsons Team is far from Down and Out of the Busch Series Title hunt heading to Dover Jason Keller and the Albertsons team are more determined than ever to challenge for the NASCAR Busch Series title. Keller fell to fifth in ...

The Albertsons Team is far from Down and Out of the Busch Series Title hunt heading to Dover

Jason Keller and the Albertsons team are more determined than ever to challenge for the NASCAR Busch Series title. Keller fell to fifth in the championship standings, 111 points behind leader David Green after a late race incident at Richmond relegated them to a 21st-place finish. Keller and the team are more confident than last season with eight races remaining on the schedule.

"We are better than we were at this time last year," said Keller. "We can't do anything more than we have been to contend for this championship. The Albertsons team is preparing great cars, we've had great pit stops and our communication is better than ever. We are all on the same page and that's important. We performed well at Richmond until the accident. We have put that race behind us and are looking forward to Dover."

The team tested at Dover last week to assure a good finish. Although Keller never sat in the Albertsons Ford during the two-day test, he believes it was one of his most educational tests. Mike McLaughlin piloted the No. 57 for two days giving Keller a new perspective.

"Steve and I got to communicate on a whole new level," said Keller. "Instead of me just telling Steve how the car drove, I got to listen to Mike and watch first hand what changes Steve made and how that affected the car. I was able to look at the computer data and really understand the changes that were being made. I didn't like watching the No. 57 drive around the track, but Mike was a tremendous help for us. I felt good enough to get into the car, but what Steve and I were doing off the track was just as valuable as me getting behind the wheel of the Albertsons Ford.

"We ran really well at Dover a few years ago and just haven't been able to duplicate that success. We needed to go to Dover and take the time to try different set ups. We can't afford to go to a track and struggle and hope for a top-10 finish. If we want to battle for the championship heading to Homestead, we need to be on top of our game at every track."

The Soft Wall-- Keller braced himself for a hard hit with the outside retaining wall at Richmond International Raceway and was able to walk away. Fortunately for Keller Richmond had installed SAFER barriers that he believes saved him from serious harm.

"I have never been involved in an accident at that angle where the driver's side door hits against the wall like that," said Keller. "I honestly believe that I would still be in a hospital at Richmond if the SAFER barrier wasn't in place. NASCAR came to the shop to do additional research on our car. I will never say anything negative about that technology except that it is not at every track."

Dover Notes:

* Keller has one win, one pole, five top-five and eight top-10 finishes at Dover International Speedway. He finished fifth in the fall race last year.

* The Albertson team is bringing one of the cars they tested last week and ran at Darlington with them this weekend. The car finished seventh at Darlington just three weeks ago.

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About this article
Series NASCAR XFINITY
Drivers Jason Keller , Mike McLaughlin , David Green