BUSCH: Dover II: Jason Keller race report

Experience and Strategy Give CJM Racing Their Second Straight Top-10 Finish (September 22, 2007) Dover, Del. GPg PR -- When you ask Jason Keller what his favorite memory is over the last 416 career starts, the first one that comes to mind is...

Experience and Strategy Give CJM Racing Their Second Straight Top-10 Finish

(September 22, 2007) Dover, Del. GPg PR -- When you ask Jason Keller what his favorite memory is over the last 416 career starts, the first one that comes to mind is the 2000 MBNA Platinum 200 at Dover International Speedway where he passed Mark Martin for the win. From that moment on the "Monster Mile" has always been a track Jason looks forward to throughout the season. His track record there has been impressive and that streak continued Saturday afternoon as Jason gave the CJM Racing team their second straight top-10 finish when the No. 11 InvestLinc Chevrolet crossed the finish line in eighth.

With a brand new chassis in tow, the CJM Racing team unloaded and prepared for the first of two practice sessions on Friday. The No. 11 InvestLinc Chevy was quick in first practice and was displayed in the 13th position with a time of 23.883 seconds. Lap times slowed considerably as the afternoon practice session got underway and Keller turned the 22nd quickest lap at 24.263 seconds.

Race day events got underway Saturday afternoon as 43 cars took to the mile track for a two-lap qualifying effort. Keller drew the 18th qualifying spot and placed the No. 11 machine in the 27th position for the RoadLoans.com 200 later that afternoon.

After a brief rain shower moved through the area, the team's put on their game faces and got ready for a 200-lap shoot out. With sauna like conditions in the air, Keller climbed into the No. 11 InvestLinc Chevy and prepared for a two hour, caution filled event.

The tone of the day was set almost immediately as the first caution flag fell on lap five and Keller reported in that he was battling with rear grip.

With only a few laps on the board, crew chief Todd Gordon opted to stay out on the track and see if the condition would resolve itself as more laps were laid down.

Despite the concern over rear grip, Keller managed to gain valuable positions when green flag conditions resumed. By lap 30 the No. 11 moved up 11 positions and was displayed in the 16th position. As the first pit stop of the day was made on lap 40 for fresh tires, fuel, a track bar and right side air pressure adjustments Keller would make a rookie mistake and stall the InvestLinc Chevy on pit road. The team restarted in the 29th position and a determined Keller made his quest to the front of the pack again. It would take some time but Keller drove his way back up into the top-15 by lap 130.

As the caution flags continued to fall throughout the race, Gordon would have to make some key decisions regarding pit strategy. The team visited pit road two more times for rear grip adjustments, tires and fuel.

It was the closing laps of the day that determined the fate of the InvestLinc race team. As the leaders came down pit road on lap 167 for their final pit stop of the day, Gordon made the decision to stay out on the track.

Keller restarted in the fourth position and would only give up four positions to cars with fresher tires in the remaining 30 lap showdown. The No. 11 InvestLinc Chevy finished out the grueling day in the eighth position and gave the CJM Racing team their third top-10 finish in just 10 races this season.

"Now that was fun," remarked Keller. "We had a great day. Todd made some great calls and the team did a great job. I'm really happy with the direction we're going and can't wait to get back behind the wheel in Kansas."

-credit: cjm

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About this article
Series NASCAR XFINITY
Drivers Jason Keller , Mark Martin