Kansas Notes: Jason Keller and the Albertsons team remain in the heat of the NASCAR Busch Series championship chase. Keller sits fifth, 106 points behind leader Brian Vickers. Keller is not only looking for his first championship in the Busch...
Jason Keller and the Albertsons team remain in the heat of the NASCAR Busch Series championship chase. Keller sits fifth, 106 points behind leader Brian Vickers. Keller is not only looking for his first championship in the Busch Series, but his fourth consecutive top-five finish in the championship standings.
The Albertsons team was poised for a top-five finish at Kansas last year when they lost an engine. Keller was running third with just 31 laps to go when the engine let go to end his day.
Keller and the Albertsons team have mixed emotions heading to Kansas Speedway. The team finished fifth in the inaugural event in 2001 after leading on two different occasions, but failed to finish the race the last year when they lost the engine on the No. 57.
"We ran well both times we've raced at Kansas," said Keller. "We just haven't been able to put the finishing touches on the races and take home the trophy. We were leading in 2001 with just 29 laps to go and the caution waved. We decided to pit and take tires while the eventual race winner remained on the track. Last year was tough because we were running so well before the engine failed. That's when we took a big hit in the championship chase and never seemed to recover."
"This year is different. We were involved in the late-race incident at Richmond and came back to finish in the top 10 at Dover. I am looking forward to going back because I know we can run well at Kansas, so we plan on reconciling the bitter taste left in our mouths from the past two years there. It's still a new track, so one team doesn't have much of an advantage over another. If anyone has an advantage, it's this race team. It's a race that will be won by the team that comes prepared and utilizes their track time wisely."
The NBS Championship:
Keller and the team were just 35 points behind Greg Biffle last year heading to Kansas, but fell 126 points back after the event. Keller is now 106 points back and chasing four other drivers for the coveted title.
"We are going to approach the rest of the season full throttle," said Keller. "We are going to throw caution to the wind and start getting aggressive. We are going to be aggressive on our set-ups, our pit strategy and on the track. The other four drivers have to points race and be fairly conservative in their decision making, while we have nothing to lose and everything to gain."