BUSCH: Michigan: Jason Keller race report

The Carfax Team Finishes 22nd in the Irish Hills of Michigan (August 18, 2007) Brooklyn, MI. GPg PR -- The Carfax team returned to the track this weekend after a four week break from any racing action. The return would turn out to be bitter...

The Carfax Team Finishes 22nd in the Irish Hills of Michigan

(August 18, 2007) Brooklyn, MI. GPg PR -- The Carfax team returned to the track this weekend after a four week break from any racing action. The return would turn out to be bitter sweet as the team struggled with front-end handling for the majority of the 250-mile event. Despite the handling woes, Jason Keller wheeled the No. 11 Carfax Chevrolet to a 22nd place finish.

As the team flew into Michigan on Thursday it was apparent that the crew was ready to be back at the track. With a new sponsor on board and a revived attitude, the team hit the track on Friday afternoon for two practice sessions. Practice proved to be a success as Keller posted the 13th fastest time of 39.913 in final practice in a field full of NEXTEL Cup regulars.

Back at the track on Saturday, Keller drew the third qualifying spot for Saturday morning's activities. Unfortunately the early draw would not work in the team's behalf as speed's picked up considerably as qualifying continued. Keller and the Carfax team would have to settle for a 30th place starting position.

"I knew if we could get our car handling right I would be able to move through the field with no problem. Fortunately it is really easy to maneuver around Michigan so passing is not a problem," explained Keller.

With career start 412 firmly in place, Keller focused on getting the No. 11 machine to the front and would move up five positions in the first 10 laps.

As the caution flag flew on lap 24, it was apparent that the front-end handling was becoming a concern. Jason radioed to crew chief Todd Gordon, "the front end needs to turn a little better." With that said, Gordon called him down to pit road the next lap for four tires, fuel and an air pressure adjustment to the front tires.

Restarting in the 26th position, the No. 11 Carfax Chevy continued to struggle with front-end handling. "The car just won't settle down and turn in the corners," Keller reported in on lap 32.

The team forged ahead and made one more pit stop under green flag conditions on lap 77. The Carfax crew changed out four tires, filled the car up with Sunoco fuel and made a track bar adjustment in hopes of alleviating some of the handling problems.

Despite the adjustments, handling plagued the Carfax Chevy for the remainder of the day and the team would cross the start/finish line in the 22nd position.

"We did what we could and we'll go back to the shop and see if something broke in the front-end," Keller remarked. "It wasn't a great day but it wasn't a horrible day either. This is still a new team and we're working out the kinks. It's feels good to be back at the track and we'll get things figured out."

-credit: cjm racing

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About this article
Series NASCAR XFINITY
Drivers Jason Keller