Keselowski Finishes 12th in Nationwide Series race at Daytona DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (February 13, 2010) -- Brad Keselowski, driver of the Penske Racing No. 22 Discount Tire Dodge Charger in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, finished 13th in the ...
Keselowski Finishes 12th in Nationwide Series race at Daytona
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (February 13, 2010) -- Brad Keselowski, driver of the Penske Racing No. 22 Discount Tire Dodge Charger in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, finished 13th in the season-opening Drive4COPD 300 at Daytona International Speedway on Saturday afternoon. Keselowski was running inside the top five with five laps remaining before he was caught up in a wreck not of his own doing. While the damage was substantial, Keselowski was able to cross the finish line under his own power.
Penske Racing teammate Justin Allgaier notched a career-best fourth place finish.
Keselowski's Dodge Charger placed in the top-10 fastest cars during both practice sessions and he was looking forward to securing a starting position toward the front of the field. However, rain canceled the Friday afternoon qualifying session for the Nationwide Series. As a result, Keselowski had to start the race from the 24th position as the field was set by owner points per the NASCAR rule book.
The start of the event was marred by two quick cautions by the sixth lap, which provided Keselowski little opportunity to improve his position. However, by lap 17 he was running securely inside the top 10. On lap 62, Keselowski moved into the lead and was able to hold the top spot for three laps.
The chassis condition on the No. 22 Discount Tire Dodge was solid throughout the event. Keselowski's only comments were that the car could be "freed" up off the corner to improve forward bite, or the ability to accelerate on exit of the turns. Crew chief Paul Wolfe made minor adjustments to the car throughout the race -- particularly air pressure -- beginning with a green flag pit stop on lap 43.
Keselowski was able to stay inside the top five until lap 91, when he was tapped in the left rear by another competitor, turning his Dodge Charger in front of the field. Damage was minimal and the No. 22 pit crew did a great job keeping Keselowski on the lead lap while repairing the left rear quarter panel, but the time spent on pit road resulted in him losing precious spots in the running order.
All weekend, Keselowski displayed remarkable skill in being able to find his way to the front of the field and Saturday was no exception. After working his way back inside the top five, he did all he could to get the "high" line moving to mount a late race charge, but could find no help. He was caught up in the above-mentioned accident on lap 115 while trying to gain as many spots as possible.
"Our Discount Tire Dodge was real strong," said Keselowski. "We have something to build on, that's for sure. It a great start for Penske Racing's campaign in the Nationwide Series this year. We had a shot at the win today. Things just didn't work out. That's the way it goes. It's the first day of a long season."
The No.22 Discount Tire Dodge Charger team now heads west for the Stater Bros. 300 at the Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif.
-source: penske racing