Keller Breaks Into the Top-10 in Driver Standings Leaving Loudon (June 28, 2008) Loudon, NH -- The America's Incredible Pizza Company race team has made great strides over the course of the 2008 season. As they hit the halfway point of the year...
Keller Breaks Into the Top-10 in Driver Standings Leaving Loudon
(June 28, 2008) Loudon, NH -- The America's Incredible Pizza Company race team has made great strides over the course of the 2008 season. As they hit the halfway point of the year the team has garnered three top-10 finishes and after a solid performance in Loudon Keller broke into the top-10 in the NASCAR Nationwide Series driver standings for the first time in three years.
Team morale was at an all-time high heading into Loudon, NH. The America's Incredible Pizza Company race team was coming off a string of back-to-back top-10 finishes and heading into a track that Keller has a proven track record of success. Keller won at Loudon back in 2001 and was hoping to become the first repeat winner at the mile facility.
The America's Incredible Pizza Company race team unloaded a brand new chassis Thursday afternoon for technical inspection. Friday's on-track practice sessions would be the first time chassis #09 would see any track time. After working out a few handling issues in the first practice session, the No. 11 machine went on to post the 15th quickest time in final practice with a 30.459 second run, 125.047 mph in race trim.
Saturday morning the America's Incredible Pizza Company race team headed into the race track for qualifying and a 200-lap shoot out later that afternoon. Keller took to the track 16th in qualifying and laid down an impressive time of 30.019 seconds. Good enough for the sixth starting position when the Camping World RV Sales 200 got underway.
"Our qualifying effort has really picked up over the last few weeks. We've started sixth or better in the last three races. It's a great feeling to know how far our program has come this season. All the hard work and long hours are finally starting to show in our performance," Keller remarked.
The green flag waved just past the 3:00 hour and Keller along with 42 other drivers settled in for two hours of race action.
In the early laps of the race, Keller was able to maintain his top-10 position out on the race track. On lap 27 the handling condition of the No. 11 America's Incredible Pizza Company Chevrolet was reported in as tight on exit. When the caution flag was displayed on lap 47, crew chief Todd Gordon called Keller to pit road for service. The crew went to work as the No. 11 received four tires, fuel, a track bar and an air pressure adjustment.
Keller restarted in the 10th position and fell only one position by the halfway point of the race due to a tight handling race car. It was at that point (under caution) that the America's Incredible Pizza Company race car returned to pit road for service. The No. 11 received four fresh tires, fuel, wedge and air pressure adjustments.
For the next 28 laps Keller continued to battle a tight handling race car. A final pit stop was made on lap 129 for new tires, fuel and an air pressure adjustment.
That final stop proved to be the crucial determination in the results of the race. Pit strategy varied, some teams opted for no tires just fuel while others opted for only two tires. Keller's four tire stop placed him in the 13th position on the restart.
With fresh tires under him, Keller was able to maneuver with ease. The America's Incredible Pizza Company Chevrolet was able to pick thru lap traffic with no problems and go on to gain two valuable positions on track. As the race came to a close under caution, Keller crossed the start/finish line in the 11th position.