Keselowski Clinches 2010 NASCAR Nationwide Series Title with Third-Place Finish at Texas Motor Speedway FORT WORTH, Texas (November 6, 2010) -- Brad Keselowski, driver of the Penske Racing No. 22 Discount Tire Dodge Charger in the ...
Keselowski Clinches 2010 NASCAR Nationwide Series Title with Third-Place Finish at Texas Motor Speedway
FORT WORTH, Texas (November 6, 2010) -- Brad Keselowski, driver of the Penske Racing No. 22 Discount Tire Dodge Charger in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, finished third in the O'Reilly Auto Parts Challenge at Texas Motor Speedway (TMS) on Saturday afternoon. With the finish, Keselowski clinched the 2010 NASCAR Nationwide Series championship title with two races remaining in the season.
The championship was the first NASCAR title for Keselowski, as well as team owner, Roger Penske. Cars owned and prepared by Penske Racing have produced more than 320 major race wins, over 390 pole positions and 23 national championships.
Keselowski began the 200-lap race from the 16th position following a lap of 28.820 seconds, or 187.379 mph, during Friday's time trial session. As the race began, Keselowski wasted little time in charging to the front of the field. Despite a car that was loose-handling getting into each end of the 1.5-mile oval, Keselowski entered the top-five for the first time on lap 27. When the first caution flag of the day flew on lap 44, crew chief Paul Wolfe brought Keselowski down pit road four Goodyear radials, fuel and wedge adjustments. Keselowski restarted the race in the fifth position on lap 49.
On lap 53, Keselowski radioed that the previous adjustments had a positive effect on the handling of the No. 22 Discount Tire Dodge, but he had developed a small vibration near the right-front tire. Keeping the "big picture" in mind, Keselowski raced conservatively until an opportunity arose for him to visit pit road. A lap 81 caution allowed him to bring his car to the attention of his pit crew. Following a four-tire pit stop, Keselowski returned to the track in the fifth position without the vibration.
Keselowski maintained his position inside the top five as the race moved past the halfway mark. The Penske Racing driver was able to race his way to the top spot in the field just prior to green-flag pit stops on lap 141. When the pit stops cycled through, Keselowski found himself in the third position. Over the final 50 laps of the race, Keselowski engaged in a fierce, clean battle with the No. 18 of Kyle Busch for second place. Although he was unable to make his way around Busch, his third-place finish was more than enough to secure the historical championship for Penske Racing.
With the finish, Keselowski extends his NASCAR record with his 99th consecutive Nationwide Series race without a DNF (Did Not Finish).
Penske Racing teammate Justin Allgaier finished in the 13th position.
"I'm thrilled for my Discount Tire/Ruby Tuesday Dodge team," said Keselowski. "This is an awesome team that just fights real hard. We wanted to win the race; it just didn't go in our favor. We had a strong showing, placing third. That's what it takes to run up front and be there at the end. I'm proud of our effort all season long, including everyone at the shop that gets us to the races and gives us the fast race cars that we need to win races and a championship. It's very special."
"We've been in NASCAR a long, long time," stated team owner Roger Penske. "To me, this championship is like winning the Indy 500 for the first time. What can you say; it's a team sport and a team effort. To me, that's what we came here for."
The No.22 Discount Tire Dodge Charger team will move to Phoenix International Raceway for the WYPALL 200 presented by Kimberly-Clark Professional.
-source: penske racing