Texas II: Jason Keller race report

Consistent Keller Comes Home 12th at Texas NASHVILLE, Tenn., Nov., 9, 2009 - Throughout his storied career in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, Jason Keller has built a reputation of being one of the most consistent drivers on the circuit by never...

Consistent Keller Comes Home 12th at Texas

NASHVILLE, Tenn., Nov., 9, 2009 - Throughout his storied career in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, Jason Keller has built a reputation of being one of the most consistent drivers on the circuit by never forcing the issue and maximizing finishes. When you evaluate the statistics from Saturday's O'Reilly Challenge at Texas Motor Speedway, it was vintage Keller. After starting from the 16th position, he ran in the top 15 for 198 of the 200 laps, making his way as high as seventh and never falling lower than 18th en route to a 12th-place finish.

During the race's first green flag run Keller quickly made his way into the top 15 but communicated to crew chief Todd Gordon that the car was loose into the corners but tight off. On lap 55, Keller brought the No. 27 Scott® Tissue Ford Fusion down pit road and the Kleenex® Racing crew put on four fresh ties, filled it with fuel and added a round of wedge.

When Keller returned to the track he was in a battle with Carl Edwards for the 13th position. As the two battled for position, race-leader Kyle Busch got by them both, putting them a lap down. Shortly after Busch got by, Edwards also got around Keller and when a caution occurred on lap 60, Edwards was awarded the "Lucky Dog."

As the race continued the Greenville, S.C., native fought a loose race car as he battled to remain in position for the "Lucky Dog." Adjustments made by the Kleenex® Racing crew to make the car tighter into the corners resulted in the car becoming looser exiting the corners. On lap 106 a two-car accident resulted in a caution, giving Keller the "Lucky Dog" and placing him back on the lead lap.

Keller was the last car on the lead lap when another caution occurred on lap 120. Crew chief Todd Gordon made the call to bring the No. 27 to pit road for four fresh tires, fuel and a trackbar adjustment in an effort to get out of sequence with other cars on the lead lap, hoping the race would remain caution free until the end.

The next caution occurred on lap 153 with Keller running in the 13th position. The Kleenex® Racing crew made another trackbar adjustment to the Scott® Tissue Ford Fusion, filled it with fuel and put the finally set of fresh tires on. Keller returned to the track scored in the 12th position.

The final caution of the race occurred on lap 180 with Keller still in 12th. Five cars in the top 10 elected to come to pit road for fresh tires for the final laps of the race, moving the No. 27 into seventh for the final restart of the race on lap 186. In the final laps the cars with fresh tires got in front of Keller, who picked up his 14th top-15 finish of the season.

"We made a lot of adjustments throughout the race and we ran really well at times," Keller said. "Our goal is to get back to finishing in the top 10 and today was a step in the right direction."

Keller, who is eighth in the NASCAR Nationwide Series Point Standings, and the Kleenex® Racing team head to Phoenix International Raceway.

-credit: bcr

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About this article
Series NASCAR XFINITY
Drivers Jason Keller , Carl Edwards