Watkins Glen: Jason Keller race report

KELLER TWISTS AND TURNS HIS WAY TO 16TH PLACE-FINISH AT WATKINS GLEN Moves Up to 8th Place in NNS Points with Best Road Course Finish Since 2000 NASHVILLE, Tenn., August, 10, 2009 -- Making just his sixth road course start of the 21st...

KELLER TWISTS AND TURNS HIS WAY TO 16TH PLACE-FINISH AT WATKINS GLEN
Moves Up to 8th Place in NNS Points with Best Road Course Finish Since 2000

NASHVILLE, Tenn., August, 10, 2009 -- Making just his sixth road course start of the 21st Century, Jason Keller knew he had a long road ahead of him starting from 26th in the Zippo 200 at Watkins Glen International. Battling many road course specialists and Sprint Cup regulars, who raced Infineon Raceway in June, Keller steadily improved throughout the race and brought the Ford and the American Dream Ford Fusion across the finish line in the 16th position.

Keller slowly picked up positions passing several cars on the track and moving ahead of others that strategically made their way to pit road in the races early stages. By lap 19 the NASCAR Nationwide Series all-time starts leader had made is way in to the top 10 and was running fifth when he brought the Ford and the American Dream Ford Fusion to pit road for four tires and fuel on lap 22.

After pitting again on lap 44, crew chief Todd Gordon instructed Keller to save fuel as the team was just shy of being able to make it the rest of the race without another pit stop. Several of the race's final laps were ran under yellow flag conditions and on lap 67 Gordon communicated to Keller that they had saved enough fuel to make it to the end of the race.

When the race went green for the final time on lap 77, Keller was in the 18th position. Before the end of the race, the Greenville S.C., native made his way past two more competitors and went on to finish the first road course race of the season 16th.

"The field for this race was as competitive as I've seen, having 15 Cup drivers and many other road course specialists," Keller said. "I knew it was going to take some time to get in a rhythm so I just did my best not to make mistakes and keep the Ford and the American Dream moving forward all race. We moved up in points for the second straight week and will look to keep the momentum going as we head to Michigan next week."

The NASCAR Nationwide Series heads to Michigan International Speedway Saturday for the running of the CARFAX 250 at 3:00 p.m. EDT on ESPN 2.

-credit: bcr

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About this article
Series NASCAR XFINITY
Drivers Jason Keller