Keselowski Finishes 19th at Bristol Motor Speedway BRISTOL, Tenn. (August 21, 2010) - Brad Keselowski, driver of the No. 12 Penske Dodge Charger in the NASCAR Cup Series, finished 19th in the Irwin Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway...
Keselowski Finishes 19th at Bristol Motor Speedway
BRISTOL, Tenn. (August 21, 2010) - Brad Keselowski, driver of the No. 12 Penske Dodge Charger in the NASCAR Cup Series, finished 19th in the Irwin Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway (BMS) on Saturday night. A former winner in the NASCAR Nationwide Series at BMS, Keselowski battled a car that had difficulty turning through the middle of the high-banked corners in the Irwin Tools Night Race at the .533-mile oval.
Keselowski began the 500-lap event from the 15th position by virtue of his qualifying lap of 15.728 seconds for a speed of 121.999 mph, during Friday's time trials. As the race began, Keselowski radioed to crew chief Jay Guy that his car was very good in getting into and coming out of the BMS corners, but the car needed help with its performance in the center of the turns. Despite falling back to the 18th position in the first 50 laps, Keselowski was able to post lap times that were faster than the race leader at the end of the first green-flag run. The first caution flag of the night waved on lap 57 and Guy brought Keselowski down pit road for track bar and wedge adjustments and he restarted the race from the 17th position on lap 62.
Initially, the No. 12 Dodge responded well to the changes, but as the track temperature began to cool, Keselowski still had trouble turning the car in the middle of the corners. Three separate caution periods during the first half of the race gave Guy and the No. 12 team the opportunity to make additional adjustments to the track bar, wedge and air pressure to help alleviate the problem.
As the race moved beyond lap 300, Keselowski began to adjust his driving line in order to help his car gain valuable time. The change in driving style helped him turn laps faster than the leaders at that point, but as the race moved into a long green-flag run, Keselowski fell a lap down to the race leaders. Guy instructed Keselowski to make a green-flag pit stop - an anomaly for the normally caution-filled short-track race - on lap 400 for another round of wedge adjustments. Keselowski radioed that he was happy with the handling of his car, but he was not able to hold his position as he crossed the finish line in 19th-place, one lap down to the leaders.
Keselowski and the No. 12 Penske Dodge Charger team remained 25th in both the driver and owner point standings following Saturday's result.
"We were pretty consistent, but it was consistent running 15th, in that range," said Keselowski. "We faded a little bit at the end and finished 19th. We just need a little bit of speed and we'd be in contention to run up front and win these races. If we can get that, we can do the rest. Right in the middle of the runs, we were at our best."
Penske Racing teammates Kurt Busch and Sam Hornish Jr. finished in ninth and 25th place, respectively.
The No. 12 Penske Dodge Charger team will enjoy its final off-weekend of the season before heading to Atlanta Motor Speedway for the second time in 2010.
-source: penske racing