Keselowski Overcomes Tire Issue to Finish 36th at Daytona; Keselowski Battles Through Early Tire Issue to Finish 36th in First Daytona 500 DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (February 14, 2010) -- Brad Keselowski, driver of the No. 12 Penske Dodge Charger in...
Keselowski Overcomes Tire Issue to Finish 36th at Daytona; Keselowski Battles Through Early Tire Issue to Finish 36th in First Daytona 500
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (February 14, 2010) -- Brad Keselowski, driver of the No. 12 Penske Dodge Charger in the NASCAR Cup Series, finished 36th in the Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway on Sunday. Early tire issues ended what was sure to be a promising run for the young driver making his first career start in "The Great American Race."
Penske Racing teammates Kurt Busch and Sam Hornish, Jr. finished the race in 23rd and 37th place, respectively.
Temperatures throughout the week in Daytona Beach were colder than normal, except for race day. The green flag flew over the field with temperatures approaching 60 degrees under a sun-filled sky. Billed as a sell-out, there was a large, anxious crowd on hand for the 52nd running of the Daytona 500.
Keselowski had shown that his Dodge Charger was capable of running at the front of the field as he led 15 laps in his 150-mile qualifying race on Thursday. After a clean start to the race, Keselowski began to pursue his racing line. On lap 6, he radioed to crew chief Jay Guy to report what he felt was a flat tire on the Penske Dodge. Going into Turn 1 on lap 8, the right rear tire let go and damaged the right rear quarter panel, forcing Keselowski in front several other competitors.
The damage from the incident was so severe that Keselowski had to pull the car into the garage. The No. 12 crew went to work on repairs to the front suspension and the body damage. Keselowski returned to the track on lap 42 and began to work on collecting as many points as possible. The No. 12 pit crew nailed a green flag pit stop on lap 115 to assist their driver picking up positions. The hard work of driver and crew paid off as they were able to move up five spots in the finishing order to produce points that could pay off later in the season.
"I must have run over something with the right rear tire," said Keselowski. "It blew going into Turn 1 and the car just took off. The tire just exploded and took the right rear quarter panel out. I don't think that it was a problem with the tire, we just ran over something. It's a shame. You come here, work hard for two weeks trying to put a car together to do everything right... you study tapes...make all the right moves in the race and we only make six laps. We put a lot of effort into this race. The guys at Penske Racing did a great job building a car that could win."
The race featured two extended flag periods as portions of the track between Turns 1 and 2 began to come apart. The total amount of time spent under the red flag was two hours and 25 minutes. The total race time was six hours and 12 minutes. The race went eight laps past the scheduled distance due to three green-white-checkered flag attempts at a finish.
The No.12 Penske Dodge Charger team now heads west for the Auto Club 500 at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif.
-source: penske racing