Late-Race Incident Ruins Solid Day for Keselowski at Daytona DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (July 3, 2010) -- Brad Keselowski, driver of the No. 12 Penske Dodge Charger in the NASCAR Cup Series, finished 30th in the Coke Zero 400 powered by Coca-Cola on ...
Late-Race Incident Ruins Solid Day for Keselowski at Daytona
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (July 3, 2010) -- Brad Keselowski, driver of the No. 12 Penske Dodge Charger in the NASCAR Cup Series, finished 30th in the Coke Zero 400 powered by Coca-Cola on Saturday night at Daytona International Speedway. Keselowski, who ran in the top-10 for much of the event, was caught up in a multi-car incident on lap 148 which ended his race prematurely.
Friday's qualifying session was washed out due to rain so the field was set by the 2010 Cup Series owner points, per the NASCAR rulebook. Rain showers once again played a role in the weekend activities as the start of the race was delayed for nearly 90 minutes.
When the race began, Keselowski wasted little time in maneuvering his No. 12 Penske Dodge Charger from his 26th starting position towards the front of the field. By lap 11, Keselowski had entered the top-10. When NASCAR called for a "competition caution" on lap 15, Keselowski had driven up to the fourth position. He radioed to crew chief Jay Guy that his car was loose entering the corners and tight exiting the turns. Guy called for adjustments to the track bar and air pressure when Keselowski brought his car down pit road. He restarted the race in the sixth position.
Keselowski preferred by bottom line around the track as he continued to run at the front of the field. He fought for the lead and was able to capture the point on lap 70. After radioing that his car was developing a loose condition, Guy elected to make air pressure and wedge adjustments under a green-flag stop on lap 97. Great work by the No. 12 pit crew -- a constant throughout the event -- resulted in Keselowski running in the third position when green-flag pit stops cycled through.
As the race moved past the 100-lap mark, the handling of the No. 12 Dodge Charger had moved to the tight side. The crew took advantage of caution periods on laps 117 and 136, respectively, to adjust the chassis in hopes that they could alleviate the problem and give Keselowski the car he needed to continue his strong run.
After the seventh caution flag of the race flew on lap 143, Guy elected to keep Keselowski on the track. He restarted the race in the 11th position on lap 145 with a car that looked capable of earning the first top-10 finish of the season for the team, or possibly contending for the win. However, as cars in front of him made contact, Keselowski was caught up in a 19-car accident that rendered his No. 12 Dodge incapable of finishing the race.
Keselowski remains 25th in the Cup Series point standings following Saturday's 30th-place result.
"What a tough way to end what looked like a great night for our Penske Dodge," said Keselowski. "We had an awesome car all night long. All three Penske cars were fast. We were in position to have a great finish. We ran up front and got the lead at one point in the race. It felt like I was inside the top-10 all race to be honest with you. At one point, we had three Penske Dodge's inside the top-five. Just a great night until the accident happened. Our car showed a lot of promise. We just caught a bad break and just got caught up in that big wreck."
Penske Racing teammates Kurt Busch and Sam Hornish Jr. finished in seventh and 21st place, respectively.
The No. 12 Penske Dodge team will move to Chicagoland Speedway next weekend for the Lifelock.com 400.