Daytona: Brad Keselowski race notes

KESELOWSKI CONTINUES K-AUTOMOTIVE TOP TEN TRADITION AT DAYTONA WITH SEVENTH PLACE FINISH Brad Keselowski accomplished a very impressive feet in his career-first start at the Daytona International Speedway tonight in the Florida Dodge Dealers...

KESELOWSKI CONTINUES K-AUTOMOTIVE TOP TEN TRADITION AT DAYTONA WITH SEVENTH PLACE FINISH

Brad Keselowski accomplished a very impressive feet in his career-first start at the Daytona International Speedway tonight in the Florida Dodge Dealers 250 by earning a seventh place finish in his No. 29 SUBcrews.com Ford F-150. K Automotive Motorsports had finished in the top ten at every NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race at Daytona and the youngest Keselowski was able to continue that streak tonight with his seventh place finish. Keselowski's goals for the event were to keep the truck in one piece and try to avoid the inevitable 'big one'. While the 21 year-old was able to bring the truck back to his team in one piece, it was rather crumpled due to a final lap accident that took place as the field entered turn one after taking the white flag. Keselowski entered the turn in the 12th position and after making contact with a spinning Matt Crafton, Keselowski brought an injured No. 29 back around to the checkered flag in the seventh position.

Keselowski took the green flag in the 13th position, but quickly moved to the back of the pack to allow the trucks to sort themselves out during the early stages. Once Keselowski found a comfortable line on the track he was able to begin running some of the fastest laps of the evening and catch the lead draft pack. By lap 30 Keselowski had moved into the 15th position when several of the lead trucks made the decision to pit for tires under the green flag. Keselowski remained on the race track and moved into the second position. A well-timed caution flag would fall for the SUBcrews.com Ford allowing them to come to pit road for a four-tire pit stop. During the caution period, Keselowski noticed a strange noise in the transmission when he attempted to use third gear. It was quickly determined that third gear was gone making restarts and pit stops challenging for the young driver for the remainder of the evening.

Keselowski managed to avoid the large accidents for much of the evening as well as stay with the lead draft of trucks to earn his career-best NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series finish.

Did you expect to earn a top-ten finish in your first career start at Daytona?

It was definitely a goal to finish in the top ten, but with the wild races here at Daytona there is never any way to tell how everything will finish. Our SUBcrews.com Ford was really strong all night and we were able to run by ourselves and catch the lead draft of trucks after we struggled with transmission problems. It means a lot to me to be able to continue the streak of top ten finishes for our team here at Daytona and this was a great way to start the 2005 season and start the relationship with our new sponsor, SUBcrews.com.

What happened at the end of the race when you were involved with the accident in turn one?

I knew that it was going to get pretty wild with the green-white-checker situation, but I also knew that we had a top ten truck and I had to use it at the end. I was just right there when everybody started spinning. I went low to miss the other trucks and the No. 88 truck came right across in front of me and I couldn't miss him. I tore up the front of the truck pretty bad. The hood was bent up and the radiator was busted, couldn't see anything and everyone was on the radio telling me to keep going because they were going to throw the checkered flag and we could still get a good finish. So they talked me around to the checkered flag with a pretty beat up race truck. Our team worked so hard to get here that is was just awesome to bring a top ten finish home.

What kind of momentum does this give you for the 2005 season?

I don't think I even know at this point how great this run really was for us. Of course I hate the fact that our truck is torn up, but the radiator is the worst part and the rest is more or less cosmetic. But to get my career-best NCTS finish in the first race of 2005 at Daytona is big and I think it gives me that much more confidence heading to California next week. One of most important things that I think I gained tonight was respect on the race track from some of my fellow competitors. This is just a great start to this season and hopefully things just keep getting better.

-ka-

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Matt Crafton , Brad Keselowski