Bristol II: Jason Keller race report

CJM Racing Brings Home a 12th Place Finish From Bristol (August 22, 2008) Bristol, Tenn. -- The NASCAR Nationwide Series returned to Bristol Motor Speedway for some short-track racing action. Noted as the "Worlds Fastest Half-Mile", the track...

CJM Racing Brings Home a 12th Place Finish From Bristol

(August 22, 2008) Bristol, Tenn. -- The NASCAR Nationwide Series returned to Bristol Motor Speedway for some short-track racing action. Noted as the "Worlds Fastest Half-Mile", the track definitely lives up to its name. Fast paced beating and banging occurred for 250-laps and the America's Incredible Pizza Company Chevrolet ended the evening without a scratch and in the 12th position.

The morale heading into the Food City 250 was high. Bristol Motor Speedway has always been a favorite track for Jason Keller. His stat's are impressive with 29 starts, a win, four top-five and 12 top-10 finishes. This was the team's opportunity to get back on track and start working on climbing back into the top-10 in points.

As the one day show got underway, Keller climbed into the No. 11 America's Incredible Pizza Company Chevrolet for the first of two practice sessions. The first session was successful as Keller posted the eighth quickest time with a 15.970 second, 120.150 mph run. Shortly after the final practice session began and Keller posted the 27th quickest time with a 16.083 second, 119.306 mph run (no mock qualifying run was made).

The day grew long as the Nationwide Series had a five hour break before qualifying started. The team continued to tweak the race car and get it race ready. Just past the 5 o'clock hour, Keller headed toward pit road for qualifying. Drawing a late spot, the America's Incredible Pizza Company Chevrolet went out 26th and Keller placed the No. 11 machine in the 11th position for the start of the Food City 250.

Day turned into night and the lights illuminated the half-mile facility. 43 drivers buckled into their race cars and readied themselves for non-stop race action.

The Food City 250 started out without a hitch until lap 17 when the first caution flag would fly. This gave the drivers an opportunity to access the handling of their race cars. Keller reported in, "I'm a little free rolling in but good center off."

The race restarted and the America's Incredible Pizza Company Chevrolet remained consistent out on the race track running anywhere from 11th to 15th in the first part of the race. The first pit stop would occur on lap 88 for four tires, fuel and an air pressure adjustment to help alleviate the nose of the race car sliding across the center.

Back out on the track and running in the 13th position on lap 104, Keller was turning lap times faster than the race leader. As the laps continued the handling of the race car changed and Keller was fighting a tight condition. When a caution flag came out on lap 186 the America's Incredible Pizza Company Chevrolet came down pit road again for fresh tires, fuel and another air pressure adjustment.

Unfortunately the handling woes continued when green flag racing resumed. Keller reported in on lap 205, "This is the worst we've been. The car is bouncing all over the place on entry."

Keller was called to pit road on lap 207 for a final stop. The America's Incredible Pizza Company pit crew quickly changed four tires with a slight air pressure adjustment. Keller restarted in the 17th position and made a final charge to the front. In the closing laps he was able to gain five positions and end the evening in the 12th position.

"We had some handling concerns throughout the race. The guys made the needed adjustments and we were able to get a solid finish out of it," Keller remarked.

-credit: cjmr

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Series NASCAR XFINITY
Drivers Jason Keller