BUSCH: Indy IRP: Jason Keller preview

Jason Keller Notes: * Jason Keller captured his fourth consecutive top-five finish at Indianapolis Raceway Park last year. He continued his streak of successful runs at IRP dating back to his win from the pole in 1999. * ...

Jason Keller Notes:

* Jason Keller captured his fourth consecutive top-five finish at Indianapolis Raceway Park last year. He continued his streak of successful runs at IRP dating back to his win from the pole in 1999.

* Keller will be competing in the M&M'S Night of Stars Wednesday hosted by Winston Cup driver Ken Schrader at Pevely Raceway in Missouri. Keller will participate in a 10-lap shootout against Tony Stewart, Kevin Harvick, Kyle Petty, Kenny Wallace and Schrader.

Jason Keller Quotes:

On IRP--

Keller has seen the most success of his NASCAR Busch Series career at Indianapolis Raceway Park. He has two wins, one pole, five top-fives and seven top-10 finishes at the .686-mile oval in nine starts. The team looks to continue mounting a charge on the point leaders at IRP in their quest for the 2003 title.

"IRP is a special track to me," said Keller. "It's the sight of my first Busch Series win (1995) and the only track that I have won at two times. We ran so competitively there last year that I am really looking forward to going back and contending for my third win.

"We've really stepped up our program lately. We've run well at the tracks we knew and expected to run well at during the summer months to turn our season around. It was critical for us to finish well the past six races or we would have taken ourselves out of the championship chase. I am especially proud of the guys on pit road. They practiced all winter long, but there's not substitute for the experience you gain in a race. They are the reason we led laps and contended for the win at Pikes Peak. Our Fords have been good all year, but now everything is coming together."

On the close championship chase--

Keller and the Albertsons team continued to gain ground in the championship standings at Pikes Peak last weekend. Keller's five top-10 finishes in the past six races has moved him up to third in the standings just 50 points behind leader and teammate Scott Riggs. The five drivers in the standings are separated by just 124 points.

"It is a bit surprising that the title chase is still this close," said Keller. "I don't know exactly why the points are so close, but I am certainly glad we are a part of it. Everyone in the top 10 has had to undergo some sort of learning curve and adjustment this year. We are all using new 2003 bodies, most of the teams have a new driver-crew chief combination and there are some drivers that are with new teams. Steve (Addington) and I are the only driver-crew chief combination that has worked together for a significant amount of time."

"After a rough start at Daytona and a few races that didn't go our way, we could easily be a few hundred points back already. I think for awhile people counted us out, and that took the pressure off the team and me. Last year we got caught up in the championship battle and I think that hurt us in the long run. We learned a lot from losing the championship last year that will help us during the final stretch of the season."

Be part of something big

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Series NASCAR XFINITY
Drivers Jason Keller , Kyle Petty , Ken Schrader , Kevin Harvick , Kenny Wallace , Scott Riggs