Keller Frustrated After Late Race Incident in Siemens 200 Keller spent the early stages of the Siemens 200 working his way toward the front of the field after qualifying a disappointing 19th for the 200-lap race. But it wouldn't take long...
Keller Frustrated After Late Race Incident in Siemens 200
Keller spent the early stages of the Siemens 200 working his way toward the front of the field after qualifying a disappointing 19th for the 200-lap race. But it wouldn't take long for the South Carolina veteran to break into the top-10 and work his way to the front. By lap 50, Keller had positioned himself in fifth position with a race car that was nothing less than perfect on the track.
After two pit stops with minor adjustments to help a tightening condition, Keller ran conservatively in the closing 50 laps trying to increase the fuel mileage in his No. 22 Miller High Life (MHL) Ford. When the caution came with 21 laps to go; it was the break Keller and his team needed to make it to the checkered flag on fuel. But the restart would prove to be fatal for Keller and his crew.
The series veteran restarted in fourth position but quickly had the rear end of his car lifted off the ground and as rookie contender, Kyle Busch anticipated the green flag prematurely. The incident sent Keller flying into the inside retaining wall, taking Busch with him. Keller would be forced to pit and go two laps down while his crew worked vigorously to fix his mangled race car. Keller and his crew would end their day in the 26th position, dropping three positions in the series point standings; now 404 out of the lead.
"I don't know what happened there on the restart," Keller said. "I just got rear ended by the car behind me. There was no where to go, we were just biding our time and working our way to the front. The Miller High Life Ford had been good all day and we were looking forward to competing for the win. It would have been a great point's day for us. I just hate it for my guys, we've worked so hard to get ourselves to third in the points, and you just hate to have a day like this ruin all of that."
Keller's 26th place run would be only his third finish out of the top-20 this year. Keller and his crew will put the incident behind them as they get ready for Pikes Peak this week, where Keller posted a second place finish in 2003.