Notes and Quotes The Albertsons Team is Prepared for their Final Stand-Alone Event of the Season The NASCAR Busch Series championship chase is the tightest race in the history of the series and the Albertsons team is in the thick of it. ...
Notes and Quotes
The Albertsons Team is Prepared for their Final Stand-Alone Event of the Season The NASCAR Busch Series championship chase is the tightest race in the history of the series and the Albertsons team is in the thick of it. The team heads to Memphis for the final stand-alone event of the season, a race that is often plagued with cautions and lapped traffic.
"Memphis has never been one of our better tracks," said Keller. "I'm not sure why we haven't got a good handle on it considering short-track racing is usually our strong suit. It's a bumpy track that has two very distinct corners. The combination of the two can wreak havoc on your set-up. It's a challenge for the engineers who have to figure out the best shock package.
"Lapped traffic is also an issue. You can't go in concerned about it or change your race strategy, but it adds another challenge. There is primarily one groove in turns one and two and it widens to two grooves in three and four. You just need to be extremely careful where you make passes because the slower cars tend to hit the bumps and drift up in front of you. We had several close calls last year that we were fortunate enough to miss, but the points leader last year was not that lucky.
"We have some momentum heading into this weekend, so I know this team is up to the challenge. Steve (Addington) and the Albertsons team have worked hard all season and haven't let up down the stretch. They have given me great race cars and we have overcome several challenges in the past few weeks to remain in the thick of the hunt. I am confident that we will walk away with our first top-five finish at Memphis."
The Championship Chase:
Keller and the Albertsons team have put together three straight top-10 finishes to remain in contention for the NASCAR Busch Series title. Keller is currently in fifth in points, 80 points behind leader David Green and just four points behind fourth-place driver Ron Hornaday.
"This is really exciting for everyone involved," said Keller. 'It's exciting for the five teams running for the title and it is especially fun for the fans of the Busch Series. If you enjoy Busch Series racing, you are probably a fan of the one of the top-five contenders. David (Green), Ron (Hornaday) and I are series veterans, Scott (Riggs) was a Truck Series standout and Brian (Vickers) is a young, up and coming star. It just doesn't get any better for NASCAR fans than this.
"I am approaching the final five races the same way I approached the first five. We need to work hard and do our best. If we waited to do something miraculous in the final five races, we wouldn't be where we are today. This team's attitude hasn't changed all season, even when we struggled. It was their positive attitudes that kept me fighting all season and it's their attitudes that will keep me battling in the final races of the season."
* Keller has finished in the top 10 in two out of the four NASCAR Busch Series races held at Memphis Motorsports Park. He captured the outside pole in 2001 to earn his best starting spot to date at the track.
* Keller battled a tight handling car last year and lapped traffic to earn his 10th-place finish. The Albertsons team is looking to capture their first top five at the .75-mile track.
* The Albertsons team is averaging an eighth-place finish at the stand-alone events this year. In the past four Busch-only races (Kentucky, Milwaukee, Pikes Peak and Indianapolis), the team has one win and three second-place finishes.