BUSCH: Pikes Peak: Jason Keller preview

Keller Looking to Rebound After Frustrating Finish in Loudon -- Keller's 26th place finish in last week's Siemens 200 was only his third finish out of the top 20 this season. The series veteran was looking forward to bringing home another...

Keller Looking to Rebound After Frustrating Finish in Loudon -- Keller's 26th place finish in last week's Siemens 200 was only his third finish out of the top 20 this season. The series veteran was looking forward to bringing home another top-five finish in Loudon after posting finishes of fifth, third, and second at Kentucky, Milwaukee and Chicago. Now, the team turns its focus to Pikes Peak, where Keller has finished second, third and fourth in his last three races; including a pole there in 2002. Keller's consistency has been notable in the second half of the season, moving his ppc Racing team as high as third in the points. But the frustrating 26th place finish pushed Keller back to sixth in the driver standings leading into this weekend's race at Pikes Peak.

"Flat Track" Genius -- Keller has been known to dominate the "flat tracks" on the NBS circuit. The mile to mile and a half flat tracks bear a striking resemblance to the local tracks Keller cut his teeth on running Late Models in the early stages of his career. The 34-year-old has impressive finishes at tracks like Milwaukee, Gateway, and Nazareth; posting finishes of third, third and fourth. The South Carolina native attributes his success at these types of tracks to the finesse it takes to handle the car around a flat track when the surface begins to get slick.

Sponsorship Update -- Keller will enter this weekend's race at Pikes Peak without a primary sponsor on the hood of his No. 22 ppc Racing Ford for the ninth time this season. So far this year, ppc has been able to secure a last-minute sponsor in five of the eight races where Miller High Life hasn't been the primary sponsor. In the eight races where Keller hasn't had a primary sponsor, his average finish is 12th. Keller's Miller High Life sponsorship is a primary for 19 of the 34 races on the 2004 schedule.

The Car -- The Miller High Life crew will bring car No. 10-18 to the track this weekend at PPIR. Keller has yet to run this car in the 2004 season, but it proved to be a favorite of last year's teammate, Scott Riggs'. Riggs drove this car in eight events last year, scoring a second-place finish at Richmond and a win at St. Louis.

Quotes:

Keller on his 26th place finish at Loudon --"It was unfortunate that we ended the day like we did. We were having a really good run and it was going to be a great points day for us, but what are you going to do. Everybody makes mistakes and I know Kyle didn't mean to wreck us, so we'll just have to turn our focus towards Pikes Peak and do our best to get a top-five finish there."

Keller on racing at Pikes Peak --"This is a pretty good track for us. It's one of those flat tracks that we run well on. Especially coming off the type of weekend we had last week in Loudon. We ran really well there the whole day, so I think this team knows that we're capable of doing well each week when we get to the race track. It was just an unfortunate deal there at the end of the race. So, we'll have to do our best to bring home a top-five finish this weekend at Pikes Peak."

Keller on being known as a "flat track" driver --"I grew up racing on these flat tracks. These tracks just seem to fit my driving style; you don't have to run wide open around this type of race track. It takes a lot of finesse to drive around them and as they get slick, I seem to drive better."

-ppc-

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Series NASCAR XFINITY
Drivers Jason Keller