Rockingham Notes: The Albertsons team has finished in the top 10 in seven out of the past eight races at North Carolina Speedway including a win in 2002. Last fall Keller was running in the top 10 when he felt a vibration that forced him to make...
The Albertsons team has finished in the top 10 in seven out of the past eight races at North Carolina Speedway including a win in 2002. Last fall Keller was running in the top 10 when he felt a vibration that forced him to make an unscheduled stop with just 30 laps to go, relegating him to a 27th-place finish.
The team will be taking the car they call "Old Reliable" with them this weekend at Rockingham. This is the same car that won in dominant fashion at North Carolina Speedway last year.
Keller is still in the thick of the NASCAR Busch Series championship chase. He is currently fifth in the standings, just 60 points behind leader and teammate Scott Riggs.
North Carolina Speedway--
Keller has 21 starts at North Carolina Speedway and is hoping his experience and success at the one-mile track will put the Albertsons Ford back in victory lane. He knows with just two races remaining on the schedule, the team can not afford anything less than a top-five finish to have a shot at the NASCAR Busch Series championship.
"Rockingham has been a great track for this team," said Keller. "We have struggled over the past few races and it's been frustrating. Rockingham may be just what the doctor ordered. We are taking a car that I have had a tremendous amount of success in and that I am very comfortable driving. I was still recovering from the Daytona accident in the spring race and we were able to finish fifth, so I am anxious to see how well we can run this weekend.
"This is the type of track that suits me and this team. Rockingham is an old worn out track that's sets the stage for fun and exciting racing. It's not going to be temperature sensitive, but it will be slick and tough to find grip. Your chassis set up is so important because the best cars can run at the bottom of the track and that's what we've been able to do in the past."
On the championship--
The top five drivers contending for the NASCAR Busch Series trophy are separated by just 60 points. At a point in the season when the title is usually decided, it is still up for grabs.
"We don't need to add any more pressure, but it is crunch time," said Keller. "The team is working extremely hard, that's all I can ask of them. We will approach the next two races the same way we have all season and if we are destined to win the championship, the cards will fall our way."
ppc Racing is hoping for another one-two punch in the NASCAR Busch Series championship. The two-team operation finished first and second in the standings in 2000 with driver's Jeff Green and Keller, and hopes to have a repeat performance this season. Riggs is currently leading the standings with two races to go while Keller sits fifth, just 60 points behind him.