Keselowski Runs Out of Laps, Finishes Second at Charlotte CONCORD, N.C. (May 29, 2010) -- Brad Keselowski, driver of the Penske Racing No. 22 Discount Tire Dodge Charger in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, finished second in the Tech-Net Auto...
Keselowski Runs Out of Laps, Finishes Second at Charlotte
CONCORD, N.C. (May 29, 2010) -- Brad Keselowski, driver of the Penske Racing No. 22 Discount Tire Dodge Charger in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, finished second in the Tech-Net Auto Service 300 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Saturday afternoon. He was able to drive to the rear bumper of the eventual winner, Kyle Busch, on the last lap of a green-white-checkered-flag finish, but could not make the pass for the lead before the laps ran out. The finish is the ninth top-five finish of the season for Keselowski.
Keselowski now leads the Nationwide Series driver point standings by one point over second-place contender Busch.
Keselowski qualified his No. 22 Dodge Charger in the third position for the second consecutive week as he posted a lap of 29.064 seconds, or 185.797 miles per hour earlier in the day. As the race began, Keselowski quickly drove his No. 22 Discount Tire Dodge Charger to the second position. He kept the leader in his sights and was able to drive around him on lap 16 for his first lead of the race. Throughout the first 50 laps, Keselowski had the fastest car on the track.
Keselowski radioed to crew chief Paul Wolfe that his chassis was tight to the center of the corners and loose on exit. On the team's first pit stop, which occurred under the green flag on lap 57, Wolfe called for minor adjustments to the Goodyear radials. As the pit stops cycled through, Keselowski found himself running in the second position. When the leader of the race had motor problems, Keselowski was able to resume the lead on lap 91.
When an 84 lap green flag run ended with a caution on lap 102, Keselowski radioed that he was "very happy" with the handling condition of the No. 22 Dodge Charger. Wolfe once again called Keselowski down pit road for minor air pressure adjustments. Following great pit work by the No. 22 crew, Keselowski remained the leader when the race resumed.
Keselowski relinquished the lead on lap 123, but he remained one of the fastest cars on the track. Despite a handling condition that moved to loose, Keselowski fell no lower than third in the running order. He was running in the second position when the fifth caution flag of the day flew on lap 186. Wolfe instructed Keselowski to "follow the leader." Both he and the leader elected to stay on the track instead of coming down pit road for service.
Even though all of the cars behind him had at least two fresher tires, Keselowski was able to hold them at bay while he worked to regain the lead. A lap 197 caution ensured that the race would run past its scheduled distance into a green-white-checkered-flag finish and Keselowski could not mount a final charge to pick up a potential third victory on the season.
Penske Racing teammate Justin Allgaier finished fourth.
"It was great day for the Discount Tire Dodge," said Keselowski. "I feel like we had a stronger car, but Kyle did a great job and had a great restart. Justin (Allgaier) and I worked well together. We just came up short. I'm still really proud of this team. We're coming away with top finishes every week and head to Nashville with the points lead, which is cool."
The No.22 Discount Tire Dodge Charger team will return to the Nashville Superspeedway next weekend for the Federated Auto Parts 300. This will be the first "non-companion" event of the season.