Keselowski Rebounds From Spin, Finishes Seventh at Dover DOVER, Del. (May 15, 2010) -- Brad Keselowski, driver of the Penske Racing No. 22 Ruby Tuesday Dodge Charger in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, finished seventh in the Heluva Good! 200 at ...
Keselowski Rebounds From Spin, Finishes Seventh at Dover
DOVER, Del. (May 15, 2010) -- Brad Keselowski, driver of the Penske Racing No. 22 Ruby Tuesday Dodge Charger in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, finished seventh in the Heluva Good! 200 at Dover International Speedway on Saturday afternoon. The result extends his streak of ten consecutive top-10 finishes.
Keselowski now leads the Nationwide Series driver point standings by 11 points over second-place contender Kyle Busch.
Keselowski, who entered this race as the defending winner, had one of the fastest cars throughout the weekend. He recorded the fourth-fastest time during the Friday morning practice session as he posted a lap of 23.446 seconds or 153.544 miles per hour. The 26-year-old driver was able to pick up speed during the Saturday morning time trials as his lap of 23.067 seconds, or 156.067 miles per hour, placed him in the third starting position for the 205-lap race.
As the race began it was evident that Keselowski had a car that could contend for the win. He radioed to crew chief Paul Wolfe that the Ruby Tuesday Dodge was "perfect" getting into the center of the corners at the "Monster Mile." His only complaint was that he was a bit too tight on the exit of the corners. When the first caution flag of the day flew on lap 33, Keselowski brought his car down pit road for a two-tire stop and adjustments to the wedge and track bar. The No. 22 pit crew did great work to get Keselowski out as the race leader.
Keselowski relinquished the lead after three laps. Having garnered the five bonus points that go with leading a lap, Keselowski decided to log laps and let the race come to him. Near the midpoint of the race, Keselowski developed a loose chassis condition. On lap 104 he spun coming off of Turn 4 and barely made contact with the inside retaining wall. After two trips to pit road to repair minor damage, Keselowski restarted the race from the 20th position on lap 109.
As the race stayed under the green flag for the next 42 laps, Keselowski's handling condition did not improve. He did a great job keeping the car under him until another caution flag flew on lap 151. Not knowing what was ailing the chassis, Wolfe made substantial wedge adjustments in order to tighten it up. The adjustments gave Keselowski a car that he could race with, and he was able to drive his way to the 12th position. After several late race cautions extended the race by five laps past its scheduled distance of 200 miles, Keselowski was able to pick up five more positions to finish seventh.
Keselowski was able to keep his Nationwide Series record of 78 consecutive races without a DNF (Did Not Finish) alive by taking the checkered flag.
Penske Racing teammate Justin Allgaier finished 16th.
"I'm very proud of this No. 22 Ruby Tuesday Dodge Charger team," said Keselowski. "We're going to fight for the championship this year and races like this are when champions are made. Seventh isn't the finish we were looking for. We had high expectations coming into this race, but we took what could have been a very bad day and, with some help, finished in the top-10."
The No.22 Ruby Tuesday Dodge Charger team will enjoy a off-week before a "home" race at Charlotte Motor Speedway.