Michigan: Jason Keller race report

KELLER OVERCOMES EARLY DIFFICULTIES TO FINISH 20TH AT MICHIGAN Moves Up to 7th Place in NNS Points NASHVILLE, Tenn., August, 17, 2009 -- After two solid practice sessions Friday and having qualified the Ford and the American Dream - The...

KELLER OVERCOMES EARLY DIFFICULTIES TO FINISH 20TH AT MICHIGAN
Moves Up to 7th Place in NNS Points

NASHVILLE, Tenn., August, 17, 2009 -- After two solid practice sessions Friday and having qualified the Ford and the American Dream - The Movie Ford Fusion 12th earlier in the day, Jason Keller entered Saturday's Carfax 250 at Michigan International Speedway with dreams of adding another top-10 finish to his 2009 resume. Those dreams were quickly put on hold early in the race when a loose spark plug wire prevented the No. 27 Ford Fusion from reaching maximum speeds and the car slowly drifted toward the back of the field. After fixing the problem in the middle of the race, Keller gained back several positions and went on to pick up his 16th top-20 finish of the 2009 season.

After falling four spots in the race's first 10 laps, Keller communicated to crew chief Todd Gordon that he believed something with the motor was not allowing the car to reach maximum speed. With the race remaining under green-flag conditions, Keller slowly fell toward the back of the field while waiting for a caution that would allow his crew the time to try and identify the problem.

When a caution finally occurred on lap 49, Keller brought his Ford Fusion down pit road. The crew quickly discovered and re-attached a loose spark plug wire and returned Keller to the track, with full power, one lap down in the 28th position.

In the races later stages Keller was never able to get back on the lead-lap but he managed to pick up eight positions and valuable NASCAR Nationwide Series points. With a 20th place-finish, he advanced in the point standings for the third straight week, moving into seventh place.

"After being so strong in practice and qualifying well, we believed we had a car that was capable of running in the top 10," Keller said. "When we were at full-power the Ford and the American Dream Ford Fusion was the best it has been on these bigger tracks and that is something positive we can take out of an otherwise disappointing day."

The NASCAR Nationwide Series heads to Bristol Motor Speedway Friday for the running of the Food City 250.

-credit: bcr

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Series NASCAR XFINITY
Drivers Jason Keller