Keselowski Continues Two Top-Five Streaks at Nashville LEBANON, Tenn. (April 3, 2010) -- Brad Keselowski, driver of the Penske Racing No. 22 Discount Tire Dodge Charger in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, finished fifth in the Nashville 300 at ...
Keselowski Continues Two Top-Five Streaks at Nashville
LEBANON, Tenn. (April 3, 2010) -- Brad Keselowski, driver of the Penske Racing No. 22 Discount Tire Dodge Charger in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, finished fifth in the Nashville 300 at Nashville Superspeedway on Saturday. The result marks Keselowski's fifth consecutive top-five finish at the Tennessee oval and his fourth consecutive top-five finish of the season.
Competitors arrived at Nashville Superspeedway on Saturday morning to find a "green" race track as rain showers had moved through the area overnight. The result was a different concrete surface as the tire rubber that had been laid down on Friday afternoon had been washed clean. Keselowski was able to post the fifth-fastest qualifying lap during the morning time trials as he toured the 1.33-mile oval in 30.207 seconds, or 158.864 miles per hour.
When the green flag waved, Keselowski was able to quickly maneuver his No. 22 Discount Tire Dodge Charger inside the top-three cars, despite a loose handling condition. NASCAR waved a competition yellow flag on lap 30 and crew chief Paul Wolfe called his driver down pit road for wedge and air pressure adjustments. A great pit stop by the No. 22 pit crew placed Keselowski in the second position on the ensuing restart on lap 36.
Keselowski wasted little time in driving to the top position on lap 37, where he would remain until lap 48. While his car was one of the fastest on the track, Keselowski continued to deal with a loose chassis, especially in the center of the corners. On lap 103, Keselowski radioed that he was out of fuel and quickly made his way down pit road. The fourth caution flag of the event flew while Keselowski was making his way to his pit stall. The pit crew performed the service on the car, but Keselowski lost a lap while he tried to get his Dodge Charger restarted. NASCAR, however, credited Keselowski with making a green-flag pit stop as he was already on pit road when the caution flag flew. He was able to receive a "wave around" pass before the race resumed under the green flag to place him back on the lead lap.
As the afternoon sun waned, the track temperature began to cool significantly. This greatly improved the loose handling condition on the No. 22 Discount Tire Dodge Charger. By lap 125, Keselowski was the fastest car on the track. He was able to regain the lead on lap 174.
Wolfe made sure that Keselowski was inside his fuel window before bringing him in for a green flag pit stop on lap 180 for the team's final stop of the day. When he returned to the track he found himself running in the 19th position. He lost a lap on pit road due to pitting under green, but had the leader in his sights and he knew they would need to make one more pit stop. An untimely caution on lap 190, however, allowed the other competitors to make their final stop of the day. Keselowski received another "wave around" pass prior to the race restarting on lap 195.
Keselowski once again showed the strength of his No. 22 Discount Tire Dodge Charger as the race neared its conclusion. By lap 200, Keselowski was back inside the top-10 cars and was clicking off lap times that were two-tenths of a second faster than the leaders. While there were not enough laps for him to make his way back to the front of the field, Keselowski was able to make a last lap pass on the No. 60 entry to secure the top-five finish.
Penske Racing teammate Justin Allgaier finished fourth.
Keselowski and his No. 22 Discount Tire Dodge Charger team remain in the second position in the NASCAR Nationwide Series point standings. He sits just 16 points behind leader Carl Edwards.
"It was a disappointing day for the No. 22 Discount Tire Dodge Charger team because we all thought we had the car to beat," said Keselowski. "It was Murphy's Law for us today and it's hard to win races when you don't catch any breaks. To be disappointed with a fifth-place finish, though, says a lot about how strong this Nationwide program is at Penske Racing. If Paul can continue to give me cars like we had today -- and I know that he will -- the wins will take care of themselves."
The No.22 Discount Tire Dodge Charger team will head west to the state of Arizona for the Basha's Supermarket 200 at Phoenix (Ariz.) International Raceway.
-source: penske racing