Keselowski Conserves Fuel, Finishes Fourth at Road America ELKHART LAKE, Wis. (June 19, 2010) -- Brad Keselowski, driver of the Penske Racing No. 22 Discount Tire Dodge Charger in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, finished fourth in the inaugural ...
Keselowski Conserves Fuel, Finishes Fourth at Road America
ELKHART LAKE, Wis. (June 19, 2010) -- Brad Keselowski, driver of the Penske Racing No. 22 Discount Tire Dodge Charger in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, finished fourth in the inaugural Bucyrus 200 presented by Menards at Road America on Saturday afternoon. He conserved fuel over the final 21 laps around the four-mile road course to pick up his series-leading 12th top-five finish of the season.
Keselowski continues to lead the Nationwide Series driver point standings by 237 points over second-place contender Carl Edwards.
This weekend marked the third week in a row that Keselowski had to pull "double duty" with races being held at different venues. While the Nationwide Series raced at Road America, the NASCAR Cup Series set up camp at another road course, Infineon Raceway in California. With some 1,800 aeronautical miles separating the two venues, Keselowski logged over 5,400 miles going back and forth between the two states over the weekend.
The Nationwide Series uses a group qualifying system on the road courses. Drivers are grouped together based on their practice speeds and are given seven minutes to complete as many laps as possible, with the fastest lap going down as the lap of record. Keselowski was able to lay down a lap of 2 minutes and 16.95 seconds, or 107.355 miles per hour, which placed him 13th among the 43 drivers.
As the race began, Keselowski remained patient and let the beginning of the race unfold as everyone was unsure what to expect in the first race in one of NASCAR's top-three series at Road America since 1956. He radioed to crew chief Paul Wolfe that he was conserving brakes as the huge layout featured several heavy braking zones. When the first caution of the day flew on lap 11, Keselowski was running in the 14th position. He radioed that he was happy with his car, but it was hard to pass. To shorten the time on pit road, Wolfe elected not to make any adjustments. As a result, Keselowski picked up several spots of crucial track position on the cars that pitted.
As the race restarted, Keselowski's chassis moved slightly to the loose side, but he was still turning some of the fastest laps on the track. He began searching for different lines around the track in an attempt to find something that would get him past the immediate cars in front of him and into the top-10. At the halfway point of the race, Keselowski was running in the 13th position.
As the caution flag flew on lap 26, Keselowski once again radioed that the car was very good. Wolfe called him down pit road for what would be the final stop of the race. Keselowski restarted the race in the ninth position, his first entry into the top-10, on lap 29. Immediately following the restart of the race, the caution flag flew again as several cars got together going into Turn 1. The race went under the red flag for 27 minutes as crews cleaned the racing surface. When the red flag was lifted, many of the lead lap cars elected to pit to ensure they would have enough fuel to make it to the end of the race. Electing to stay on-course to maintain his track position, Keselowski found himself in the second position when the race returned to green-flag conditions.
Keselowski was able to briefly take the lead on lap 39, but could not stay there long enough to cross the finish line to make it an official lap. Keeping one eye on the fuel pressure gauge, Keselowski drove intelligently over the final 10 laps to score his career-best road course finish.
Penske Racing teammate Justin Allgaier finished 35th after a breaking the track bar early in the event.
"It was a great day for this Discount Tire Dodge Charger," said Keselowski. "There was no way that we were going to be able to keep Carl Edwards out of victory lane all year. I'm proud of my Discount Tire Dodge Charger team, and for Penske Racing. We put in a solid effort on a type of race track that I'm not all that great at. I'm very proud of them."
The No.22 Discount Tire Dodge Charger team will move to the New Hampshire Motor Speedway next weekend for the New England 200.