BROOKLYN, Mich. (August 14, 2010) – Brad Keselowski, driver of the Penske Racing No. 22 Discount Tire Dodge Challenger in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, picked up his fourth win of the 2010 season in the Carfax 250 at Michigan International Speedway on Saturday afternoon. Keselowski displayed a dominant car throughout the entire race as he led 89 laps en route to the 10th victory of his Nationwide Series career.
Keselowski continues to lead the Nationwide Series driver point standings by 347 points over second-place contender Carl Edwards.
NASCAR elected to give the teams an extra day of practice on Thursday as the sanctioning body continued its rollout of the new chassis. Keselowski clocked in with the fourth-fastest time of 41.028 seconds, or 175.490 mph, during the afternoon session. He was able to better that time during the one-hour practice session on Friday with a lap 40.611 seconds, or 177.292 mph. This gave the Discount Tire team a lot of confidence for Saturday’s qualifying session. Keselowski once again delivered with his fifth pole of the season with a fast lap of 40.099 seconds, or 179.556 mph.
As the 125-lap race began it was obvious Keselowski had a car that could contend for the win. He was turning lap times that were three-tenths of a second faster than the rest of the field on his way to nearly a four second lead before the first round of pit stops on lap 37. Despite a loose chassis condition, crew chief Paul Wolfe elected not to make adjustments and Keselowski found himself back in the lead when pit stops cycled through on lap 42. He stretched his lead to 11.5 seconds as he began to show the strength of his No. 22 Discount Tire Dodge Challenger throughout the middle portion of the event.
The first of two caution flags fell on lap 62 with Keselowski in the lead. As he began to make his way down pit road, he radioed to Wolfe that he was having issues with his clutch. As he attempted to leave his pit stall following service to his Dodge Challenger, Keselowski’s car stalled due to the clutch issue and had to be pushed out of his pit stall. He lost the lead as a result.
Keselowski remained inside the top five following the lap 68 restart. He eventually regained the lead on lap 102 as other competitors began making their way down pit road for their final pit stops. Keselowski came to the attention of the No. 22 pit crew for the final time under the green flag on lap 105. Again, he had to be pushed out of his stall following service. However, he quickly began to show the strength that his No. 22 Dodge Challenger portrayed earlier in the event as he was able to race his way into second place before the second – and final – caution flag of the day fell on lap 112. Wolfe elected to keep Keselowski on the racetrack in hopes that the “clean” air at the front of the field would provide the necessary downforce to allow his driver to race to the lead.
When the race restarted on lap 117, Keselowski was able to easily clear the No. 60 of Carl Edwards before the two reached the backstretch. Once out front, Keselowski was able to cruise to a 3.179-second victory. The win was the second consecutive trip to Victory Lane for the Rochester Hills, Mich. native in Nationwide Series competition at MIS.
Penske Racing teammate Justin Allgaier finished fourth.
“We just fought back from adversity with an awesome Discount Tire Dodge Challenger,” said Keselowski. “These new cars are sweet to drive and they’re even better to drive when they are that fast. I’m proud of everyone on this Discount Tire team. I want to win races going for the championship. We just don’t want to coast through it. We’re pushing as hard as we can for all these people that are working hard at Penske Racing and for those fans that support us, especially here in Michigan; these are my guys. It’s awesome to win in front of them.”
The No.22 Discount Tire Dodge Charger team will move to Bristol Motor Speedway next weekend for the Food City 250. The race can be seen live on Friday, August 20, on ESPN beginning at 7 p.m. EDT. The event can also be heard live on PRN Radio, as well as Sirius Satellite Radio Channel 128.
Brad Keselowski Carfax 250 Race Statistics
Laps Led: 89
Points Position: 1