DOVER, Del. (September 25, 2010) – Brad Keselowski, driver of the Penske Racing No. 22 Ruby Tuesday Dodge Charger in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, finished 17th in the Dover 200 at Dover International Speedway (DIS) on Saturday afternoon. Keselowski had to overcome contact with another competitor and a late-race spin to record the finish.
Keselowski continues to lead the Nationwide Series driver point standings by 320 points over second-place contender Carl Edwards.
During the Friday afternoon time trials, Keselowski toured the one-mile oval in 23.419 seconds, or 153.721 mph, which qualified him in the fourth position. As the race began, Keselowski radioed to crew chief Paul Wolfe that the No. 22 Ruby Tuesday Dodge was tight at both ends of the track, as well as on the exit of Turn 2. As the racing groove began to widen, Keselowski was able to move up the track to run a higher racing line and help alleviate the handling condition and keep his position inside the top-five competitors. When the first caution flag flew on lap 71, Wolfe brought Keselowski down pit road for four “sticker” Goodyear radials, as opposed to a scuffed set, to loosen up the handling condition. Fast work by the No. 22 pit crew picked up one spot for the team and Keselowski restarted the race in the fourth position on lap 76.
Keselowski was able to maintain his position inside the top five as the race moved past the halfway point. However, as he made his way onto pit road for the second time following a lap 113 caution, Keselowski made slight contact with the No. 33 of Kevin Harvick. The resulting damage would affect the handling condition until a lap 135 caution flag gave the No. 22 crew an opportunity to fix the damage. Keselowski would restart in the 17th position on lap 142 following the repairs.
Immediately, Keselowski began turning some of the fastest laps on the track as he began to work his way back through the field. By lap 160, he was back inside the top 10. As he made his way around another competitor on lap 162, Keselowski spun his No. 22 Ruby Tuesday Dodge while exiting Turn 2. Although he made no contact with anything, the spin damaged the right front fender of Keselowski’s Dodge. The loss of side force resulted in a loose-handling condition for the remaining laps.
With the finish, Keselowski extends his NASCAR record with his 94th consecutive Nationwide Series race without a DNF (Did Not Finish).
Penske Racing teammates Justin Allgaier finished in the ninth position.
"Just a little bit of an off-day for our Ruby Tuesday Dodge today,” said Keselowski. “The same thing happened to us in the spring and I'm really not sure why. The car really fell off in the middle of the race for some reason. We just need to go back and figure it out. That's the comfort of having a nice point lead. When you don't have your best day, there's comfort in the lead that you've already built."
The No.22 Discount Tire/Ruby Tuesday Dodge Charger team will move to the Kansas Speedway next week for the Kansas Lottery 300. The race can be seen live on Saturday, October 2, on ESPN2 beginning at 3 p.m. EDT. The event can also be heard live on MRN Radio, as well as Sirius Satellite Radio.
Brad Keselowski Dover 200 Race Statistics
Laps Led: 0
Points Position: 1