Keselowski Finishes Fourth at Watkins Glen International; Gains 96 Points in Championship Race
August 8, 2010
WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. (August 7, 2010) – Brad Keselowski, driver of the Penske Racing No. 22 Discount Tire/Ruby Tuesday Dodge Charger in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, finished fourth in the Zippo 200 at the Glen at Watkins Glen International on Saturday afternoon. Keselowski had the fastest car on the track at the end of the race, but with his closest competitor in the series point standings on the sidelines he chose to keep the “big picture” in mind instead of pushing for extra positions.
Keselowski continues to lead the Nationwide Series driver point standings by 327 points over second-place contender Carl Edwards.
After starting the race from the eighth position, Keselowski radioed to crew chief Paul Wolfe that the chassis was loose in both the right and left turns around the 2.45-mile road course. Showing the patience of a racing veteran, Keselowski elected the race to come to him and, as a result, he lost a couple of positions early in the event. As the air pressure began to build in the Goodyear radials on the No. 22 machine, the handling condition was to Keselowski’s liking and he began turning laps several tenths of a second faster than the cars in front of him. Wolfe called his driver down pit road for air pressure and track bar adjustments under the green flag on lap 14.
As evident by the stopwatch, the No. 22 Discount Tire/Ruby Tuesday Dodge responded well to the round of adjustments prescribed by Wolfe. After electing to stay out on the track under a lap 19 caution, Keselowski restarted the race from the fourth position. As the field worked its way around the track at lap 25, several cars were involved in an incident that left the track blocked. The race was placed under the red flag for almost 30 minutes as the safety crew prepared the track to go back under the green flag. When race resumed, Keselowski began turning some of the fastest laps on the track despite a persistent loose chassis condition.
Around the middle portion of the 82-lap race, the No. 60 of Edwards developed a motor issue and retired from the event. This altered the strategy of Keselowski as his focus became garnering as many championship points as possible by ensuring that he finished the race. Keselowski was able to keep his car inside the top three in the running order for much of the second half of the event by displaying a strong car throughout the series of right and left turns at Watkins Glen. He fell back to the fourth position with eight laps remaining after he lost valuable time dealing with lapped traffic. Keselowski was the fastest car on the track for the final lap of the race and his second fourth-place finish on a road course this season gives him a series-leading 16 top-five finishes in 2010.
Penske Racing teammate Justin Allgaier finished 34th after being caught up in the multi-car incident on lap 25.
“We had an awesome car today,” said Keselowski. “We just ran a smart race. We knew that we could run in the top five when it counted there at the end. We probably had a second-place Discount Tire/Ruby Tuesday Dodge. I just couldn’t quite get by the No. 20 car and, trying to make that pass, I lost a spot to the No. 33. I’m still proud of a solid top five on a road course; it’s a major accomplishment for me. I was really aware of a lot of stuff going on today and it turned out we gained a lot of points at a place I thought we could lose a lot.”
The No.22 Discount Tire Dodge Charger team will move to Michigan International Speedway next weekend for the Carfax 250. The race can be seen live on Saturday, August 14, on ESPN beginning at 1 p.m. EDT. The event can also be heard live on MRN Radio, as well as Sirius Satellite Radio Channel 128.
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