Tag:Brad Keselowski
Posted on: June 5, 2011 6:59 pm
Edited on: June 6, 2011 11:02 am
 

Brad Keselowski and team post Kansas comments

Posted by Pete Pistone

THE MODERATOR: We have the race winning team for the inaugural STP 400 at Kansas Speedway; Brad Keselowski drives the No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge for Penske Racing; Crew Chief Paul Wolfe. With this win, I want you to know you've now qualified for the 2012 NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race.           

BRAD KESELOWSKI: I didn't think of that one. That's four years in a row. We'll take that.           

THE MODERATOR: Brad, talk about this win. You were getting high marks from Dale Jr and Hamlin. Not only your ability to conserve gas but your ability to take it down to the wire there.          

BRAD KESELOWSKI: Yeah, well, you know, it was a team victory today. We had Kurt Busch, my teammate, who led the majority of the race from what I could see, and had good speed and the 2 car had great speed as well. We just kind of caught a bad break on qualifying when we went out.       

But it's a team effort. Kurt had him covered on speed. We had him covered on strategy. And together one of us two was going to win. And I'm proud in general that it was a Penske car that won. So hot day today.           

Long, tiring, and it feels good to soak in a victory and a beer and some water afterwards. And be sitting here in front of you with a trophy and some great guys in victory lane.           

THE MODERATOR: Roger, congratulations on this win today. Talk about how it all played out for you.          

ROGER PENSKE: Well, it's great to see Dodge back in the winner circle, and certainly you know with Brad came on point with us last year, and we put Paul Wolfe as a combination crew chief and driver, and 13 races now they've got a victory.           

Exactly to me it's what we worked on. We didn't get the finishes we want. We could always say we had bad luck last week. We were in third place getting ready to go on that restart and Kasey Kahne ran out of gas, when we got in that wreck. But I think it's a credit to Paul Wolfe and Brad.          

They're talking all the time. There's working, there's nobody more committed. The good news is to hear Kurt say even though he really wanted this win to say it was great for the team and that we finally think we have a combination that we can run on the mile and a halfs, because we struggle on the mile and a halfs.           

THE MODERATOR: Also with this win today, Brad moves up to 21st in place in points, one out of 20th, and that's certainly key in this wildcard berth situation. So Paul Wolfe, crew chief, this is your first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series win. Let's talk about how it happened.           

PAUL WOLFE: Yeah, obviously being my first win, really excited about all the effort that's been put in so far. And to be able to get the Miller Lite Dodge to victory lane was pretty special today.           

Brad and I talked I think this week or the week before that, man, if we just keep putting ourselves in the top 10, it's not always the fastest car that seems to be winning these races. So we've kept working on our program since the beginning of the year.           

It was kind of embarrassing of how we ran at California and Vegas earlier in the year. So to see the progress that we've made and put ourselves in position to win these races now just says a lot about all the hard work and everything that's going on at Penske Racing. One point in the race, I don't know, we were still running 15th and Kurt was out there leading the race, and it was pretty cool, because we knew what the leader had in his car, we knew what he had.           

It's just been a good team effort here of late, just really trying to understand how to get these cars better and running similar geometries and front ends has definitely helped I think both of us to get our cars better.           

THE MODERATOR: Questions?           

Q. Brad, in the media center somebody said nobody's going to call Brad Keselowski's name until he's winning the race. Sounds like you felt a little stunned yourself to find yourself in that position at the end.           

BRAD KESELOWSKI: Well, I don't know. I didn't see the coverage. But I know that -- I didn't know I was leading until two laps to go. Kind of stretched my neck out, barely caught the scoring pile to see I was leading, I was instantly mad at my guys for not telling me, but you get over that pretty quick when you cross the start/finish line first.           

We'd been doing everything we could to save gas. It didn't really affect me whether I knew I was leading or not. It was probably really smart of them not to tell me that because I probably would have drove it really, really hard.           

It all worked out at the end, and they talk about you when you're in victory lane, that's all that matters.            

Q. Earlier you said it's easier for guys to run in the middle to conserve fuel you're not up there pushing for the lead. Is that kind of how things played out for you today?           

BRAD KESELOWSKI: Yes and no. I was pushing really hard the run before and drove up to seventh or eighth place I think it was. And we were a legitimate probably top 5 car. We needed to get the clean air to be a car to win the race. I quite honestly felt like Kurt and I were pretty equal. It was just a matter of being up front and having the right track position.           

But you know we didn't qualify as well as we'd like to. So we never really found that. So like I said, Kurt had him covered on speed. We had him covered on strategy. And at the end a Penske car was going to win and that's just what happened.            

Q. Either Paul or Brad, at what point in the race did you guys consciously make the decision that you were going to try to stretch the fuel mileage and go for it, and once you made that, how concerned were you that a caution would come out and all that would be thrown out the window?          

BRAD KESELOWSKI: Hell, I wasn't sure. I didn't know what was going on. I'd like to know.           

PAUL WOLFE: Around lap 2, we knew we could make it to two 10 from there we were close to being able to make it the rest of the way.           

As guys started pitting, we kind of -- I kind of looked at where our lap times were, and it seemed like we started picking up a bunch of speed there. I don't know if we got some clean air or what.           

But it was almost a no-brainer for me because we were only losing three to four tenths to the guys on new tires where normally when guys start short pitting seems like you're losing over a second a lap and you just lose so much track position.           

But it was like as everybody started peeling off and pitting we just kept getting faster and faster, and we were still running mid I guess 33s or whatever it was, and guys were running low 33s.           

And it was like, well, we're not losing much, so it got us in a position where there were so many cars a lap down, even if the caution came out, we were still sitting okay. It was almost a no-brainer for me once I saw how much speed we had in the clean air.            

Q. Brad, a lot of guys were talking about what they did to deal with the heat, whether it was a bag of ice, a cold rag, a bunch of bottled waters. Number one, how bad was the heat for you? What did you do to deal with it? And number two, what did the heat do for you on the track? Carl loved it and Dale Junior hated it.           

BRAD KESELOWSKI: Nobody loves it. Some people tell you they love it just so they can look tough. (Laughter). But I don't know anybody that really loves it. But there's a part of that certainly plays in. You know, obviously how you condition yourself and so forth. And I don't really want to go into any details on that.
            
But I've been coming to Kansas for a long time. Used to be I ran the truck race here every June and July. So I got used to that pretty quickly, back five, 10 years ago, it wasn't that long ago I was working with my mom and dad and coming to these racetracks, and outside all day and the air conditioner never worked so I guess I built a little toughness to the hot Kansas weather and certainly being from the Midwest, you get toughened up by some people that don't own air conditioning.           

But it all worked out. And it's not easy. I can tell you that. You lose weight. And when you lose weight you get drained down physically. And it seems like that pulls you down mentally. When you get tired physically, you make mental mistakes. When you get tired mentally you make physical mistakes.           

And they all play into each other, but that's why we're all driving these cars, because it's not easy. And we're working hard to do the best we can at it. And that's what it takes to find yourself in victory lane at the end of the day, and to get in victory lane you have to run a no-mistake race. And that's what we did today.            

Q. Does this feel like you're starting over from scratch? Paul how much do you share with the 22 car?           

BRAD KESELOWSKI: Yeah, as far as starting over from scratch, I sat down the other day and was thinking about it, I guess it was at the start of the year, and I think I've been in Cup for two and a half years. I'm almost to seven crew chiefs, from doing the partial deal with Hendrick. Partial deal with Phoenix Racing, and I'm sure there was one or two others in there I can't remember.           

And it's been a lot of people. And we're finally hitting on a good combination here with Paul and I. And we're on the same wavelength, and that's really what matters the most.           

PAUL WOLFE: As far as the information sharing between the teams, it's definitely obvious that we do share all the information. I think you can see that in how well both cars ran today. And it seems like here of late like I said we've found -- we've made some gains, and I think it showed up in both cars.           

And we'll continue to work together to make each of us better, and that's kind of how it's supposed to work. And I feel like the relationship between Steve and I and our communication's real well. And between the drivers, I think this says a lot for Brad and the respect that he deserves, and I'm sure Kurt gives him now, he's proven that he's as good as anybody out there.            

Q. Obviously a big win because it put you in the wildcard for the Chase. But this win moves you to 25th, 21st to points you need one more spot. What's the outlook for getting (indiscernible)?           

BRAD KESELOWSKI: I have the boss telling me seven points. It's certainly doable. It makes you certainly look back at races like Daytona and Talladega here earlier in the year where we wrecked out and those are wildcard races. We've hit the bad side of the wildcard. Just one or two of those races back and we're easily in the top 20. But that's not the way it is.           

So we've caught some bad breaks over the last few weeks that have kept us out of it. And certainly we caught a good one today. So at the end it will all average out. If we deserve to be in it we'll get in it. If we don't, we won't. But right now we're on a good path to deserve to be in it. That's really what matters the most to me.          

I'm a big fan for the rule NASCAR implemented putting winners in the last two spots. I think that serves the sport very well. And hopefully we'll be able to capitalize on it. But there's no guarantees of that. I feel pretty confident that it's going to take really two wins to guarantee your way into it.   

So obviously we've got to do this again, and that ain't easy. So I like the system. And I feel good about our chances. We just gotta keep moving forward and that's what it's all about.            

Q. On that last run, how much fuel did you actually save? What was your normal expectation for a fuel run and how much did you have to save to get six or seven laps out of that last --           

PAUL WOLFE: We were only about three-quarters of a lap short. So we didn't need to save much. But the way it played out, there was nobody really pressuring us. So we went into really conservative mode. And I can't really answer how much Brad thinks he saved. Only he knows that.           

BRAD KESELOWSKI: I didn't save any.           

PAUL WOLFE: We knew it wasn't -- it really wasn't close. I didn't feel it was a very big gamble. We had ourselves in a pretty good position.            

Q. Paul, earlier you said that you noticed lately that the fastest car has not always been winning lately. Do you see that? Is that just a coincidence, or do you see more of that taking place as perhaps more teams are taking gambles in order to do what you guys are trying to do, which is get in the Chase, not necessarily through the top 10 in points?           

PAUL WOLFE: Yeah, I mean, it might be a little of both, guys taking gambles or whatnot. But like Brad said, everything has to be perfect to win one of these races.           

So when I say the fastest car doesn't always win, I mean you can have the fastest car but if you don't have good pit strategy or you don't keep yourself out of trouble or put yourself in situations, it really doesn't matter.           

So what I've seen is if you can put yourself in the top 10, you give yourself a chance, at least. And we feel like that's what we did today. And I think our car is maybe a little better than what it showed.           

We did put ourselves in the top 10, but I think if we could have been up, you know, the farther we got up the faster we got. It's just so hard with these cars, you know, when you're back there in traffic, to see what speed they really have. Everybody just fights the same thing.            

Q. We had about well over a thousand ethanol producers and corn growers here and American Ethanol was in the spotlight. And I wanted to get the perspective from each of you about using 15 percent ethanol blend. In terms of strategy, in terms of fuel efficiency, and in terms of using a domestically-produced fuel in such an American event like NASCAR.           

BRAD KESELOWSKI: I think you have to applaud NASCAR and the efforts they have on the Green initiative. I know there's some fancy word for it. The NASCAR Green initiative, isn't it called something?          

THE MODERATOR: The Green initiative.           

BRAD KESELOWSKI: Yeah, that program. But I thought it had some really cool name. You guys need to work on a really cool slogan. But I think you've got to applaud them for pulling that rope and working really hard on that.           

And it's just an added benefit that it's something that comes from America. I guess I didn't even know that. I guess I should have known that. But that's really cool.           

PAUL WOLFE: It really hasn't changed as far as the performance side hasn't changed a whole lot. The fuel mileage has changed a little bit. But it's the same for everybody.           

So it seemed to work out, be pretty good fuel for us today. So we're just excited that we can be part of it.           

ROGER PENSKE: I think if we look at oil and availability of fuels as we go forward, the opportunity to combine petroleum products with this product, ethanol, I think is going in the right direction.           

And NASCAR has been committed many years ago to look at these opportunities. And we spent a lot of time on our dynamometers getting the engine back to power. But at this point the reliability is there, the fuel mileage is there, and you can see the performance. So I think it's a win-win for everyone.            

Q. Brad and Roger, can you quantify the improvement in this team from 2010 to 2011? And then for all three, from February to now, and how much better can you get?          

ROGER PENSKE: Well, you know, it's interesting. You grade your team probably every week. And I think that you've got to be committed to stay on track. And I think one of the things that we've done with Brad and Paul, and obviously with Kurt and Steve, we said, look, we're going to stay on track here.           

It's so easy to get going in a different direction. You see something that another team is doing and you go back and forth. And I think we've pretty much stayed together. I think the integrity and the transparency that Paul talked about, you know, with the 22 car has really paid off.           

And the cars are better. The drivers, obviously the more that Brad runs in this series, he's going to get better. You can see it. His restarts, the way he's coming in the pits here. I watched it today.

The pit crews, this pit crew today, when you look at it, we started 25th. Just every stop we moved up. So I heard him say on the radio one time it's a lot easier to pass in the pits than it is on the racetrack and you could see that.           

So I think it's working in a number of areas. The engines -- we've had good power. We need more. And we need better handling. But these guys are testing every single week. That's one of the things that I am always concerned about with NASCAR is that we can't test at the tracks that we race on so we spend all this money to go to other tracks, and we would have a much better chance, better show, if we could test at the track. So that's one of the things, if you're a team trying to get to the front, it's so difficult, you gotta use simulation, and that doesn't really give you all the factors that you have on a day where the temperature's going up, you've got clouds coming over, correct, and overall it's just a lot of hard work.           

We've got 350 people that are committed to these two guys and these two teams, and Paul has brought a commitment to probably that we've never had in detail. And he just won't let us up. And he got a payoff today for doing that.           

BRAD KESELOWSKI: I forgot what the question was. I was listening to him speak. I was motivated.            

Q. The improvement from 2010 to 2011 and the improvement from February to now.           

BRAD KESELOWSKI: That was a good speech, by the way. It was really good. Yeah, we're getting somewhere. It's going to take time. I think the biggest thing that everybody seems to overlook in this deal is you look at the average driver age, and some of you guys have heard me speak about this, some of you haven't. And we saw about five to 10 years ago a complete reset in the driver pool.           

I think you should really look at that. I think you turn on a race from 10 years ago, and look at who was on the track, who was driving. And you're only going to find less than 15 of those drivers on there.           

And those are drivers that were young at that time. They were the Jeff Gordons, whoever you called young at that time.           

And so I think what we're seeing is you're seeing a very loaded field of youth, talent, experience. And to come in as a driver, like I have myself over the last year or two, is an uphill climb. It's a real uphill climb.           

With the new car coming in, the lack of testing, the fact that there's so many good drivers out there right now. So it's a huge uphill climb to catch them. And then let alone beat them.           

So for any driver to -- the measuring stick -- what I'm trying to say is the measuring stick of success for a new driver like myself or a Joey Logano or Trevor Bayne is different than what it's ever been.           

And it's going to take -- I told someone the other day that the true determining factor of our success from a timeline perspective, for me at Penske Racing, really isn't, in my eyes, even this year.           

I'm sure the sponsors want it to be right now. But the measuring stick for success for drivers before was one to two years. The measuring of success for new drivers now, I think it's more like three to five years because of that. It's going to take you longer to figure out these racetracks, to figure out these cars.           

So I'm excited to see where we're going to be over the next year or two. I've seen a lot of progress in our team. And I'm really, really encouraged.    

But we have more room to continue to progress. I have a lot of room to continue to progress. And I think that we can continue to do that.           

And you know even on an added note of that, I think people are going to look 10, 15, 20 years from now look at Jimmie Johnson and Chad and say they were maybe the best team ever and it took them five years to win their first championship.          

So I think you gotta put all those things in perspective and realize how far we've come just in two years here at Penske Racing. Paul and I, how far we still have to go, but we've come a long ways, we have a ways to go. I'm proud of where we're at and we're going to keep working and moving forward.            

Q. Maybe all three of you can answer this for me. I don't have it in front of me but I believe the farthest back anybody's ever come to win a race here at Kansas speed was 21st. And today three of the top 4 were I think, Jeff Gordon was 22nd and he finished fourth. Now is that because of the race is in June, is it the weather, coincidence? What do you think the reason is?           

BRAD KESELOWSKI: The qualifying platform for this weekend really put a jumble in everything with we saw the morning was the quicker place to go out. And the faster cars didn't run slow enough to get a morning qualifying time. And then we got a lot of sun in the middle of qualifying, which was where we qualified, and I think Dale Junior and those guys qualified as well.           

And it played against us pretty good. And we were lucky to overcome that. And then cloud cover came over at the end of qualifying and guys started to take back off again. So I think it's more a reflection of what we saw on Friday, which is why Fridays are so important or Saturday, I should say. That's why qualifying and all that is so important.           

And just qualifying and the way it was set up this week was certainly a large part of that.            

Q. Question for Paul and Roger. Paul, as you teeter on this top 20 with the one win, trying to get up higher in points, how might that influence future decisions the rest of the summer, whether to gamble or not in the sense of getting points or going for the win? And Roger, I know you talked about the improvements that your organization has made, the continual efforts, but certainly I think a lot of people would look at, would wonder if there's been more of a jump since Kurt's comments after Richmond, has there been enough time to have some of those changes be seen and make an impact at this point? Are we still seeing the changes or things that you guys were doing months ago?           

ROGER PENSKE: Well, I don't think that anyone making comments publicly or internally are going to turn the team around in two or three weeks.           

I think Paul would probably be the best to answer that. I mean, he's seen the meetings. He's listened to what we're trying to do. He's been a great contributor to the things that we're trying to make better.           

Remember, when you've got two drivers and probably 30 cars that you can't just do things overnight, because we don't run the same car like we do on the IndyCar side. And I think it's progress.           

It's the crew chief and the driver working together. I think it's the transparency between the two teams. We've added more engineering capability this year. I think we're starting to see it now that we didn't have last year.           

But this is 13 races. Remember, we've got another, what, 13 to go before we get into the Chase. So if we're sitting six or seven points out and we're starting to see some momentum here, I think that he's got a great chance to get in. And Kurt's sitting obviously in sixth position now or seventh, I think.           

PAUL WOLFE: And, honestly, I don't feel like staying out today was a huge gamble. But I think at this point we just want to continue to put fast race cars out there. And I think you put yourself in victory lane, that will take care of the points, and it kind of -- one works with the other as far as like Brad said it's probably going to take another win to get that spot.           

So I think we just keep approaching it like we have and that's trying to make our race cars faster and when you do that the results come.            

Q. Roger, despite everything that's been said during the course of the season, Kurt remains the only driver, I believe, that has been in the top 10 in points every week. Considering all that, what does that speak for -- and the problems and the progress that you guys made, what does that speak for what he's been able to accomplish?           

ROGER PENSKE: I think when you look at the performance of the 22 team, you look at the big tracks, we were strong. We got in accidents there. The consistency, I think, of -- the reliability. And Kurt's a fantastic driver. I don't think that people realize how good he really is and sometimes it's going to be the best horse. And sometimes sitting here sometimes he doesn't realize the horse he's on he's got to tame it to get it to go where he needs it to go.           

It's like today at the beginning of the race, he was concerned about his car and I think the splitter was hitting the ground really, and all of a sudden the tire pressure has come up and he took off like a shot past the leaders and went on and led most of the lap. I think it's a learning curve. And I think his confidence now with Brad being able to show the speed and Paul working with Steve has made a huge difference. And it's chemistry and every team. And it's just one driver, one crew chief who can make the difference in a big team. I think it's working together.           

You've seen it at Roush and Hendricks and Gibbs.

 
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Posted on: June 5, 2011 6:05 pm
Edited on: June 5, 2011 6:21 pm
 

Speed Read: STP 400

By Pete Pistone

STP 400 RESULTS





STP 400 RACE RECAP 

It wasn’t but a month ago when the Penske Racing stable appeared to be in shambles. 

While Brad Keselowski struggled to come anywhere near his Nationwide Series championship-winning performance with his Sprint Cup effort, Kurt Busch and crew chief Steve Addington seemed to be headed for a boxing ring. 

But slowly things started to come around and it came to fruition with Keselowski’s win in Sunday’s STP 400 at Kansas Speedway. 

After winning the pole last week in Charlotte, Keselowski followed up with a trip to victory lane for his second career Cup win. 

And despite it coming in yet another NASCAR fuel mileage special, Keselowski says it’s the culmination of a focused effort inside the walls of Penske Racing. 

“It’s been a little while. But we’ve been so close lately – we really have,” Keselowski said. “It’s because of the hard work; it’s because of the bad finishes and the struggle it’s been to get here that I really appreciate this win and I really appreciate what this means.” 

Keselowski tipped his cap to Penske for sticking with both his team’s program as well as Busch’s through a very difficult time. 

“And to Roger Penske who put me in this ride and stuck with me through a bad year last year,” Keselowski added in victory lane.  “We’re in good shape.  A few more wins like this and we can make the Chase.” 

Busch led 152 laps from the pole and looked like he’d be the one to bring Dodge to victory lane for the first time since he won last year’s Coca-Cola 600. But Busch was bitten by the fuel strategy and forced to give up the lead inside of ten laps. 

Despite that disappointment, the sometimes temperamental Busch found surprising solace in what turned out to be a ninth place finish. 

“I’m proud of the way that this team has run,” Busch said.  “To have a car to lead laps today and be very competitive, I was all smiles.   I felt coming into the weekend that if we could pace ourselves, have good team communication, we would be competitive.  it was great.  There was always something in the back of my mind today that we weren’t going to win, but I’m glad that Brad Keselowski got this win for those Miller Lite guys, for Dodge.  For all my guys, we’ll take this one and the points.  I’m not discouraged at all.” 

Neither is Penske who sees brighter days ahead for his team particularly at layouts like the one in Kansas, which make up the bulk of the Sprint Cup Series schedule. 

“I think we’ve made a lot of progress the last several weeks,” Penske said.  “This is a real step-up for us.  These are the tracks that were tough for us, the one-and-a-half miles.  It looks like we have a handle on these now.  We’ll see what happens.” 

With Busch sixth in the point standings and Keselowski in the Wild Card hunt, what could happen is both Penske drivers making the Chase. 

A couple of weeks ago no one would have even dreamed that to be possible.   

 

RISERS  

Dale Earnhardt Jr. 

Another week and another race on the short end of the fuel mileage game. But even though he was disappointed with not being able to run down Keselowski for the victory, Earnhardt has to be pleased with yet one more week when the No. 88 car was competitive enough just to be in the mix for victory, a sight that was rare the last three seasons.  

Denny Hamlin  

Don’t look now but last year’s Sprint Cup Series championship runner-up is starting to make some noise. No, he still hasn’t found a way to victory lane but the Joe Gibbs Racing No. 11 team is back to knocking down Top 5 and Top 10 finishes and the engine woes that plagued the operation in the first four months of the season appears to be long gone.  

Jeff Gordon 

The winner of the first two Sprint Cup races held at Kansas Speedway was in the hunt for another trip to victory lane on Sunday. Gordon needs a hot summer to ascend in the point standings and stake his claim to a Chase berth and Sunday was a good way to kick off the next three months leading to Richmond in September.

 

FALLERS  

Jamie McMurray  

An emotional trip to his hometown of Joplin, Missouri to survey and help the tornado-ravaged city ended with a disappointing afternoon at Kansas. Had trouble slowing down getting to pit road and then a penalty compounded the problems handing McMurray a 29th place finish. 

A.J. Allmendinger 

Turned heads all weekend with his slick looking No. 43 entry that was painted to replicate Richard Petty’s iconic STP color scheme from 1972. Unfortunately Allmendinger’s recent streak of solid performances particularly on intermediate-sized tracks like Kansas came to an end with a 27th place finish. 

Marcos Ambrose 

Wasn’t able to follow-up his run in last week’s Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte with another good day in Kansas. Got caught up in an early race fender bender which seemed to ruin the handling of the No. 9 RPM Ford and Ambrose wound up 26th in the standings.

 

RADIO WAVES  

(Choice comments and communications from drivers and crew chiefs) 

“Hey Steve, your car ain't too bad. ... Very good car.'' – Dale Earnhardt Jr. to crew chief Steve Letarte midway through the race. 

"If you can hear me, go to radio 2 and I'm going to try to go to channel (bleepin) two.'' – Jeff Gordon 

“I’m fighting loose pretty much no matter what we do to the car,” – Tony Stewart 

“We’re getting there and I know it’s not been easy but it’s working,” – crew chief Steve Addington to Kurt Busch 

 

RACE RATING  

On a scale of one to five "Pistone Pistons" I’ll give Sunday’s STP 400 at three. Truth be told there wasn’t a lot of great side-by-side racing and the only glimpse of it came after restarts and even that lasted only a handful of laps. But while I’m not a fan of seeing fuel mileage races on a weekly basis, the drama that unfolded in the closing laps did keep my attention and at the end of the day we have another surprise winner in Brad Keselowski. NASCAR needs something more than calculators to decide a race or two in the very near future however Sunday’s still generated enough excitement.

 

DOWN THE ROAD 

The odds of the fuel mileage racing streak coming to an end aren’t very good with Pocono Raceway on the horizon. Next week’s first of two trips this summer to the enormous 2.5-mile triangular track has a very good chance of also becoming a race where calculators, pencils and slide rules will be just as important as having a fast race car.

For more NASCAR news, rumors and analysis, follow @ppistone on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed. 
 

 
More NASCAR coverage
Posted on: May 26, 2011 8:44 pm
 

Keselowski takes Charlotte Pole

Posted by Pete Pistone


COCA-COLA 600 STARTING LINE-UP


Brad Keselowski
scored his second career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series pole when he grabbed the top spot for Sunday's Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Keselowski's teammate Kurt Busch won the race a year ago in the Miller Lite Dodge the defending Nationwide Series champion will pilot in Sunday's longest race of the NASCAR season. A.J. Allmendinger and last week's Sprint All-Star race winner Carl Edwards rounded out the top three qualifiers.


 
More NASCAR coverage
Posted on: April 12, 2011 11:24 am
Edited on: April 12, 2011 11:24 am
 

Video of the Day: Edwards Talladega crash

Posted by Pete Pistone

Carl Edwards went airborne in a race to the finish line with Brad Keselowski two years ago at Talladega Superspeedway in one of the most spectacular crashes in NASCAR history:




Posted on: February 3, 2011 12:10 pm
Edited on: February 3, 2011 12:11 pm
 

Corn Growers Association partners with NASCAR

Posted By Pete Pistone
From News Release
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Feb. 3, 2011) — As the 2011 NASCAR season launches with a new, greener fuel, the nation’s corn growers are joining forces with NASCAR to promote the use of corn-based American Ethanol. As an Official Partner of NASCAR, the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) will leverage their relationship to authentically spread the message to NASCAR fans around the role American Farmers play in the development of American Ethanol.

In December 2010, NASCAR unveiled its landmark partnership with American Ethanol just weeks after announcing a 2011 switch in its three major national series to Sunoco Green E15, a new 15-percent ethanol blend fuel made with corn grown in the United States. Growth Energy, a leading ethanol advocacy organization, created the American Ethanol partnership to push for broad acceptance of a renewable domestic fuel for all American motorists.

“We’re greatly excited about this opportunity to help educate NASCAR fans at the race tracks and around the country about the great work of our corn growers in feeding and fueling the world,” said NCGA Chairman Darrin Ihnen, a family farmer from Hurley, S.D. “Ethanol is a growing use for corn, and provides us a domestic, renewable fuel that reduces emissions and creates jobs right here at home. We are encouraging corn farmers nationwide to watch the Daytona 500 on Feb. 20, and be proud of their role in fueling NASCAR and the nation.”

“NASCAR is very proud to welcome as partners the hard-working family farmers all over the United States who grow the corn that will be used in our new Sunoco Green E15 fuel,” said Brian France, Chairman and CEO of NASCAR. “We are happy our sport can play a part in creating jobs and fostering energy independence by using a renewable fuel grown and produced in America.”

NCGA will work closely with Growth Energy throughout the 2011 NASCAR season to create educational and promotional activities in support of the corn growers who play a vital role in the American Ethanol industry.

“The goal is to bring ethanol’s positive messages from job creation to cleaner air to consumers. When people hear a message like ‘American Ethanol: Trusted By NASCAR’ that carries a lot of weight and adds to ethanol’s credibility and reputation,” Ihnen said.  


Category: Auto Racing
Posted on: February 3, 2011 11:17 am
 

Keselowski's team hires new crew chief

Posted By Pete Pistone

Brad Keselowski will wear the hats of both driver and team owner in 2011. Including his responsibilities behind the wheel of Penske Racing's Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series entires, Keselowski will field his own Camping World Truck Series operation.

Parker Kligerman will pilot Keselowski's No. 29 entry in at least ten NCWTS races with Sirius NASCAR Radio's "Sirius Speedway" learning former Turner Motorsports team member Jeff Stankiewicz coming on board to serve as crew chief.

Keselowski's father Bob was a long-time competitor in the truck series and Brad made a name for himself in NASCAR racing on the circuit as well.

"The truck series has always been special to my family and I love competing in it still today when I can and am certainly excited about the propsects of our team," Keselowski said.

Pending additional sponsorship, Kligerman could run additional races on the 2011 schedule.
Category: Auto Racing
Posted on: February 2, 2011 12:27 pm
 

Keselowski/Turner shops broken into

Posted By Pete Pistone

A Charlotte-area television station is reporting of a series of break ins at NASCAR race shops including one belonging to Brad Keselowski as well as Turner Motorsports. The WBTV story detailed the information:

The Rowan County (NC) Sheriff's Department in investigating a break-in at the race shop of Brad Keselowski. Keselowski owns a race shop at 380 Performance Drive in western Rowan near the Iredell line. According to the report someone broke into a 1999 Featherlite race car hauler by prying open the doors and removing tie down straps. Deputies noted that though there were several other items in the trailer, only the $20 tie downs were taken. Damage to the trailer was estimated at $400. The break-in was reported on Thursday morning. The Rowan Count shop is home to Keselowski's Camping World Truck Series team. The sheriff's report also indicates another break-in at the location next to Keselowski's. Turner Motorsports reported a break-in to a car trailer on the property at 306 Performance Drive. There are several race shops in the industrial park on Performance Drive. (2/1 at WBTV.com)
Category: Auto Racing
Posted on: November 30, 2010 10:20 am
 

New Cup crew chief for Keselowski

Brad Keselowski will have a new Cup crew chief in 2011, though it will be a familiar face.

Paul Wolfe, who helped lead Keselowski to the Nationwide Series title in 2010, is moving up to work with Keselowski in the Cup Series.

Keselowski, who is taking over the Miller Lite sponsored No. 2 car in 2011 (with Kurt Busch shifting to the No. 22 with sponsorship from Shell/Pennzoil), had Jay Guy as his crew chief for his rookie season. He finished 25th in points with two top 10s and five DNFs.

In winning the Nationwide title with Wolfe, Keselowski had six wins, a series-record 26 top fives and 29 top 10s in 35 starts.

“It’s an honor to get the opportunity to be the crew chief of the Penske Racing No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge team,” said Wolfe. “It’s been a fantastic 2010 season with Brad and the team and I’m excited about the challenge of moving up to the Cup Series next season and the opportunity to continue build on the legacy of the No. 2 car team with Brad behind the wheel.”
 
 
 
 
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