Found September 17, 2012 on Start 'N' Park Blog:
PLAYERS: Brad Keselowski
JOLIET, Ill.  – Brad Keselowski, driver of the Penske Racing No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS), picked up his fourth win of the season by capturing the Geico 400 – the first race in the 2012 Chase for the Championship – at Chicagoland Speedway on Sunday afternoon. The win marked the first Chase victory for Keselowski in his second appearance in NASCAR’s playoffs and his eighth career Cup Series win.  With the victory, Keselowski took over the championship point lead for the first time in his young NSCS career. He now leads the standings by three points over Sunday’s second-place finisher, Jimmie Johnson. Keselowski began the 267-lap race from the 13th position after his time of 29.793 seconds, or 181.507 miles per hour, around the 1.5-mile oval during the Friday qualifying session. As Sunday’s race began it was evident that Keselowski would be a force to be reckoned with for the rest of the field. He quickly made his way into the top five by the sixth lap of the race. By lap 15, he was turning the fastest laps on the track. As the run progressed, Keselowski radioed to crew chief Paul Wolfe that his car was handling loose on corner entry and exit. However, he was able to claim the race lead for the first time at lap 47, before coming down pit road to the attention of his Miller Lite crew on the next lap. Following a pit stop that included four fresh tires, fuel and an air pressure adjustment, Keselowski found himself running in the sixth position when the pit stops cycled through at lap 50. With the adjustments having a positive effect on the handling of the Miller Lite Dodge, Keselowski again made his way towards the front of the field. He was still dealing with a loose-handling condition, but it was not enough to impede his ability to turn fast laps around the Chicagoland oval. One of the few times Keselowski fell outside the top five was when he was edged off pit road by several competitors that only took two tires under a lap 68 caution period as Wolfe and the team elected to change all four Goodyears on the Miller Lite Dodge. Wolfe chose to make his first two-tire call during a lap 102, yellow-flag pit stop. Keselowski restarted the race from the lead and was able to hold off Johnson – who took four tires – at bay throughout the next run. As the race moved past the halfway point, it was clear that this was becoming a two-car race between Keselowski and Johnson. With the balance on the Dodge Challenger now to Keselowski’s liking, it was clear that the race would be won on pit road. The Miller Lite pit crew was up to the task as they got their driver out of the pits in front of Johnson, who had previously held a sizeable lead, on the last stop of the day at lap 230. Keselowski did the rest as he masterfully worked through traffic to beat the five-time champion to the line by over three seconds. Penske Racing teammate, Sam Hornish, Jr., finished 11th in Sunday’s Geico 400. With the result, Keselowski and the No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge team move into the lead in the Chase for the Championship standings. “I’m just proud of the effort of everyone on the Miller Lite Dodge team and proud of what we were able to do today,” said Keselowski, who was happy to claim victory in the hometown of his car’s primary sponsor, MillerCoors. “It feels like Round 1 of a heavyweight title bout, a 10-round bout. Week 1 is done and we won the round but we didn’t by any means knock them out. We’ve got a lot of racing left to go. We’re feeling good about today but know that we have a lot of work to do.” Keselowski and the No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge team will next race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on Sunday, September 23 in the Sylvania 300 – the second race in the 2012 Chase for the Championship. Coverage of the event will be seen live beginning at 1:00 pm EST on ESPN The race will also be heard on the Performance Racing Network and Sirius Satellite Radio Channel 90.
THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
RELATED ARTICLES

Brad Keselowski Opens the Chase with a Win

Keselowski celebrates a win at ChicagolandPhoto – Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images Beating Jimmie Johnson was a hard task the whole day but after the last pit stop, Keselowski figured out how to pass Johnson. Johnson dominated the race for most of the day and Keselowski was the only driver who could keep up. Keselowski had a great final pit stop and made the race winning move by...

Keselowski in driver's seat in Chase

Brad Keselowski raced to an impressive victory in the opening race of the Chase for the Sprint Cup, outdueling five-time champion Jimmie Johnson at Chicagoland Speedway on Sunday. Keselowski led after a crucial pit cycle with about 35 laps remaining in the 400-mile race, and held on comfortably from there for his first victory in a Chase race. He also takes over the points lead...

Johnson leads charge for Hendrick

Despite Brad Keselowski's advantage over his fellow playoff contenders, Hendrick Motorsports remains the organization to beat in the Chase due to sheer numbers. Not only has the organization proven there is strength in its depth, but the four HMS teams -- as well as the satellite squads at Stewart-Haas Racing -- showed their ability to contend on Sunday with five of the six...

Ryan Blaney Wins First Career Truck Race at Iowa

Ryan Blaney has done something that no other driver for Brad Keselwoski Racing has done. By winning Saturday nights Camping World Truck Series race from Iowa Speedway Blaney became the first BKR driver to win a race. It also marked the first career win for the 18 year old who is the son of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Dave Blaney. At the conclusion of the American Ethanol 200...

Brad Keselowski Wins at Chicagoland

Jimmie Johnson hoped to start the 2012 NASCAR Chase off win a win at Chicagoland Speedway, a track he had never won at. Despite leading a race high 171 laps he was unable to do so. Brad Keselowski rallied back on the final pitstop to pass Johnson and pull away. This is the fourth win of the season for Keselowski and his career win.Kasey Kahne, Kyle Busch and Ryan Newman rounded out...

Keselowski opens Chase in command

"It's Miller Time," Brad Keselowski exclaimed at Chicagoland Speedway even though there were five laps remaining in Sunday's Geico 400. While the celebration was a bit premature, with a three-second lead over NASCAR's perennial title favorite Jimmie Johnson, the 28-year-old Keselowksi had every reason to be giddy. The prospect of winning the first race in...

Brad Keselowski Dollar General 300 Race Recap

JOLIET, Ill. – Brad Keselowski, driver of the No. 22 Discount Tire Dodge Challenger in the NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS), finished fourth in the Dollar General 300 powered by Coca-Cola at Chicagoland Speedway on Saturday afternoon. The defending winner of this event, Keselowski made a late-race rally to record his 11th top-five finish of the season. Keselowski began the 200-lap...

Chasers find mixed results at Chicago

Sunday's opening Chase for the Sprint Cup race at Chicagoland Speedway was obviously very interesting. Realistically, though, we only had two drivers who truly led this race for a significant period - Jimmie Johnson and Brad Keselowski. Even though this Chase is 10 races, each part of the competition of a Chase race weekend is huge. I almost look at it like 20 races with the...

CUP: Chicagoland Power Rankings

Brad Keselowski leads the FOXSports.com/SPEED.com Power Rankings...

NASCAR Horsepower Rankings

1. Brad Keselowski   What has kept Keselowski and his team near the top of the Horsepower Rankings all season is the ability to win on most...

Fantasy NASCAR: New Hampshire Edition

The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series heads to New Hampshire for the second and final time this season in the Sylvania 300. The race is the second of the 10 race Chase as Brad Keselowski scored a huge win in Chicago last weekend to take over the points lead for the first time in his career. Will Keselowski make my start em' list or be left off this week? How about the other fellow Chasers...
All Sports News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.