This entry of news and notes for the Aaron’s 312 from Talladega focuses in on Penske Racing driver Brad Keselowski his #22 Discount Tire Dodge. Keselowski is coming off a 16th place finish at Richmond.
This Week’s Challenger: Brad Keselowski and the Penske Racing Discount Tire Dodge Challenger team will use chassis PRS-208 during Saturday’s Aaron’s 312 at Talladega Superspeedway. Keselowski drove this chassis to a second-place finish at Daytona International Speedway in February.
The No. 22 Discount Tire Dodge Challenger in 2012: Following seven points-paying events, Keselowski and the No. 22 Discount Tire Dodge team sit ninth in the NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) owner point standings following a 16th-place finish last weekend at Richmond International Raceway.
Keselowski Climbing the Charts: By taking the checkered flag in the 2011 season-finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway, Keselowski claimed sole possession of 15th place on the NNS all-time wins list with 17 victories. Keselowski is now three wins away from tying Greg Biffle for 14th place on the all-time list.
Keselowski Restrictor-Plate Stats: In 26 restrictor-plate starts in the Nationwide Series, Keselowski has accumulated one win, five top-five finishes, seven top-10 results and one pole award. In addition, he has led the field for 130 laps at Talladega Superspeedway and Daytona International Speedway.
First Win: Keselowski picked up his first win as a member of Penske Racing in the 2010 spring Nationwide Series race at Talladega. Run on the same day as the Cup Series race, due to rain during the race weekend, Keselowski suffered from elevated carbon monoxide levels after an incident in the Cup race. Not knowing if he would be allowed to compete, Keselowski was cleared minutes before strapping into the Discount Tire Dodge.
Top 10 Streak: Restrictor-plate racing at Talladega can be as much about luck as it is about skill or the strength of your car. Keselowski has enjoyed a little of each as he currently rides a streak of three consecutive, top-10 finishes at the mammoth oval. His win in the 2010 edition of this race placed him in a group of 10 drivers that have won in both the Nationwide and Cup Series at the track.
Pick 22 To Win: Discount Tire, America’s largest tire and wheel retailer, and NASCAR champion driver Brad Keselowski, are providing an exciting way for race fans to follow the action and win great prizes with the Pick 22 to Win online sweepstakes. At pick22towin.com fans select where Keselowski and his No. 22 Discount Tire Dodge Challenger will finish in a designated Nationwide Series race. There are 15 separate Nationwide Series races for fans to participate in for a chance to win free sets of tires and great autographed Brad Keselowski race gear.
Brad Keselowski on racing at Talladega Superspeedway
“Talladega will always be a track that I look forward to every year. It’s a place where I got my first Cup Series win, along with my first win at Penske Racing. I’ll never forget that first win with Penske. We went from thinking we wouldn’t be able to race and the thought of losing the championship, to winding up in Victory Lane. It was a huge roller coaster of emotions, but that’s what Talladega can do to you. If you can have a car that can push, as well as be pushed, you usually find plenty of drafting partners to keep you toward the front of the field. We’ve had a decent season with the Discount Tire Dodge, but we don’t have a win yet. It’s time for us to pick one up this weekend.”
Crew chief Jeremy Bullins on what the team needs to do this weekend at Talladega Superspeedway
“Coming off a race at Richmond where we didn’t run anywhere close to our potential, we need to go to Talladega this weekend and have a very strong run. I know how much Brad enjoys restrictor-plate racing so we put a little more emphasis on these races than some of the others. We’re taking the same car that we had at Daytona, where we had a legitimate shot to win that race. Penske Racing as always been able to produce great speedway cars and this one is no different. The goal is to qualify well so that we can get a decent pit stall and then leave it in Brad’s hands to get the car to the end of the race. If we can do that, I feel confident our driver can bring home the victory.”