The No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger team will race chassis PRS-829 during Sunday’s AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway. Keselowski last raced this chassis to a sixth-place finish at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in the second race of the Chase for the Championship in September.
No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger in 2012… After seven races in the 2012 Chase for the Championship, including victories at Chicagoland and Dover, Keselowski and the No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge team are ranked second in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) driver and owner point standings. They trail Jimmie Johnson and the No. 48 team by just two points. Keselowski is coming off a sixth-place finish in the Tums Fast Relief 500 last weekend at Martinsville Speedway.
Tying A Record… By finishing sixth at Martinsville on Sunday, Keselowski recorded his 21st top-10 finish of 2012. The result tied the record for top-10 finishes in a season by a driver of the No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge. Rusty Wallace also scored 21 top 10s in the “Blue Deuce” during the 1993 and 1998 seasons.
Texas Firsts… Keselowski made his first career Cup Series start at TMS in November of 2008. After starting the race from the 37th position, the then 24-year-old Keselowski raced his way to a respectable 19th-place finishing position. In November of the following year, Keselowski made his first NASCAR start with Penske Racing at TMS, as he finished 35th in that race. The crowning achievement at this point of his NASCAR career came in November of 2010 at TMS when Keselowski clinched the 2010 NASCAR Nationwide Series title, the first NASCAR championship for Penske Racing.
Stretch Run… In his last 17 races, Keselowski has only two finishes outside the top 10, including three wins.
Proudly Brewed in Texas… The featured tag line on the rear bumper of the No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge this weekend at Texas is “Proudly Brewed in Texas.” In addition to being the home of TMS, Fort Worth, Texas is also the site of one of the country’s 10 MillerCoors breweries. The facility can stake its claim as the first brewery to brew Miller Lite.
The Rest is History… Penske Racing made its first Cup Series start at TMS during the track’s inaugural event in 1997. In 54 combined Cup Series starts at the venue, the organization has garnered two wins (Ryan Newman – 2003 and Kurt Busch – 2009), three poles and nine top-five finishes.
Brad Keselowski on his spot in the Chase for the Championship: “When you have a team like we have on the Miller Lite Dodge, it’s easy to stay calm in the face of adversity. We all have each other’s back. We like our role is in this Chase. While we aren’t being overlooked by any means, there are many who think that we are still too young of a team to seriously challenge the 48 team. We like it that way. In reality, we are a very good race team that is primed to take this fight right down to the last lap at Homestead-Miami Speedway next month. I’m very confident in our abilities at Texas this weekend. The mile-and-a-half tracks have been really good to us this year. We had an awesome car in April at Texas – probably the best car I’ve ever had there – but fuel issues kept us from challenging for the win. This weekend, I’m expecting to challenge for the win.”
Crew chief Paul Wolfe on racing at Texas Motor Speedway: “Texas is a place with a lot of unique characteristics. The track has bumps in Turn 2 and has aged to where grip becomes a big factor late into a run. We want to set the car up to run the bottom of the track, but yet, still have the flexibility to run various lines through the corners. One of the great things about Texas is that you can pass if you have your car set up to run the different lines that the surface gives you. We want to qualify better, that will never change, but this is a track where it’s not a hindrance if you start mid-pack. If you have a good racecar, you can get to the front. I believe we should have a fast Miller Lite Dodge on Sunday.”