Keselowski Finishes Second In Nationwide At Daytona
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Saturday, Feb. 25, 2012) – Just like the closing laps of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race the night before, the last 15 laps of Saturday's Nationwide Series event turned into a race of survival more than a race of speed.
There were eight cautions in the race. Six were for multi-car accidents as 37 of the 43 starters were involved in the mayhem. The last 15 laps of the race included three cautions, the first two for a 19- and 14-car mishap. The last-lap caution was more dramatic as the field raced off turn four for the checkered flag. The first 10 cars in line were caught up in the accident. James Buescher, running 11th, slipped through the chaos to take the win.
Brad Keselowski was involved in the crash. He actually zigzagged his way through the spinning cars and was the leader briefly before being passed by Buescher just before the caution appeared. He finished second in the No. 22 Discount Tire Dodge Challenger.
Teammate Sam Hornish Jr. wasn't as fortunate. He was a victim in the 14-car mishap with five laps remaining. The damage was more extensive. After a pit stop for repairs, the No. 12 Alliance Truck Parts Dodge Challenger was able to continue, but what looked to be a sure top-10 finish turned into a finish of 20th.
Both Dodge Challengers from Penske Racing were competitive from the opening laps. Hornish led twice for seven laps and although Keselowski didn't lead, he proved to be one of the "better pushers" in the field. He raced as high as second on several occasions.
"I almost won it," said Keselowski. "I got a little contact there in the door getting through that wreck. I don't know how we brought the Discount Tire Dodge home; there was a lot of swerving there to save it. If I could have gotten through that without that little bit of contact, we would have had a Daytona win. I want to win a race during Speedweeks. I'm glad I've got another shot tomorrow with the Miller Lite Dodge on the Cup side. Today, I'm just proud of this Discount Tire team."
There were 38 lead changes in the race among 16 drivers.
"The car was really good," said Hornish. "It felt like we went to the front of the field whenever we wanted. The Alliance Truck Parts Dodge felt good pushing and getting pushed. We were just trying to get to the end without getting collected and then the wreck happened. We got down to the end there and I was trying to push the 6 car up front. He wanted to run a little bit higher and that allowed the 33 and 2 to get underneath us. We headed into Turn 3 three-wide and I was going to duck out a little bit to keep the engine cool. The 27 thought that he could make it four-wide. I don't know if he got tight and just got into me off the corner. He was getting pushed. It was just one of those deals. This is the kind of racing that we're involved with on superspeedways. It's just unfortunate that we lost that lap when we had to pit and change four tires. That cost us 10 positions."
|20.||SAM HORNISH JR.|
(After 1 of 33 races)
|9.||Ricky Stenhouse Jr.||25|
|10.||SAM HORNISH JR.||25|