Kentucky Speedway Post-Race Report

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19_drawtite

Driver:

Brad Keselowski

Starting Position:

14

Finishing Position:

5

Status:

Running

Owner Points Position:

8

 

Brad Keselowski (@keselowski), driver of the No. 19 Draw-Tite Ford F-150, grabbed a fifth-place finish in Thursday night’s UNOH 225 at Kentucky Speedway. And perhaps no driver passed more trucks for position during the 150-lap race than Keselowski. Three different times he rallied from deep in the field to charge his way back into contention and even led the race twice for 22 laps.

He and crew chief Doug Randolph chose to pit on lap 10, a strategic move designed to allow Keselowski to stay out longer in the event of a lengthy green flag run (he led laps 54-58). After his scheduled stop on lap 58, Keselowski was running fourth when the caution came out on lap 78. He and crew chief Doug Randolph chose not to pit and restarted in the lead on lap 81. Keselowski was running second when the fifth caution waved on lap 100 and he promptly pitted with the leaders but left the pits with the jack bolt wrench still on the truck. He returned to the pits one lap later to serve the penalty. Keselowski restarted 14th on lap 103, working his way through the field. He had just taken third when the sixth and final caution waved on lap 140.

Keselowski and Randolph chose to pit for right-side tires for the final dash to the finish. When the race went green on lap 142, he restarted 11th and quickly began slicing his way through the field, rallying back to fifth over the final seven laps.

“I was surprised that more people didn’t pit under that last caution.  We passed a lot of trucks tonight with the Draw-Tite Ford F-150 but we had a couple of issues that got us behind.  I’m proud of everyone at BKR and we’ll keep working hard to find more speed.”

Doug Randolph – Crew Chief, No. 19 Draw-Tite Ford F-150: “Brad did an awesome job and it was fun watching him drive through all the traffic.  During the race we didn’t execute as well as we should have with pit stop issues there that kept putting us behind the eight-ball.  With five to go if we had had a caution I think we had a real shot at winning.”
WERE YOU SURPRISED THAT MORE PEOPLE DIDN’T STOP UNDER THE LAST CAUTION?  “I really was.  We passed a lot all night so I think it gave us a little more confidence coming in and getting tires that maybe other people didn’t have.  If two or three more had come down pit road with us we’d have lined up closer to the front on that last restart and we might have had a shot.”  

29_Careers

Driver:

Ryan Blaney

Starting Position:

10

Finishing Position:

3

Status:

Running

Driver Points Position:

4

Ryan Blaney (@RyanBlaney22), driver of the No. 29 Cooper Standard CareersForVeterans.org Ford F-150, scored a third place finish in Thursday night’s UNOH 225 at Kentucky Speedway. Blaney claimed his fourth top five in eight races this season and climbed up to fourth in the NCWTS championship standings, 12 points behind the leader. He claimed his second top five finish in three races at Kentucky.

Blaney started 10th and had his hands full early in the race with the handling characteristics on his No. 29 Cooper Standard CareerForVeterans.org Ford F-150. But he and crew chief Chad Kendrick worked together and steadily improved the truck during the 150-lap race. The team made great improvements with every adjustment, coupled with good work on pit road Blaney was in contention for the victory.

As the race entered its closing stages Blaney was running a strong second when the sixth and final caution came out on lap 140. When the race went green on lap 143, Blaney was stacked three wide on the restart but quickly recovered to finish third.

Ryan Blaney – No. 29 Cooper Standard CareerForVeterans.org Ford F-150:
“I felt like we could have run second but the 54 made it three-wide on that restart.  We got the Cooper Standard CareerForVeterans.org Ford F-150 a ton better throughout the race.  We weren’t very good in the beginning and Chad Kendrick and everyone here at BKR did a great job getting it better.  Our guys did a good job of getting it better and getting us track position and we had great stops.  I think we gained at least one or two spots on pit road all night and that was really beneficial.  You could tell how important track position was.  It was really hard to make your way up through the field unless you had a really, really fast truck.  It was great to have the Careers for Veterans back on board and it was good to get them a good finish.  We’re really happy that they’re on board and for all they do. We’ll keep working on it.”

Chad Kendrick – Crew Chief, No. 29 Cooper Standard CareerForVeterans.org Ford F-150: ”We started the race and we just weren’t where we needed to be balance-wise.  We were too free in and too tight in the middle.  We came up with some really good ideas on the first stop to help it and then the next stop we came up with more ideas and we helped it again.  All in all it was a good team effort.  Ryan did a really good job hanging in there for us and we did a good job as a team executing pit stops and making good changes.  We gained on everybody we needed to gain on in the points and that’s what we needed to do.”