The Kobalt Tools 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway (1.5-mile oval, Las Vegas, NV)
Starting Position: 1
Finishing Position: 3
Current Championship Position: 2
THE RACE REVIEW
· Brad Keselowski started Sunday’s race from the pole position. After rain washed out the Friday afternoon qualifying session, the field was set according to the NASCAR rulebook.
· Keselowski led the first 10 laps before falling to second behind Kasey Kahne. Keselowski radioed that his car was handling tight on corner entry and loose on corner exit early on.
· At lap 111, Keselowski told crew chief Paul Wolfe that he thought the Miller Lite Ford had a flat right-rear tire. After coming to pit road a few laps earlier than scheduled, further inspection proved that the tire was fully inflated.
· After rebounding to make his way back inside the top three, a dropped lug nut during a lap 161 pit stop forced Keselowski to restart the race from the 13th position at lap 166.
· With good long-run speed in the Miller Lite Ford and great pit calls by Wolfe, Keselowski was able to race his way back inside the top five as the laps wound down.
· Following some good side-by-side racing over the final laps, Keselowski was able to secure his third-consecutive top-five finish to start the season. He is the only driver this season to accomplish that feat as he improved to second in the series standings, just five points behind Jimmie Johnson.
WHAT THEY ARE SAYING
“It's the third points race of the Cup season. I feel like we've had a shot at winning all three. That's something to be really proud of. We certainly had the speed to do it the last two weeks, and the execution to do it at Daytona, (we) just caught a bad break and just didn't quite execute it here today. I want to win really bad, but I guess the consolation is starting out the year with three solid finishes and a top five and just kind of backing up where we finished last year with solid runs.” – Brad Keselowski on his career-best start to the season
“Never ever give up. Never give up. This team doesn’t and we didn’t today. You get a good run like we did and that is a product of that effort. I thought we had some really good speed there at the end. I almost wanted another yellow (flag) to race the 5 and the 20 (cars). Matt (Kenseth) did a great job executing the restarts really well. We were so close.” – Keselowski on the execution of his team to overcome obstacles during the race.