Daytona 500


Believe It Or Not, One NASCAR Driver Tweeted From Inside His Car Just After The Juan Pablo Montoya Crash

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How about this. After the insane Juan Pablo Montoya crash from tonight’s Daytona 500, driver Brad Keselowski sent out a tweet from inside his car, showing his many followers what he saw as the track went up in flames.

Who ever would have thought that today, we would be able to see a track-side view of the Montoya flames, courtesy of a driver? If you’re not following @Keselowski, this is what you’re missing:

The picture in question was of the fiery crash involving Juan Pablo Montoya and a jet drier truck in Turn 3 at Daytona International Speedway. After officials red-flagged the race to clean up the mess, Keselowski tweeted several more photos and began interacting with racing fans on his Twitter account.

Before the crash, the 28-year-old had a little more than 87,000 Twitter followers, but he gained thousands of new followers during the break in action.

“Nobody else has a phone,” Keselowski said when interviewed from pit row. “They should get one to see what is going on.”

“They keep making fun of it, but I’m having a good time. It’s great to talk to the fans.”

Keselowski has been of the leading voices on the social media front for the auto racing series. His NASCAR Camping World Truck Series No. 19 truck featured Twitter handles from 2,600 fans that were selected through a contest on his blog.

After the restart, Keselowski was involved in a multi-car crash on Lap 187 and within a minute of the wreck he tweeted, “Nothing we could do there … Never saw the wreck till we were windshield deep. #daytona500.”

“(I got) a lot (of followers), but I’d take the win first,” Keselowski told FOX television following his release from the care center.

When asked about Keselowski’s tweeting during the red-flag break, Dale Earnhardt Jr. said he wasn’t interested in tweeting.

“That’s just how Brad is,” Dale Earnhardt Jr. said. “We did take the phone and put it to use and checked the weather.”

Of course driving safely is very important so please, do not tweet and drive.


Note: Fortunately Brad Keselowski didn’t pull out his phone until his car had stopped. During the Daytona 500’s red flag which came as a result of Juan Pablo Montoya running into a jet dryer that subsequently burst into towering flames, Keselowski began chatting up fans on his Twitter page.

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Penske Racing Readies for Daytona 500 with Preseason Test

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DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (January 16, 2012) – Penske Racing recently completed the three-day NASCAR Cup Series Preseason Thunder test at Daytona International Speedway and the results were exciting as the teams prepare for the upcoming 54th running of the Daytona 500.

AJ Allmendinger will make his first start in the No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil Dodge Challenger in the 2012 “Great American Race.” His fast lap of 43.965, or 204.708 miles per hour, came in the afternoon session of the second day of the test, and it was the 12th-fastest time recorded during the test. The lap was turned while pushing teammate Brad Keselowski in the two-car tandem draft around the 2.5-mile superspeedway. On that same lap, Keselowski laid down a lap of 43.964 seconds, or 204.722 miles per hour, in the No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge. Keselowski’s lap placed him 11th-fastest overall.

“It was good to get out there and knock some of the rust off from over the holidays, especially with my new team,” said Allmendinger. “The No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil Dodge definitely had a lot of speed, especially in the two-car draft. I’m expecting a different rules package when we go back next month, but I think Brad and I will have great shots at winning another Daytona 500 for Penske Racing.”

NASCAR tinkered with several rules changes during Preseason Thunder, including various sizes of restrictor plates, grille openings and radiator pressure-relief valves, in an effort to eliminate the two-car draft that has become the norm in restrictor-plate racing over the last few seasons. Officials want to see more pack drafting that used to define the racing at Daytona and Talladega Superspeedway.

“It was a great test for the Miller Lite Dodge,” said Keselowski. “AJ and I were able to log a lot of laps today and I feel good about our package for the 500. It’s getting harder to perform the two-car draft so maybe we’ll see some pack racing when we come back. I had a blast running in the pack today.”

NASCAR will continue to adjust the rules package to ensure the Daytona 500 is exciting for both the teams and fans.

“We’ve had a good test and gained a lot of information,” said NASCAR Vice President of Competition Robin Pemberton. “We know that when we come out of here, there will be some loose ends we have to tie up as we get all of our information together and come up with our final plans for Speedweeks. I can say that all in all everything is going according to plan.”

Qualifying for the 54th Daytona 500 will take place on Sunday, February 19, which will determine the front row only. The 41st annual duel races, which set the rest of the field, will be on Thursday, February 23. The Daytona 500 season-opening race will begin at 1 pm on Sunday, February 26.


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No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger Phoenix Preview

2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, Daytona

Brad Keselowski
No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger
Subway Fresh Fit 500
Phoenix International Raceway
February 27, 2011

No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger News and Notes
• This Week’s Charger…
The No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger team will use chassis PRS-736 during Sunday’s Subway Fresh Fit 500 at Phoenix International Raceway (PIR). This is a brand-new chassis to the No. 2 team.
• No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge in 2011… After one event, Brad Keselowski and the No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger team sit 27th in the Cup Series driver standings and 29th in the owner standings after an accident ended the team’s day early in last Sunday’s Daytona 500.
• Keselowski at Phoenix International Raceway… In addition to his three career Cup Series starts at PIR, Keselowski has raced in eight career NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) events at the one-mile oval. In those races, he has recorded four top-five finishes and he has completed all 1,576 of 1,609 (97.9%) laps contested, with 68 laps led. Keselowski has also made two NASCAR Camping World Truck Series starts at PIR, with his best result of sixth coming in 2008 while driving his own Brad Keselowski Racing entry.
• The Rest is History… In the first start for Penske Racing at the one-mile PIR oval in 1991, Rusty Wallace qualified 10th and finished fifth. The organization has made a total of 56 starts at PIR with one win (Wallace – 1998), six poles and 13 top-five finishes.
• Follow Brad on Twitter… Fans can now follow Keselowski on Twitter at Followers can get a glimpse inside his everyday life while keeping up-to-date on the latest news for the No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge team.

Brad Keselowski on Phoenix moving to the second race of the season
“I think we are in the middle of a pretty big evolution of the NASCAR schedule. It will probably continue over the course of the next several years. The people in Fontana are great and I’m sure that the track will work to make their date in late March a very successful one. NASCAR has a history in Southern California and we need to be in that region. That being said, it’s exciting to go to Phoenix for the second race of the season. The fans have continued to embrace our sport after they were awarded a second date a few years ago. At the end of the day, no matter where we race after Daytona, it’s important that we don’t have a letdown after our biggest race of the season. I’m confident that everyone on the No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge team is focused on this weekend.”

Brad Keselowski on how the “Blue Deuce” will perform this weekend at PIR
“I enjoy the challenge that Phoenix provides. It’s a very unique layout that has little – if any – grip. The track is worn down and it sits in that Arizona sun and just bakes, so it’s hard to get your car hooked up. But that’s part of the reason it’s so much fun to race there. It just seems like you are sliding around the entire race because it doesn’t take long for your tires to wear out. You really have to be smooth.  That’s what I focus on when I get there and I think anyone that runs well there does the same thing. It’s also really important to work with your crew chief to come up with a setup that is balanced and will work well with the asphalt at Phoenix.”

Crew chief Paul Wolfe on PIR
“Phoenix is a ‘compromising’ track because the two ends of the track are different. The main area we’ll work on is the exit of Turn 4. You need to have good forward bite off that corner so that you can beat everyone to the start/finish line and down into Turn 1. It’s a tough, old racetrack. It can be tough on driver and equipment, so you need to make sure you take care of both. But after this race we can pretty much throw out all of our old setup notes. The new repaving, which will include the addition of some variable banking in the corners, will basically make this a new racetrack. I like it how it is so I hope they don’t change it too much.”


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Busch Flirts With History, Finishes Fifth in Daytona 500


DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Feb. 20, 2011) – Shell-Pennzoil Dodge driver Kurt Busch was going for a major piece of racing history in today’s 53rd Annual Daytona 500 here at Daytona International Speedway.  After winning last weekend’s Budweiser Shootout and his 150-mile qualifying race on Thursday, Busch was attempting to be the first driver to ever claim all three NASCAR Sprint Cup winner’s trophies in a single Speed Weeks.  His effort came up just a little short as he finished fifth in today’s edition of the “Great American Race.”

“What a race,” Busch said of his 11th attempt to win NASCAR’s most prestigious race.  “On that last lap, I just needed to stay on the bottom of the track and it just didn’t seem like (Juan Pablo) Montoya could stay together and get enough steam built up on the run.  I was in perfect position to win the race; running third and just made a mistake.  It’s tough.  We came all this way and came up a little shy.

“All in all, it was a great points day for us, though,” said Busch, already taking a look at the big picture.  “We’ll take it.  To have a run at history was something special.  I tried to block it out all day.  We fought through adversity when we knocked a hole in the grille.  For Shell/Pennzoil and Dodge, AAA, Coca-Cola…this was a great day.  Now we can move on to Phoenix and get the real season started.  I’m really happy with this fifth-place finish.  To make a mistake on the last lap, I’m going to be the one that has the sour feeling in my stomach, though.”

Busch took the green flag from the pole position in today’s race, led the first lap and was a contender throughout the 200-lap, 500-mile battle that required an overtime of eight laps or 20 additional miles to determine today’s winner.  Busch went on to lead a total of 19 laps spread out over 10 occasions.

“It was a heart-fought battle all day,” said Busch.  “Every lap seemed like it was something different today.  As the race got down to the end, I thought that I was in perfect position to put this Shell/Pennzoil Dodge car into victory lane.  We just kept battling back with different guys.  I feel horrible for Regan Smith.  Those guys were with us all day.  Tony Stewart came up behind us with a head of steam.  I got on the brakes as hard as I could not to hit the 78; he got the short end of the stick.  For us, finding different guys to work with, I thought I was in perfect position to bring it on home.  I was just one step behind on the last lap. I went to the middle; I needed to be on the low side.  I had Montoya behind me.  Those guys behind just pulled Juan away from my rear bumper and took away the head of steam that we needed.  We finished fifth.  This was a great Speed Weeks.  It’s a great way to start off the season in the Double-Deuce.”

Busch was running third after the incident with Smith brought out the 15th caution flag of the race and set up the first green-white-checkered run to the finish.  At that point, it appeared that Kurt and younger brother, Kyle, would team up and make a run to the finish.  But when Stewart drafted into the back of Dale Earnhardt Jr.  a bit too hard, it triggered another multi-car crash on Lap 202 and forced a second green-white-checkered finish.  Meanwhile, Kyle Busch had a tire going flat and was forced to hit pit road.

The strategy was for the “Double Deuce Dodge” to hook up with Montoya when the green flag was displayed again and that plan worked all the way down to the final circuit’s run to the checkered flag.  While the 2004 NASCAR Spring Cup Champ was taking it hard on himself immediately after the race, such was not the case of the other Penske team players.

“I think Kurt drove a masterful race today,” said team owner Roger Penske.  “It was just one of those days at the end where we needed the right partner.  With all the green-white-checkered flags (two), you want to be careful because we’re running for the championship.  Two wins (Bud Shootout and Gatorade Duel) and a fifth-place today in the 500, this month at Daytona is a great finish for us.  It’s great for Dodge and Shell-Pennzoil and all of our sponsors.”

“What a stressful day!” said crew chief Steve Addington.   “We got a hole knocked in the grille and fought back to get our Shell/Pennzoil Dodge back up to the front.  Kurt was patient all day long and worked really well with Regan (Smith).  It was a tough deal for him getting spun like he did.  I just want to thank all the guys that lay a hand on this race car.  We had a great month and they worked their tails off to give us race cars down here in Daytona.  It’s a great way to start the season.”

At the finish line here this afternoon, it was 20-year-old Trevor Bayne pulling off a shocking win behind the wheel of the legendary Wood Brothers Ford.  It was a page right out of the history books as the Wood Brothers claimed their fifth win in the 500 here today.  The popular Virginia family-owned team was sporting retro colors for their famous No. 21 car and had Hall-of-Famer and former team driver David Pearson advising the driver and team here today.

“Now that was so cool what happened out there that I just had to go to Victory Lane and congratulate those guys,” said Busch of the win in the race that featured a record number of lead changes (74 among 22 drivers) and a record number of cautions (16 for 60 laps). “The Wood Brothers – all that family – means so much to the history of our sport.  And here’s this 20-year-old kid who puts them back into the winner’s circle in the biggest stock car race in the world.  That’s really incredible and I am so happy for those guys.”

At the finish, it was Carl Edwards pushing winner Bayne across the line and taking the runner-up spot.  David Gilliland finished third, with Bobby Labonte fourth and Busch fifth.  Montoya finished sixth, with Smith, Kyle Busch, Paul Menard and Mark Martin rounding out the top-10 finishers.

Penske Racing teammate Brad Keselowski had his Miller Lite “Blue Deuce” Dodge in contention for the majority of the race until contact from Robby Gordon’s Dodge sent him crashing into the outside wall on Lap 167.  Keselowski had led two times for nine laps during the race, but had to settle for a 29th-place finish.

With Bayne not being a declared full-time Cup competitor, he is not credited with the points lead after the first of 36 2011 points-paying races has officially been placed in the record book.  Edwards is the current leader with 42 points.  Gilliland is tied for second with 41, with Busch fourth (40) and Montoya (39) fifth.  Smith (38) is sixth, with Kyle Busch (37) seventh, Menard (36) eighth, Martin (34) and A.J. Allmendinger (34) tied for ninth.

The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series now heads out to Phoenix International Raceway for next weekend’s Subway Fresh Fit 500.  The Phoenix Cup action gets under way on Friday with practice sessions scheduled from 12:30 p.m. till 1:50 p.m. and from 4:00 p.m. till 5:25 p.m.  Saturday’s 1:40 p.m. single round of qualifying will determine the entire 43-car starting field.  Sunday’s 312-lap, 312-mile (500 kilometer) race is scheduled to get the green flag at 1:00 p.m. local time and features live coverage by FOX-TV and MRN Radio.


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Busch Posts 11th-Fastest Lap in Daytona 500 Qualifying

2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Daytona 500

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (February 13, 2011) – Kurt Busch and the No. 22 Shell/Pennzoil Dodge Charger team led the Penske Racing NASCAR Cup Series qualifying effort for the 53rd Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway on Sunday afternoon.

Busch recorded the 11th-fastest lap during the qualifying session that only sets the front row for the Daytona 500. He toured the 2.5-mile oval in 48.676 seconds, or 184.896 miles per hour. Penske Racing teammate Brad Keselowski posted the 24th-fastest time in the No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge.

“It was a good, solid run for our Shell/Pennzoil Dodge in qualifying.  We actually exceeded the lap time that we were going to run and that gives us great optimism knowing that this is our primary car with a better motor than what we had in the Shootout last night.  Things are definitely thumbs up.”

The Daytona 500 will air live at 1:00 p.m. ET on the FOX network on Sunday, February 20th. Race coverage will also be broadcast live on the Motor Racing Network and Sirius Satellite Radio.

NASCAR Cup Series Qualifying Results
Pos Car Driver Team Reason
1 88 Dale Earnhardt Jr. AMP Energy/National Guard Chevrolet 48.364 186.089 0.000 0.000
2 24 Jeff Gordon Drive to End Hunger Chevrolet 48.396 185.966 0.032 0.032
3 21 Trevor Bayne(i) Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford 48.532 185.445 0.168 0.136
4 27 Paul Menard Menards/Peak Chevrolet 48.538 185.422 0.174 0.006
5 33 Clint Bowyer Cheerios/Hamburger Helper Chevrolet 48.590 185.223 0.226 0.052
6 31 Jeff Burton Caterpillar Chevrolet 48.630 185.071 0.266 0.040
7 39 Ryan Newman U.S.Army Chevrolet 48.648 185.002 0.284 0.018
8 5 Mark Martin Chevrolet 48.651 184.991 0.287 0.003
9 16 Greg Biffle 3M Ford 48.672 184.911 0.308 0.021
10 14 Tony Stewart Office Depot/Mobil 1 Chevrolet 48.672 184.911 0.308 0.000
11 22 Kurt Busch Shell/Pennzoil Dodge 48.676 184.896 0.312 0.004
12 42 Juan Pablo Montoya Target Chevrolet 48.711 184.763 0.347 0.035
13 9 Marcos Ambrose Stanley Ford 48.715 184.748 0.351 0.004
14 29 Kevin Harvick Budweiser Chevrolet 48.717 184.740 0.353 0.002
15 48 Jimmie Johnson Lowe’s/KOBALT Tools Chevrolet 48.731 184.687 0.367 0.014
16 6 David Ragan UPS Ford 48.751 184.612 0.387 0.020
17 * 09 Bill Elliott Phoenix Construction Chevrolet 48.772 184.532 0.408 0.021
18 99 Carl Edwards Aflac Ford 48.787 184.475 0.423 0.015
19 43 A J Allmendinger Best Buy Ford 48.836 184.290 0.472 0.049
20 * 38 Travis Kvapil(i) Long John Silver’s Ford 48.841 184.271 0.477 0.005
21 * 87 Joe Nemechek(i) AM FM Energy Toyota 48.854 184.222 0.490 0.013
22 17 Matt Kenseth Crown Royal Black Ford 48.886 184.102 0.522 0.032
23 00 David Reutimann Aaron’s Dream Machine Toyota 48.908 184.019 0.544 0.022
24 2 Brad Keselowski Miller Lite Dodge 48.911 184.008 0.547 0.003
25 * 15 Michael Waltrip NAPA Auto Parts Toyota 48.922 183.966 0.558 0.011
26 * 36 Dave Blaney Tommy Baldwin Racing Chevrolet 48.968 183.793 0.604 0.046
27 1 Jamie McMurray Bass Pro Shops/Tracker Boats Chevrolet 48.997 183.685 0.633 0.029
28 78 Regan Smith Furniture Row Racing Chevrolet 48.998 183.681 0.634 0.001
29 4 Kasey Kahne Red Bull Toyota 49.019 183.602 0.655 0.021
30 18 Kyle Busch M&M’s Toyota 49.021 183.595 0.657 0.002
31 47 Bobby Labonte Kroger/USO Toyota 49.026 183.576 0.662 0.005
32 83 Brian Vickers Red Bull Toyota 49.031 183.557 0.667 0.005
33 56 Martin Truex Jr. NAPA Toyota 49.058 183.456 0.694 0.027
34 20 Joey Logano Home Depot Toyota 49.125 183.206 0.761 0.067
35 * 60 Todd Bodine(i) Tire Kingdom/Valvoline Toyota 49.165 183.057 0.801 0.040
36 * 97 Kevin Conway(i) Extenze Toyota 49.194 182.949 0.830 0.029
37 * 13 Casey Mears GEICO Toyota 49.216 182.867 0.852 0.022
38 34 David Gilliland Taco Bell Ford 49.262 182.697 0.898 0.046
39 77 Steve Wallace(i) 5-hour Energy Toyota 49.295 182.574 0.931 0.033
40 * 66 Michael McDowell HP Racing LLC Toyota 49.333 182.434 0.969 0.038
41 7 Robby Gordon SPEED Energy Dodge 49.418 182.120 1.054 0.085
42 * 32 Terry Labonte U.S. Chrome Ford 49.589 181.492 1.225 0.171
43 37 Robert Richardson Jr.(i) North Texas Pipe Ford 49.596 181.466 1.232 0.007
44 11 Denny Hamlin FedEx Express Toyota 49.637 181.316 1.273 0.041
45 * 46 J J Yeley Red Line Oil Chevrolet 49.730 180.977 1.366 0.093
46 71 Andy Lally Adobe Road Winery Chevrolet 49.771 180.828 1.407 0.041
47 * 64 Derrike Cope Sta-Bil Toyota 50.592 177.894 2.228 0.821
48 * 92 Brian Keselowski K-Automotive Dodge 50.681 177.581 2.317 0.089


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