Jones, Hayley also post top speeds Play: NASCAR Fantasy Live RELATED: See full practice results HAMPTON, Ga. -- After propelling his No. 29 Toyota at 178.695 mph around Atlanta Motor Speedway, BK Racing team owner Brad Keselowski soared to the top of the leaderboard during Friday's final NASCAR Camping World Truck Series practice for the Hyundai Construction Equipment 200 (Saturday, Feb. 28 at 5:30 p.m. ET, FS1). Kyle Busch Motorsports' Erik Jones came in second, circling the Georgia track at 178.677 mph in his No. 4 Toyota. ThorSport Racing's Cameron Hayley made a late run during the session, ultimately propelling his No. 13 ride to third-fastest on the board with a top speed of 178.482 mph. Kyle Busch Motorsports' Daniel Suarez and Athenian Motorsports' John Wes Townley rounded out the top five, recording high speeds of 178.040 mph and 177.903 mph, respectively. Halfway through the session, Ray Black Jr. scraped the wall in Turn 2 in his No. 07 Team Scuba Chevrolet. Cody Ware followed up the incident with a loss of power in his No. 50 Rick Ware Racing Chevrolet, which brought out the caution flag for the second time during the two-hour session. The yellow flag was displayed earlier in practice for debris. Black and Ware ended up with 21st and 25th-place rankings on the leaderboard, respectively. The Camping World Truck Series is back on the track on Saturday, Feb. 28 at 10:40 a.m. for Keystone Light Pole Qualifying, with coverage on FOX Sports 1. MORE: READ: Latest NASCAR news PLAY: Sign up for Fantasy Live WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView today FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Brad Keselowski falls two laps down to the leaders after getting a pit-road penalty for driving through too many boxes on exit.
2012 Sprint Cup champion saw his day go up in a trail of smoke Play: NASCAR Fantasy Live RELATED: Get full race results " Series standings DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Brad Keselowski's hopes for a Daytona 500 crown went south with a loud pop and a trail of smoke Sunday at Daytona International Speedway. Keselowski wheeled his steaming Team Penske No. 2 Ford into the Daytona garage to the attention of crew chief Paul Wolfe. After the white Deuce simmered for a while, Roger Penske crackled over the team's two-way radio with the grim diagnosis: "We're done, Paul." Last season's most polarizing driver ended his day on Lap 161 in the prestigious NASCAR Sprint Cup Series opener. For Keselowski , who's shown a special agility at restrictor-plate tracks with three victories at similar Talladega Superspeedway, the early exit left him 0-for-12 at Daytona. "It is what it is," Keselowski said. "We had a good car. We were in position in the top five, top 10 and was just kind of counting down some laps and getting ready for a crazy finish, and just wanted to be there for it, but, unfortunately, that's not gonna happen." Keselowski didn't lead a lap during his stint in the race, but he put himself in position for a chance at victory in the lead pack. One moment he was running competitive laps in close formation with teammate and eventual Daytona 500 winner Joey Logano; the next moment, his powerplant erupted with gusto. "It scares the crap out of you, to be honest," Keselowski said. "It's a big explosion and you're sitting right next to it, so it's not fun. Once you get recovered from that, then all you can think about is you had a shot to win the race, and that's pretty cool." MORE: READ: Latest NASCAR news PLAY: Sign up for Fantasy Live WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView today FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
2012 Sprint Cup champion optimistic about remaining Speedweeks slate Play: NASCAR Fantasy Live " Vote: Ultimate Daytona Challenge MORE: Full Sprint Unlimited results DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Brad Keselowski didn't get much chance to test out his Team Penske No. 2 Ford in race trim in Saturday night's season-opening Sprint Unlimited exhibition. After just 23 laps, Keselowski's car skidded to a halt in a mangled heap, leaving him with a last-place finish in the invitational 25-car field at Daytona International Speedway. RELATED: See the best photos from Saturday's race According to the former NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champ, there wasn't much to see. "The wall," Keselowski said, regarding his line of sight. "I don't know. I really need to see a replay to give an honest answer. The car is tore up so we are out but it was fast, so that was good." The first melee of the 75-lapper was sparked by a collision between Kyle Larson's No. 42 Chevrolet and Keselowski's No. 2 in the short chute before the start-finish line. Though Larson, last year's Sunoco Rookie of the Year, was able to continue, Keselowski's car shuffled down into the trioval grass before making hard contact with the outside wall. "Sorry, man. Larson came up on me," Keselowski radioed to his crew, before making the mandatory trip to the infield care center. Keselowski was uninjured, evaluated and released. Though his stint in the race was a short one, Keselowski gave a thumbs-up to how his car felt in race conditions. "Well, there wasn't much different about this package," he said. "It is more the intermediate and short track stuff but I thought it was good. It was pretty racey out there." Lead some laps and then wrecked; that's how plate racin goes... Happy and proud of my guys for the fast car. Time to focus on #DAYTONA500 — Brad Keselowski (@ keselowski ) February 15, 2015 Keselowski hit the showers early for a 25th-place finish, well before the non-points race drew to a close. But though he was resigned to his Saturday night fate, he said he's optimistic for the balance of the schedule, which culminates in the Feb. 22 Daytona 500 (1 p.m. ET, FOX). "It's part of racing at Daytona," said Keselowski , who led two laps after starting fourth. "Really happy with the speed of the Miller Lite Ford. We've got a lot of racing left in Speedweeks, this is just a preliminary and we'll be ready to go when it counts in the 500." MORE: READ: Latest NASCAR news PLAY: Sign up for Fantasy Live WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView today FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Brad Keselowski loses his engine. Jamie McMurray and Ryan Newman make contact while trying to navigate the smoke from the No. 2 car.
Brad Keselowski talks about both Tyler Reddick and Austin Theriault getting top 3 finishes in the NextEra Energy Resources 250.
Who does the 2012 champ consider to be the best driver in the sport? Play: NASCAR Fantasy Live " Vote: Ultimate Daytona Challenge DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- What started life as an innocent answer later morphed into a revealing insight from Brad Keselowski about how he rated his peers. But it also illustrated that if there were such a thing as a talent podium of NASCAR drivers, Keselowski has himself on it, but behind reigning Sprint Cup champion Kevin Harvick and his No. 1 pick, Carl Edwards. Keselowski , celebrating his 31st birthday Thursday at NASCAR Media Day at Daytona International Speedway, said his progress in NASCAR's big leagues led him to the self-assessment that he considered himself a top-three driver in the sport. Pressed to name the other two, the always candid Keselowski complied, putting Edwards atop his list with Harvick a close second. "I personally think just from watching, and I'm not afraid to say it, that Carl Edwards right now is the best driver in the Sprint Cup," Keselowski said. "That's my personal opinion; it doesn't make it law or fact. To go with that, you could probably place an argument for Kevin (Harvick) as the second best." Edwards' efforts in his final season at Roush Fenway Racing were maddeningly inconsistent, and though the veteran struggled with performance at times in 2014, he was able to scratch out two victories -- at Bristol Motor Speedway and Sonoma Raceway -- and advance to the Eliminator 8 in the new-look Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup playoffs. "I've seen what Carl's done in cars that didn't have the speed," Keselowski said. "He has a very diverse skill set. He's been able to win at tracks like Sonoma and has won at every type of track, I should say, and I feel like he does the best job of any driver I've seen out there taking a car that is not fast and finding speed out of it. I think when the times have come that he's had dominant cars, he's had dominant performances. He's shown to me the skill set at every level to be a top driver." His uncanny ability to do less with more made an impression on Keselowski , who said that he considers Edwards a favorite for the 2015 championship in his first season with Joe Gibbs Racing. Harvick and new team Stewart-Haas Racing struck similar gold in their first year together last season. "It would not surprise me if they were the team to beat this year," Keselowski said of JGR's No. 19 Toyota, Edwards' new team. "There's something about those new teams -- magic comes together." FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Kyle Larson gets loose into Brad Keselowski , sending Keselowski into the wall and bringing out a caution on Lap 22.
Brad Keselowski talks about the Daytona 500 and his upcoming 2015 season.
2012 series champion enters new year with momentum RELATED: Full schedule of driver previews Team: Team Penske No. 2 Ford Rank in final 2014 Standings: Fifth Wins: Six ( Las Vegas Motor Speedway , Kentucky Speedway , New Hampshire Motor Speedway in July, Richmond International Raceway in September, Chicagoland Speedway , Talladega Superspeedway in October.) Year in photos: Recap Keselowski's 2014 season Strides: Although the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion didn't win a second trophy in 2014, it was in many other ways a "career year" for the 30-year old Michigan native. His six victories in the No. 2 Miller Lite Ford were the most of any driver last season and a career high for him. The same is true for his 17 top-five efforts. He proved himself a title-favorite early and often and scored two victories in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup , including a dramatic must-win, now-or-never final lap victory at Talladega in November that will be talked about for years to come. Setbacks: Despite the series-leading achievements Keselowski did not advance to the Championship 4 for a shot at his second title in three years. In most categories his team was tops in the series, but a pair of 30th-place finishes in the final seven races ultimately cost the sport's otherwise statistical leader. Quoteworthy: "I don't know about (my having a) bad rap. I think time will dictate who and what I am, and how I race. And I'll let it be that," Keselowski said about his aggressive driving style. What's next: A 2015 championship favorite, Keselowski and his team were a threat to win every week last year and should be able to build off the series-high six wins. But he is still hungrier than ever because, despite last year's success and accomplishments, he missed the ultimate payoff. His aggressive driving style simultaneously earned him fans and created bad blood with some competitors. A pair of champions, the normally mild-mannered Matt Kenseth and four-time champ Jeff Gordon , famously had physical post-race confrontations with Keselowski down the stretch run. But Keselowski remains undaunted, unapologetic and defends his methods on and off the track. The whole Penske organization was top-shelf in 2014 with his teammate Joey Logano scoring five wins and advancing to the Homestead season finale with a shot at the big trophy. Keselowski would like to join him in 2015 and insists it's a matter of "refinement," not any major overhaul that will make the difference. "We won six races and it was the second year in five years that we have been in Cup that we have won more races than anyone else," Keselowski said. "And that's a pretty good batting percentage. We certainly drew a lot of attention for wins and other stuff, but that's all part of the roller coaster that makes the season so much fun to be a part of. … There's all kinds of passion and it's defined in all different ways." FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule