Brad Keselowski Racing reveals '17 Truck Series lineup
CONCORD, N.C. -- Brad Keselowski Racing (BKR) announced its team lineup details for the 2017 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) season at the National Motorsports Press Association annual convention in Concord, North Carolina. Austin Cindric will pilot the No. 19 Draw-Tite Ford F-150 and Chase Briscoe, who was recently named as the first driver in the Ford Performance development program, joins the organization as the driver of the No. 29 Cooper Standard Ford F-150. Cindric and Briscoe will both compete on a full-time basis as they pursue the NCWTS championship for BKR. Doug Randolph, who has been atop the pit box at BKR since 2012, will serve as crew chief for Cindric, while two-time NCWTS championship-winning crew chief Mike Hillman Jr. will lead the effort for Briscoe. "We're very fortunate to have partners like Cooper Standard and Horizon Global, with brands like Draw-Tite, Reese and Bulldog, that make it possible to give two young drivers an opportunity. And that's something I'm very proud of," team owner Brad Keselowski said. "Austin Cindric has already had success in various forms of racing, and has shown a lot of potential in our Ford F-150 race trucks. I certainly believe that Chase is ready to take the next step in his career, and we're excited to have him join the BKR family. He won the ARCA championship in his first full-time season, and he's proven to have the ability to learn quickly and win races. We're pleased to give both Austin and Chase the opportunity to compete full-time at a high level in NASCAR." Cindric, 18, has six NCWTS series starts dating back to Martinsville (Va.) Speedway in October 2015 -- all with BKR. He made four starts with BKR in 2016, qualifying a career-best second at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park (Bowmanville, Ontario). Cindric scored victories in the ARCA Racing Series event at Kentucky Speedway and in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East races at Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International and Virginia (Danville, Va.) International Raceway. "This is a massive opportunity from Brad and everyone at BKR who trusts me and believes in my abilities as a driver to move on to the next level for a full season," said Cindric. "2017 gets more and more exciting for me with every day that goes by. I've only done a handful of one-off races in my brief stock car career, so I'm really looking forward to having the same guys by my side week in and week out. I've spent a lot of time at the shop the last few weeks and I know everyone is really excited to get back racing." The past two seasons for Briscoe read like a Hollywood screenplay. The 22-year-old Mitchell, Indiana, native joined Cunningham Motorsports in 2015 as a volunteer in the team's shop, and just one year later, the rookie driver was celebrating the ARCA Racing Series Championship. Briscoe led the series in wins (six, including four consecutive victories) and poles (six). He finished with 14 top fives and 18 top-10 finishes in 20 races. "It's is an absolutely huge opportunity and such an honor to drive for Brad," said Briscoe. "The competition level in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series is so high, but I'm going to be in the best equipment out there. It's really cool to once again be working with the Keselowski family. When I moved to North Carolina three years ago, I was helping Brian and Bob in their shop, so things have come full circle. I'm truly blessed with this opportunity, and I hope to make the most of it. At the end of the day, it's all about winning races and championships, and that's what I plan to do."
Keselowski and Hendrick: What might have been
On April 18, 2009, Mark Martin won the Subway Fresh Fit 500 at Phoenix International Raceway . It was the 36th NASCAR premier series win for the 50-year-old driver and his first with team owner Rick Hendrick. A week and a day later, Brad Keselowski won the Aaron's 499 at Talladega Superspeedway . It was the first career win for the 25-year-old, and the first premier series victory for independent car owner James Finch. Two distinctly different races won by two distinctly different drivers. Martin's NASCAR career was beginning to wind down; Keselowski's , on the other hand, appeared to have only just begun. But there was one string that tied the two together -- Hendrick Motorsports . HMS was home to Martin, Jimmie Johnson , Jeff Gordon and Dale Earnhardt Jr . And it was expected by many to be the future home of the up-and-coming kid from Rochester Hills, Michigan. But a collection of factors that came together throughout the course of that season altered the racing landscape as well as the career path of Keselowski . It would be nearly three years before the next driver change at HMS. By then Keselowski had not only found a new home, but he was also on his way to winning the Sprint Cup championship. 'I WAS NOT GOING TO LOSE' The sun was out and the grandstands were packed when the 2009 Aaron's 499, the season's ninth Sprint Cup race, went green for the final time. As race leader Ryan Newman tried to keep Earnhardt Jr., the crowd favorite, in check, Keselowski darted to the inside behind Carl Edwards on the track's massive backstretch. It was a move that didn’t seem to mean much at the time. But at the start-finish line with two laps remaining, Edwards and Keselowski shot to the outside entering Turn 1. "Here they come; look at the 99 and ..." NASCAR on FOX analyst Darrell Waltrip began. " Brad Keselowski ," lead announcer Mike Joy and co-analyst Larry McReynolds chimed in. When the white flag appeared, Edwards and Keselowski had caught and were beginning to pull away from Newman and Earnhardt Jr. Racing back through the tri-oval, Keselowski turned his No. 09 Chevrolet to the outside, and then quickly dropped to the bottom as Edwards moved up to block. Realizing the bottom lane was now open, Edwards reacted quickly -- but not quickly enough. Contact sent the No. 99 Ford spinning. Edwards' car came off the track briefly and was beginning to settle back onto the track it was struck by Newman's Chevrolet. The impact sent Edwards roof-first into the frontstretch catch fence. Meanwhile, Keselowski kept his foot in the gas, racing across the finish line for the win just ahead of Earnhardt Jr. "I was not going to lose," Keselowski said in his post-race winner's interview. "I was not going to lift and (I was going to) hold my ground and consequences be damned." A full-time competitor at the time for JR Motorsports (which, coincidentally, counts Earnhardt Jr. and Hendrick among its ownership group) in what is now the NASCAR XFINITY Series, Keselowski said he didn't know what the future held after his first premier series win. "I know I don't have anything locked in," he said. "That's really all I can say ... I don't have a job secured for next year, and everything to this point has been wait-and-see. I know this certainly can't hurt." But behind the scenes, moves were already underway. Finch's Phoenix Racing, which purchased it engines from HMS, had put Keselowski in the car at the suggestion of Hendrick. And the JRM/Hendrick pipeline, which grooms talent in the lower series to help restock the Sprint Cup program, was taking root. Keselowski had made two starts for Hendrick the previous year, and would make seven all together in '09, in addition to five races with Finch. Perhaps his future wasn't as cloudy as it appeared. "Rick had come out and told me, actually had made it a point to say to the media that he thought I was a future driver at Hendrick," Keselowski told NASCAR.com recently. There was only one problem. SWAN SONG? On July 4, 2008, HMS officials announced that Martin had signed a two-year agreement to drive the organization's No. 5 Chevrolet. According to the news release, Martin, who would run a full schedule in 2009, would "run a partial Sprint Cup schedule ... in 2010, sharing the No. 5 Chevy with a to-be-determined second driver.” By most accounts, that driver was expected to be Keselowski . But in May of '09, less than three weeks after Martin's Phoenix victory, HMS officials announced a revision to the '08 agreement. The veteran driver would return in 2010 to once again run the entire season. With Keselowski waiting in the wings and Martin winning and agreeing to return the following year, "Rick was kind of half pregnant," Keselowski said. "He (was) stuck. "My feeling was, after I had won Talladega, I'm going to get this 5 car ride partially next year, pair it with something else, let's go. I didn't know what it was going to be. We'll figure it out; let's go." A phone call and subsequent meeting with Hendrick, however, changed all that. "I was kind of expecting more of a 'Hey, we're going to expedite the process of clearing out the rest of this,' " Keselowski said of the meeting, "And instead I got a 'Hey, I don't have a ride for you. You need to figure something else out. I'll try to help.' "That was late April, early May of that year. My intent ... was to give him that time to kind of make right on it somehow, find a ride because he had made me the promise that I would have that car. It didn't sit all that well, but I understood the circumstances and so forth." Months passed and Keselowski busied himself with his full-time XFINITY Series effort at JRM while making a handful of Sprint Cup starts for Hendrick and Finch. Hendrick, in the meantime, was exploring the various avenues that might keep Keselowski in the HMS camp. Possible scenarios included Stewart-Haas Racing , at the time a two-team effort, and Red Bull Racing. Consideration was even given to fielding a Sprint Cup entry out of the JR Motorsports shop, according to the owner. But the pieces didn't fit and as the summer wore on, Keselowski's future remained uncertain. "I wanted him to wait a year," Hendrick told NASCAR.com. "... I don't remember all the details, but I do remember that Mark had done so well, and I had tried to talk (Mark) into staying. "I've told all our guys, the first time I sat down with Brad he impressed me because he was so intense about the whole car and wanted to be involved in everything. He was just so committed. I told our guys he's got the right attitude about racing and driving. I just needed him to wait." Waiting, though, wasn't part of Keselowski's plan. "My perception is a driver is a lot like a perishable fruit," Keselowski said. "You've got so much time, then he spoils and goes bad. There are a lot of variables, much like anything." PENSKE COMES CALLING The Keselowski family has always been involved in racing. Brad's father Bob was an ARCA Series standout and a former winner in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. Ron Keselowski , an uncle, scored two top-five finishes in 68 premier series starts while older brother Brian Keselowski has one or more starts in all three of NASCAR's national series. "We knew the Keselowski name from being here in Detroit," Walt Czarnecki, an executive vice president at Penske Corp., said. "His dad, his uncle, all that. They would run out at MIS ( Michigan International Speedway ) when (Penske) owned the track." But it was a business associate, lawyer/agent John Caponigro, who brought up the young driver's name during a conversation in 2009. "We thought he was committed to Hendrick," Czarnecki said. "He'd been on loan to James Finch to run several races. But some things were changing." Conversations with Keselowski ensued, in Michigan as well as Mooresville, North Carolina, where Team Penske is headquartered. "All this time," Czarnecki said, "Still having this somewhat uncertain situation with Mr. Hendrick." Team Penske had grown from a two-team to a three-team organization in '08, fielding cars for drivers Kurt Busch , Ryan Newman and Sam Hornish Jr . In '09 Newman departed to join owner/driver Tony Stewart at Stewart-Haas Racing and 32-year-old David Stremme was brought on board to fill the open seat. But the Keselowski opportunity was intriguing, according to Czarnecki. "We've tried to sign on what we consider to be the best available young drivers with a great deal of potential that we could mold and have them grow in our organization," he said. "And I think that Brad certainly fit that description. "But above and beyond that, he had a bigger vision as to what role he wanted to play in terms of the development of the team. ... Just how he saw different things coming together ... "Some of it may have been a little unrealistic; some of it was certainly the enthusiasm of a young man who had a goal in mind. ... But he had this great enthusiasm and he had this great desire and this great commitment. And that appealed to us." With the Hendrick effort seemingly stalled, Keselowski went back to Penske with a request -- to compete full-time in both the Sprint Cup and XFINITY Series. In addition to its Sprint Cup effort, Team Penske was fielding one full-time XFINITY Series team with driver Justin Allgaier . Expanding that program to two teams running all the races was problematic, given the economy at the time. Told such a scenario was unlikely, Keselowski was left to consider his few available options. But Penske officials continued to work until enough of the appropriate pieces were in place. "Sure enough, Roger called me one night and said 'Alright, I've got it put together,' " Keselowski said. "It kind of caught me off guard. I was sold. That's it; he made it happen." "I couldn't sit around and wait. ... Roger had gone above and beyond to put something together that I felt like was the opportunity I needed. ... The economy was on its way down fast; Roger (through his various businesses) had a lot of immunities to the economy. Rick made it very clear to me that he was not going to invest himself without having a sponsor, and the economy was not in a spot where he could facilitate that." Hendrick had been aware of the Penske interest from the beginning, having had conversations with his fellow team owner about Keselowski's status. "Roger called me and asked me could he talk to him," Hendrick said. "I didn't want to stand in his way. Brad's a hell of a talent. It was a timing issue. "It's worked out for him. At his age it would have been nice if we could have kept him. ... If I got a call from Roger and I was in his spot I would have done exactly what he did." POSTSCRIPT On Sept. 1, 2009, Team Penske officials announced that the organization had signed Keselowski to compete full-time in both the Sprint Cup and XFINITY Series beginning the following season. Since then, Keselowski has won 17 Sprint Cup races, 28 XFINITY Series races and championships in both series. "I don't want to sound mercenary but he brought us our first Sprint Cup championship (in 2012)," Czarnecki said. "Because that vision that he outlined, we tried to work with him and bring people along, bring people into the organization, have him work with people like (crew chief) Paul Wolfe, it was really the realization of that vision. That's what it (has) meant. "And his intensity hasn't changed." Former teammates Busch and Hornish have departed, and fellow driver AJ Allmendinger has come and gone. Keselowski , now 32, is the veteran of a Penske group that now includes 25-year-old teammate Joey Logano . "I wasn’t looking to switch," Keselowski said. "If things would have gone the way they were supposed to go before Mark won that race at Phoenix, I would still be there."
Team Penske's final appeal pushed to May 9
RELATED: No. 2 team penalized after Phoenix infraction The date for Team Penske's final appeal of L1-level penalties has been pushed back. NASCAR officials said the hearing is now scheduled for 7:45 a.m. ET on Tuesday, May 9 at the NASCAR Research & Development Center in Concord, North Carolina. It previously had been scheduled for April 26. Bryan Moss, the National Motorsports Final Appeals Officer, will preside over the hearing. The session will determine the final outcome of penalties issued March 22 to the Roger Penske-owned No. 2 Ford team after the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Phoenix Raceway. Team Penske filed the paperwork for a final appeal April 13, one day after the three-member National Motorsports Appeal Panel upheld the original penalties. That punishment included a three-race suspension for crew chief Paul Wolfe and a 35-point deduction for Brad Keselowski in the drivers' standings and the same amount for Penske in the owners' standings. With the appeal pending, Wolfe was atop the pit box for this week's Food City 500 at Bristol. He has the opportunity to manage the race again this weekend at Richmond and the following week at Talladega. Wolfe already has served one race of his three-race suspension, handing over the helm to Brian Wilson for the March 26 race at Auto Club Speedway. Moss, the former president at Gulfstream Aerospace, has held the role of National Motorsports Final Appeals Officer since 2014. His ruling on April 26 will be final. The burden of proof will rest with Team Penske in the final appeal process. In the initial hearing, the burden of proof rested with NASCAR. &amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;&lt;span _rtetemp=&quot;spchk&quot; style=&quot;background-color: #ffffaa;&quot; _rtespchksugg=&quot;Lt"alt"ult"flt"let"lit"lat"lot"ltd"t&quot;&gt;am&lt;/span&gt;p;lt;/p&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;
Keselowski quietly enjoying fast start to '17 season
RELATED : Full schedule for Martinsville MARTINSVILLE, Va. -- After finishing outside the top 10 in the season-opening Daytona 500, he will be going for his second win of the season and his fifth consecutive top-five finish when Sunday's STP 500 (2 p.m. ET, FS1, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) gets underway. He is not Kyle Larson. Larson, driver of the No. 42 Chevrolet for Chip Ganassi Racing, has certainly gained his share of attention in recent weeks, finishing second in three consecutive races before winning last weekend at Auto Club Speedway for just the second time in his still young career. So he has a top-five streak of his own to try and keep alive. But the efforts of Brad Keselowski , the 2012 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series champion, have been equally impressive if not quite as headline grabbing. Keselowski , 33, won for the 22nd time in his career when he won at Atlanta earlier this season, and he finished in the top five in the three races following that victory. Sunday at Martinsville, he'll be going for a personal best fifth consecutive top-five finish. RELATED: Keselowski's all-time wins Last season, Keselowski finished fifth in the spring race on the flat .526-mile layout, and second when the series returned in October. It's a track where he's yet to win, but one where he's rarely been out of contention. Because weather delays forced the cancellation of qualifying Friday, Keselowski will line up his white with blue trim Team Penske No. 2 Ford fourth. Larson, who finished third and 14th here last year, will start on the pole -- the starting lineup was determined based on current owner points. "There are always a lot of unknowns going into the year for everybody," Keselowski told NASCAR.com Friday shortly after the end of the day's lone practice. "And I think what you get into, you kind of look at trends. I think our team in the last two or three years has had a trend of coming out of the box very strong. The key to that is trying to keep that momentum. Which is tough. It's a tough thing to do. It's a long grueling season." Keselowski and the No. 2 team, led by crew chief Paul Wolfe, finished fifth at Las Vegas and fifth at Phoenix on the heels of the Atlanta victory. The string of top-five finishes seemed doomed last week at Auto Club Speedway, however, when an incident on the very first lap of the race left his Ford with damage and contact a short time later sent Keselowski spinning off the track. RELATED: Keselowski , No. 2 team persevere to second-place finish But the team persevered and while Larson was there to take the checkered flag, Keselowski had raced his way to a second-place finish. Quick, efficient pit work throughout the day, and a solid final stop "put us in position to achieve the finish we did," Keselowski said. "The biggest takeaway there was that in those clutch moments we have the capability of performing on pit road." Keselowski has put together four consecutive top-five finishes four times in his career in the series -- in 2011, '13, '16 and now this season. Getting on a roll such as that, he said, builds confidence for both the driver and team. There are other unseen benefits as well. "Beyond that," he said, "is just having a sense of direction, which is really helpful," Keselowski said. "Being slow sucks. The only thing worse than being slow is being slow and not having any direction, not knowing why. … "When you're slow and have no sense of why, that's tough. Sometimes you can be fast and not know why. Usually when you're fast and you don't know why, it's not sustainable. So when you're on a streak, that's a sign that you’re fast and you know why. You know what's working, you know what shocks and springs you need to tune with on a week to week basis and that's a really good feeling." That success and competitiveness doesn't delay the constant search for speed, Keselowski said, but enables teams to continue to work to get better and go faster. "It seems like when you're running up front whatever new part comes out that the guys think is just a little bit faster but they're just not quite so sure about the reliability of it, makes its way on your car," he said. "And speed becomes self-fulfilling. "Because you've had it before, the team seems more willing to push the boundaries of reliability to get even more. Because they feel like it will pay off. "Teams don’t like to push reliability boundaries to go from 15th to 10th , but they're not afraid to push reliability boundaries to go from fifth to first." It may not explain why successful teams continue to contend for wins while others are more slow to show improvement, but Keselowski said it "explains momentum in this sport. I feel strongly about that." &amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;/p&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;
Keselowski , No. 2 team persevere to second-place finish
RELATED: Race results " Updated series standings FONTANA, Calif. -- Brad Keselowski will be the first to tell you it was "quite the day" at work on Sunday at Auto Club Speedway. After making contact with cars on the race start, then taking an infield spin -- all within the first five laps -- Keselowski rallied to a runner-up finish, only .779 seconds behind race winner Kyle Larson. To hear Keselowski tell the story, it was simply a matter of keeping at it no matter the circumstance. And boy, did it pay off. MORE: Watch Keselowski's early spin "Great perseverance from this team," Keselowski said on pit road. "I got out of the car and looked at the damage. It's torn to pieces. I feel lucky to finish second and curious what we could have done if we weren't torn up. Great day for us to persevere, despite adversity. You'll have that in a 36-race season, so proud of team for that." Keselowski's late race rebound was certainly noted by his competitors. What looked like a Larson vs. Martin Truex Jr. trophy run, turned into an all-out scramble with a dozen cars in two laps of overtime. "The 2 car, I went by him the first run, I just knew his day was over," third-place finisher Clint Bowyer said after the race. "I'll be damned if he didn't finish in front of me. "How did he do that?" he continued, smiling. "Did you see that?" MORE: Bowyer takes third at Auto Club Keselowski's No. 2 Wurth Ford didn't lead a lap all day and spent time in the pits early in the race repairing damage from the opening-lap "adventures." "The last few restarts were obviously key for us," Keselowski said. "We seemed to get settled into about 10th there, maybe seventh or eighth, then kind of just executed the last few restarts. Good pit calls and so forth. Good timing with the yellows. We caught a few breaks, for sure, and made good adjustments to our car to make up for the damage. "It takes a little bit of everything: good execution, good work by the team, and a little bit of luck on the last few yellows. "Glad I got the race on record on the DVR so I can see it." &amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;/p&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;
Keselowski wins battle with Kyle Busch for first Martinsville victory
RELATED: Race results " Standings " Detailed breakdown SHOP: Keselowski gear MARTINSVILLE, Va. – In Sunday's STP 500 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Martinsville Speedway, everything worked – but nothing more than Brad Keselowski ’s race-winning No. 2 Ford. Yes, that’s right, a Ford. The car maker found Victory Lane at the .526-mile short track for the first time since Oct. 20, 2002, when Kurt Busch won at NASCAR’s oldest and smallest premier series track in a Roush Fenway Racing Ford. Keselowski and runner-up Kyle Busch swapped the lead during the final 64-lap green-flag run, with Busch taking the point on Lap 444 of 500, and Keselowski powering back past Busch’s No. 18 Toyota on Lap 458. From that point, Keselowski pulled away to win by 1.806 seconds, as Busch lost the long-run speed he had demonstrated for most of the afternoon. "This is awesome," said Keselowski , the season's first two-time winner. "We've ran so good here with the Miller Lite Ford, but something always happens and we haven't been able to bring it home. Martinsville is just one of those champions' tracks. The guys that run well everywhere run well here, and it's really just an honor to win here and get to compete here. "This track is 70 years old and a lot of legends have won here. It feels great to be able to join them and bring home a (grandfather) clock (trophy). A lot of people don't know this, but those clocks are built in my hometown in Rochester Hills, Michigan, so it's cool to get one of them from back home. I have one as a truck owner, but not as a driver, so I’m glad to bring one back as a driver… "I don't like to keep trophies at my house, but this one's going to my house. That's how special it is." RELATED: Keselowski brings home a clock " Keselowski celebrates with fans The victory was Keselowski ’s 23rd in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, and it vaulted him into the playoff points lead with 10. In the series standings, Keselowski leaves Martinsville in fourth place, 34 points behind leader Kyle Larson and 30 behind second-place Chase Elliott, who parlayed a front-row starting position into a third-place finish. Fourteen cautions for 95 laps punctuated an action-filled afternoon that featured remarkable comebacks, perfect weather, Ford board member and namesake Edsel Ford II in the pace car and a tire combination that started to open up the outside lane and facilitate passing on the high side. Keselowski had to overcome his own challenges. A speeding penalty under caution on lap 72 sent him to the rear of the field, but pit strategy – staying out under yellow on Lap 109 – got him back to the front. Joey Logano, Keselowski ’s Team Penske teammate, overcame both a pit road penalty and a cut tire that put him two laps down to finish fourth. Austin Dillon ran fifth, posting his first top-five finish since a fourth-place run at Bristol last August. Busch, who led a race-high 274 laps to Keselowski ’s 116, was disappointed that the performance of his Camry fell off after his final pit stop. "All we did was put four tires on it, and it went to junk," Busch said. "I hate it for our guys. They've deserved all year much better finishes than what we've been able to produce, and here's another one today. Just a frustrating season so far, but we give it everything we got. We do all we can with what we’re given at the particular time and try to execute and do a good job. "My pit crew did great today. (Crew chief) Adam (Stevens) and the guys did an awesome job on this car this weekend to get it to where it was. We were lights out faster than those guys after 20 laps or so. There on that run it was at minimum at least three tenths slower the entire time, and that's why Brad just was able to drive away there at the end. We were really really, really struggling. I'm surprised I held off the 24 (Elliott), but you know, overall, just not quite getting the finishes we need." RELATED: Busch frustrated with second-place finish Martin Truex Jr. won the first stage to bring his playoff point total to nine, second only to Keselowski . By the end of Stage 2, which featured a 119-lap green-flag run, the intensity had ratcheted up considerably. Coming to the green/checkers on Lap 260, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., who had just been lapped, gave race leader Kyle Busch a couple of sharp taps with his bumper, sending Busch toward the top of the track. Elliott powered to the inside off Turn 4, edging Busch for the stage win at the stripe. RELATED: See the contact at the end of Stage 2 " Updated stage points But Keselowski and Busch dominated the proceedings from then on, with Keselowski winning the clock and Ford finding the winner’s circle after a 28-race drought at the vaunted short track. &amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;/p&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;
Penske's appeal allows Wolfe to lead Keselowski to Martinsville victory
BUY TICKETS: See the races at Texas RELATED: Keselowski wins at Martinsville " No. 2 crew on the win MARTINSVILLE, Va. – It didn't take long for a decision to appeal a post-race penalty handed down to the No. 2 Team Penske Team to pay dividends. Driver Brad Keselowski's appearance in Victory Lane on Sunday following the STP 500 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race was proof enough of that. So, too, it seems, was crew chief Paul Wolfe's attendance on the team's pit box. "Look, I need him on that box every weekend," team owner Roger Penske said of Wolfe. "I told him I'd pay him to be on that box every weekend, not to be sitting in his motor home looking at a bunch of monitors. "But … really the strategy was that we'd take a race off last week and then make the appeal and I guess we'll be coming back here. … So it was good to get the experience here on this track, obviously, because it'll be in the Chase." The No. 2 team failed post-race inspection following last month's Camping World 500 at Phoenix Raceway. As a result, Wolfe was fined $65,000 and suspended for three races. Keselowski was assessed with the loss of 35 driver points and Penske 35 car owner points. RELATED: Keselowski penalized after Phoenix No decision on filing an appeal was made until the team had the opportunity to inspect the car at its headquarters in Mooresville, North Carolina. In the meantime, Brian Wilson served as the team's interim crew chief at Auto Club Speedway. Keselowski rallied from early problems to finish second in the Auto Club 400. Wednesday, two days before the start of the Martinsville race weekend, Team Penske officials announced they had requested an appeal hearing and to defer the two remaining races of Wolfe's suspension "until the results of our appeal are known." "It's tough when you're not there," Wolfe said Sunday evening. "You try to communicate the best with the guys, but there's that little bit that you miss when you're just not sitting on the box and being able to communicate with Brad during the race. "It's tough not being there, and that's part of why ‑‑ that's the penalty they hand down, because they know it is. I'm just proud of the effort today. It was a good way to come back after not being on the box last week." Keselowski , the 2012 series champion, said he hadn't considered how he might have fared Sunday without the services of Wolfe. "Who knows?" he said. "I ain't thinking about that; I'm just glad I got a checkered flag and a clock."
Keselowski's No. 2 Ford fails post-race inspection at Phoenix Raceway
RELATED: Full race results " Updated standings " Detailed breakdown Brad Keselowski's No. 2 Team Penske Ford team could face penalties this week after his Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series ride failed post-race inspection at Phoenix Raceway on Sunday night. The No. 2 failed weights and measures after Keselowski piloted it to a fifth-place finish. No other cars failed post-race tech inspection. Ryan Newman's No. 31 race-winning Chevrolet, Kyle Larson's runner-up No. 42 entry and Kevin Harvick's No. 4 Ford will all head back to NASCAR's R&D Center in Concord, North Carolina, for further routine inspection.
Keselowski makes spectacular move for second
Brad Keselowski stays out after the first competition caution and makes a daring move to stay in the top five.
Keselowski burns it down big time at Martinsville
Watch Brad Keselowski's victory burnout following his first career win at Martinsville Speedway
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