A year ago Brad Keselowski could do no wrong in the Nationwide Series.
After three races in 2011 though, Keselowski can’t catch a break. He was one lap away from going from worse to first at Las Vegas. After wrecking on Thursday in an unofficial practice session to being able to make it on fuel mileage, it all ended in turn one.
“I guess there’s a lot to talk about huh,” asked Keselowski after the race.
“We started off this weekend and I didn’t think we were very good at all. We were atrociously bad and my team worked all weekend long and found speed in my car,” he said.
He continued by saying he had about a fourth place car and that the team used strategy and smarts to get themselves in a position to win. Upon hearing everyone in front of him had to pit, Keselowski said he just ran his own race and waited until he was in the right position.
“I was trying to conserve my stuff and watch Mark (Martin) behind and watch my gap; I felt like I did a good job of that. I felt like we had it (race win) but obviously didn’t. I didn’t push the car too hard that’s for sure. I must have run over something because (the tire) went down quick and I’m sure that I ran over something.”
At first it was though that Keselowski had run out of fuel however his team reported that he was good to go to the end. The tire went down from what Keselowski and the team assume came from running over something off the No 81 of Donnie Neuenberger.
He was still able to finish third.
“Just one of them days where you do everything right and don’t win,” Keselowski said.
“That’s the way it goes sometimes. I guess that’s why they call it racing because otherwise you’d go off the practice sheet and know who’d win the race. Obviously that’s not the way that it worked out today. I just feel bad for my guys.”
The luck, or lack there of for Keselowski, is something he’s not used to. Just a few months ago he was celebrating his first Nationwide Series championship. Ever since the new season started in Daytona the series has seen Keselowski suffer through events he hasn’t seen in a while.
In 2010 Keselowski beat the competition for the championship with impressive numbers. In 35 starts he had five poles, six wins, 26 top fives and 29 top 10s. Up into Daytona just a few weeks ago he hadn’t had a DNF in over 100 races. Then he had two back-to-back in the first two races this season.
Daytona he was involved in a wreck. Phoenix last weekend he again ended up wrecked after a flat tire. And now Vegas where the team will leave with another beat up car.
“We’ve had three-straight weeks in this Nationwide Series with three pretty good cars,” said Keselowski.
“I thought that we had the car to beat at Daytona and got wrecked there. I felt like we had a decent car at Phoenix to run in the top five and blew a tire. I felt like we could have at least run in the top five and steal a win; it looked like we were going to and something happened. It’s got to come back around. We’re just on downside of the roller coaster; I’m ready for it to come back up.”
To say he wasn’t pleased is an understatement. Not only was Keselowski upset for his team, but he didn’t appreciate the TV broadcast getting their information wrong in terms of what occurred with his tire.
“TV would say that,” said Keselowski about him making contact with another car which cut his tire.
“They got no idea what they’re talking about. I never touched him [Elliott Sadler]. You can tell I’m a big fan of TV, they get the facts straight about 10 percent of the time.”
It’s all apart of racing and Keselowski knows that. He wrote as much on his Twitter page after the race was over. He also mentioned that he won a race like that in 2009 at Dover, so Saturday must have been his turn to have it go against him.
Keselowski will have a chance for redemption tomorrow afternoon in the Sprint Cup Series event. He starts 20th in his No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge.