By Patrick Rall
This past weekend was a good one for Penske Racing in the
NASCAR Nationwide Series as their two drivers took the top two spots on
Saturday. Unfortunately, things were not
so great for the Dodge entries in Sunday’s Brickyard 400 although a Dodge still
managed a top 10 finish.
The qualifying effort for the two Penske Racing drivers for
Saturday’s Indiana 250 of the NASCAR Nationwide Series with Brad Keselowski and
his #22 Discount Tire Dodge Challenger started in the 8th spot while
Sam Hornish Jr and his #12 Alliance Truck Parts Dodge Challenger started in the
13th spot. Luckily, when the
green flag dropped on Saturday it was a different story as the two Penske
Challengers were among the front runners all day long. When the checkered flag came down 100 laps
later – Keselowski took the win in the #22 car while teammate Sam Hornish Jr
followed him in second. This was the
third time in the last three years that the Penske Nationwide cars had finished
1-2 and with the win, Penske Racing took home its 100th Nationwide
Series win. This was Keselowski’s second
win in a row.
Sam Hornish Jr continues to hang onto the 4th
spot in 2012 Nationwide Series standings, 28 points behind leader Elliot
Sadler. As a Sprint Cup regular, Brad
Keselowski is not in the running for the Nationwide championship.
Qualifying was just as unkind to Keselowski and Hornish for
the Sunday ‘Crown Royal presents the Curtiss Shaver 400 at the Brickyard’ –
formerly known as the Brickyard 400 before corporate America had their way with
the naming rights of races. Keselowski
in the #2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger started in the 22nd position
while teammate Sam Hornish Jr started in the 24th position in the #22
Shell/Pennzoil Charger. Hornish
continues to fill in for AJ Allmendinger, who has been indefinitely suspended
for failing two drug tests.
By the end of the race, both Penske Racing Dodge Chargers had
worked their way up through the field a bit but they fell well short of a
repeat from Saturday’s performance.
Keselowski managed to get up to the 9th spot while Hornish
settled for a 16th place finishing position. Brad Keselowski’s 10th top 10
finish of the year allowed him to move up one point in the 2012 Sprint Cup
season standings – now sitting in the 9th position as he jumped Toyota
driver Clint Bowyer. As a Nationwide
Series regular, Sam Hornish Jr is not in
the running for the Sprint Cup championship even though it looks as though he
may finish the season in the #22 Shell/Pennzoil car due to Allmendinger’s
The NASCAR Sprint Cup heads to Pocono this weekend for the
Pennsylvania 400 while the NASCAR Nationwide Series makes a stop in Iowa for
the U.S. Cellular 250 presented by the Enlist Weed Control System.