By Patrick Rall
Brad Keselowski entered this weekend’s Sylvania 300 in
Loudon New Hampshire with a slim lead in the Chase for the Cup but with a 6th
place finish, BK and his #2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger dropped to second in the
overall standings. Keselowski and his
team now sit just one point behind Chase point leader Jimmie Johnson, who
claimed the top spot with a second place finish in each of the first two races
in the 10 race shootout for the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup championship.
As was the case in the first race in the NASCAR Sprint Cup
Chase for the Cup, Brad Keselowski put himself in a less than favorable
position to start the race. In round 1,
BK started in 12th and in Loudon, the #2 Charger started 13th. Unfortunately, this starting spot proved to
be unlucky as Keselowski was unable to mount enough of a late charge fight for
the win. Sam Hornish Jr continued his
fill-in job in the #22 Shell/Pennzoil Dodge Charger with a 10th
place start but Hornish struggled – finishing 21st.
Over in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, the drivers made a
stop in Kentucky for the Kentucky 300.
Sam Hornish Jr put his #12 Alliance Truck Parts Dodge Challenger in the
3rd spot to start the race and he had moved up to the 2nd
spot when the race came to an end.
Hornish currently sits in the 4th spot in season championship
points – 46 points behind leader Elliot Sadler.
Young driver Ryan Blaney piloted the #22 Discount Tire Challenger and
after starting 20th, he was able to finish 9th – netting his
5th top 10 finish in just 8 starts.
Finally, the Camping World Truck Series joined the Nationwide
guys in Kentucky for the Kentucky 201 with 3 Ram race trucks in the 37 driver
field. Ryan Blaney was piloting the #29
Brad Keselowski Racing Ram sponsored by Cooper Standard. Blaney started in the 16th spot
and was able to move up to 11th by the end of the race. Jennifer Jo Cobb started 30th in
the #10 Driven2Honor.org Ram and finished 16th while David Mayhew
put his MMI Wireless Ram in the 15th spot to start but ran into
brake problems – forcing him to finish 26th.
The bad news is that after this weekend’s stop in Loudon,
there are only 8 races left in the Dodge NASCAR campaign. Dodge and SRT Motorsports have announced that
they will not continue factory backing after this season following the news that
Penske Racing was moving to Ford for 2013.
After effectively killing the Dodge NASCAR program with their move to
Ford – at least Mopar faithful with have a team to root against once Dodge is
gone next year.