The Aaron’s 499 at Talladega Superspeedway (2.66-mile tri-oval, Talladega, Alabama)
No. 2 Miller Lite Ford Fusion driven by Brad Keselowski | No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford Fusion driven by Joey Logano
Sunday, May 5, 1:00 pm ET
THE NEWS AND NOTES
· MULTI WINNER: Talladega Superspeedway is one of two NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) venues where Brad Keselowski has multiple wins. He picked up his first career series win at the mammoth oval in the 2009 edition of this race. He followed that up with a second victory last season. Keselowski also captured his first NASCAR win with Penske Racing in the April 2010 NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) race at Talladega. He is one of 10 drivers to claim a victory at the track in both series.
· INNOVATOR: Both on and off the racetrack, Keselowski has become an innovator in the sport. In 2009, he and Carl Edwards demonstrated the power of the two-car draft as Keselowski locked on Edwards’ rear bumper as the two cars moved to the front of the field at Talladega in just a few laps, altering the racing on superspeedways in NASCAR. Keselowski won that race in dramatic fashion for his first Cup Series victory.
· FIRST OF MANY: The first win together for Keselowski and crew chief Paul Wolfe came in the 2010 NNS victory at Talladega. Since that first win together the duo has become one of the most-dominant pairings with 14 NASCAR victories, the 2010 NNS championship and the 2012 NSCS title.
· MEET KESELOWSKI: Keselowski will make an appearance at the Wal-Mart located at 165 Vaughn Lane in Pell City, Ala. on Friday night, May 3, at 6:30 pm.
· DRIVER OF THE YEAR: Keselowski will receive the 2012 Driver of the Year Award on Thursday night, May 2, as part of the International Motorsports Hall of Fame ceremony.
· ALABAMA NATIVES: The No. 2 Miller Lite Ford team has two Alabama natives on its roster. Hauler driver Mike Williams hails from Blue Springs while front-tire carrier Jeremy Ogles is from Birmingham.
· TOP-FIVES: Joey Logano and the No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil team has recorded three top-five finishes in the last five events heading into this weekend’s race at Talladega Superspeedway. Logano finished third at Auto Club Speedway after leading 41 laps, then backed it up with a fifth-place finish at Texas Motor Speedway just two weeks later. Last weekend, Logano earned his third top-five finish, coming home third at Richmond International Raceway. Logano had just two top-five finishes all of last season and has secured three already this year through the season’s first nine races.
· DOUBLE DUTY: Logano will make his NASCAR Nationwide Series season debut in the No. 22 Discount Tire Ford Mustang this weekend at Talladega Superspeedway. Logano has done double duty on race weekends twice already this year, both times behind the wheel of a Brad Keselowski Racing entry in the Truck Series
· FEAST OR FAMINE AT DEGA: Talladega Superspeedway, known for its pack racing, has been both good and bad for Logano. In his eight-career Sprint Cup Series races at Talladega, Logano recorded two top-five and four top-10 finishes in his first five races at the track. In his last three races at the venue, he’s been involved in multi-car accidents. In NNS competition, Logano is the defending race winner at Talladega and has never finished lower than third in four career starts at the track.
· MEET LOGANO: Logano will make an appearance at the Wal-Mart located at 214 Haynes St. in Talladega, Ala. on Thursday morning, May 2, at 11:30 am.
Race: Aaron’s 499
Track: Talladega Superspeedway
Date: Sunday, May 5
Race Start Time: 1:00 pm ET
Radio Broadcast: Live on MRN, 1:00 pm ET
· 2:00 pm ET, Practice (SPEED)
· 3:30 pm ET, Practice (SPEED)
· 12:10 pm ET, Qualifying (SPEED)
· 1:00 pm ET, Aarons 499 (FOX)
THE Q & A
BRAD KESELOWSKI, NO. 2 MILLER LITE FORD
WHAT IS YOUR APPROACH TO RACING AT TALLADEGA?
“You really have to pay attention to how the race unfolds at Talladega. There are times when you need to be patient. There are times when you need to keep your head about you and race smart. But you are going to have to be aggressive at the end. Those are three elements of restrictor-plate racing that I work on throughout the race.”
WITH NO DOUBLE-DUTY RACING FOR YOU SCHEDULED UNTIL KENTUCKY, ARE YOU LOOKING FORWARD TO WATCHING JOEY LOGANO IN THE DISCOUNT TIRE FORD MUSTANG?
“Absolutely. Joey is a beast in the Nationwide Series. It’s going to be a great thing for our Discount Tire Ford Mustang team to have a driver the caliber of Joey Logano behind the wheel. I feel like we have one of the best Nationwide Series programs around so I’m anxious to see how he does. But it is difficult for me to step away – especially after getting the first win of the season last weekend at Richmond – because I love this series. Having a Nationwide Series program is essential to our overall success at Penske Racing. It provides depth in a lot of areas. I’m proud of what we have built.”
JOEY LOGANO, NO. 22 SHELL-PENNZOIL FORD
WHAT IS IT LIKE TO RACE AT TALLADEGA SUPERSPEEDWAY?
“Some people really like it and some people don’t. That’s just the nature of restrictor-plate racing. I really enjoy it and I feel like I’ve become adaptable to it since I started. The worst part about it is that you only control part of your own destiny. When you are out there racing in a pack, your day can be ruined by someone else’s mistake. We’ve all had it happen to us and been a part of that. That is when it is frustrating. But it’s also a lot of fun because if you make the right moves, you can get to the front quickly. It’s just a part of our sport.”
WHAT DID YOU THINK OF THE GEN-6 CAR AT DAYTONA
“It really made the style of plate racing that we have become accustomed to different. It ended up being a lot faster to stay in line and work on timing to make your moves. It will be interesting to see if it’s the same way this weekend at Talladega. We have our ideas as to how the race will play out, but we have a lot more time with these Gen-6 cars now. We will just have to wait and see.”