Deuces Wild: Pocono with a hint of Texas

It’s been a great couple of weeks for the Blue Deuce and the Double Deuce of Brad Keselowski and Kurt Busch. Gambling on fuel and winning landed Keselowski back in victory lane last weekend at Kansas for only the second time in his Sprint Cup Series career. After a rocky few months, Busch scored a solid run and both drivers left the Midwest for the Pocono Mountains with a smile on their face.

The Blue Deuce

Each weekend a different tagline appears on the rear of the No. 2. This weekend it was “Triple Hopping the Triangle.”
Keselowski's car sits on the grid -
Credit: Rebecca Kivak for Skirts and Scuffs
Keselowski entered Sunday’s 5-hour Energy 500 hoping to capitalize on the first place finish earned in Kansas, but a faulty piece of equipment kept the Blue Deuce from breaking into the top 20 in owner points. Starting from the 20th position, Keselowski spent the first half of the race fighting an ill-handling racecar that was tight through the corners. Adjusting the car on the competition caution early in the event allowed the team to make up some ground and move into the top-10 where they held their position until just before half way.

On lap 77 Keselowski reported a vibration and brought the Miller Lite Dodge to the pit lane for four fresh tires and fuel. This pit stop put the team one lap down and in position to earn the lucky dog in the event of a caution. Just after half way Keselowski returned to pit road, where the team determined that they had a broken left wheel shock mount. The team was able to repair the faulty part and keep Keselowski on the track although the part continued to cause problems throughout the remainder of the race. The Miller Lite Dodge finished in 23rd position.

The Double Deuce

Just a few short weeks ago experts were wondering if Kurt Busch’s Shell/Pennzoil team would be able to compete for wins this season, let alone the Sprint Cup Series title. A series of poor finishes, tirades over the radio, and overall feeling of hopelessness followed the team around like a dark cloud, but in recent weeks the team has rebounded to earn two straight pole awards and two top-10 finishes. Although Busch has yet to put his bright yellow car in victory lane this season, we’ve still got a lot of racing left and this team isn’t giving up anytime soon.

Busch pits during the 5-Hour Energy 500
Credit: Karel Zubris for Skirts and Scuffs
Busch started Sunday’s 5-hour Energy 500 from the pole after wrecking his primary car in practice on Friday. The Shell/Pennzoil team ran a solid race on Sunday, leading three times for a total of 37 laps. Although he remained in the top-5 for most of the day, Busch’s car wasn’t perfect as it alternated between loose and tight throughout the long green-flag runs. Consistent pit stops, fast lap times, and great communication between driver and crew chief led the No. 22 to a second-place finish at the “Tricky Triangle.”

Busch, who sits sixth in points behind brother Kyle said after Sunday’s race, "I feel like we've got what we need to continue to move forward. It's not all there. We still need to have A-pluses in all areas of our team; whether it's the motor department, aerodynamics, pit crew, crew chief-driver communications. To run for the win the last two weeks in a row and have two poles, it's pretty solid."

Next week the Deuces go wild at Michigan where hometown boy Keselowski hopes to rebound and Busch hopes to finally make it to victory lane this season.

Side Note:

Penske Racing’s Will Power earned a first place finish in the second of two races, the Firestone Twin 275s, held for the IndyCar Series at Texas Motor Speedway.

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Power prepares to qualify for the Firestone Twin  275s
Credit: Debbie Ross for Skirts and Scuffs 
Parker Kligerman, who drives for Brad Keselowski Racing in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, recorded his best finish, a second, at Texas Motor Speedway.
Kligerman prepares to qualify for the WinStar World Casino 400k at TMS
Credit: Debbie Ross for Skirts and Scuffs
black polo2  A fan of NASCAR since the age of 12, Katy Lindamood is the Founder/Editor-in-Chief of Skirts and Scuffs. In addition to Beyond the Byline, which profiles the women of Skirts and Scuffs, Katy also writes Deuces Wild, a weekly recap of Penske Racing drivers Brad Keselowski and Kurt Busch. Katy can be contacted via email or through Twitter.
Deuces Wild: Pocono with a hint of Texas Deuces Wild: Pocono with a hint of Texas Reviewed by Katy Lindamood on Monday, June 13, 2011 Rating: 5