Monday, March 26, 2012

Deuces Wild: Rain drowns efforts in Cali

Credit: Jeff Gross/Getty Images for NASCAR
While Team Penske's Helio Castroneves was celebrating his win in the IndyCar season opener at St. Petersburg, his Penske Racing teammates Brad Keselowski and AJ Allmendinger were strapping in for 400 miles of NASCAR racing at Auto Club Speedway.

Often considered by fans to be one of the most boring tracks on the Sprint Cup Series circuit, the Fontana track provided some excellent racing during Saturday's Nationwide Series race giving fans hope for Sunday. The hope was short-lived as an otherwise caution free event ended with rain shortly after the halfway mark and Tony Stewart in victory lane for the second time in 2012.

AJ Allmendinger - Finished 15th

Trading in his usual Shell/Pennzoil Sponsorship for the red, white, and blue colors of AAA, the "Double Deuce" of Allmendinger earned his first top-15 finish of the season after starting 25th. Although the car was tight in the early going Allmendinger was able to move up through the field slowly, but a tire vibration after a Lap 70 stop wrecked havoc on his effort. Short pitting to take care of the vibration on the No. 22 put the team off sequence with the rest of the field and on Lap 123 Allmendinger went one lap down to leader Tony Stewart. Shortly thereafter the yellow flag was displayed for rain and the AAA Dodge was awarded the lucky dog.

Brad Keselowski - Finished 18th


Sporting the phrase "taste greatness" on the rear of his Miller Lite Dodge, Brad Keselowski looked to repeat his performance in Bristol and earn his second victory of the season. Unfortunately for the "Double Deuce" an ill-handling car and the ongoing threat of rain put an end to those hopes as Keselowski finished in 18th position one lap down to the leaders. Starting from the 15th position, the No. 2 was stronger as the laps began to wear on the tires, but as the race progressed the loose handling condition only got worse. After serving a pass through penalty for being too fast on pit lane, Keselowski lost one lap where he finished in 18th.

Penske Racing Nationwide Results:
  • Brad Keselowski - 3rd
  • Sam Hornish Jr. - 13th
Team Penske IZOD IndyCar Results:
  • Helio Castroneves - 1st
  • Ryan Briscoe - 5th
  • Will Power - 7th

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