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NASCAR Nationwide Series Hosts K&N FIlters Chevrolet at Auto Club Speedway
Jason Keller and CJM Racing hoped to give K&N Filters something to celebrate at the Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. The team battled back from a mediocre qualifying run and drove the K&N Filters car to a solid finish. Keller has gained ground in series points and now sits 27 points outside of 10th place in the NASCAR Nationwide Series.
Labor Day in Southern California is usually very hot and Keller had to concentrate on the weather and the importance of track position. Since Mother Nature controls the temperature, CJM Racing worked to control the handling of the No. 11 K&N Chevrolet.
Jason Keller drove the No. 11 K&N Chevrolet Labor Day weekend Labor Day weekend in Fontana, California
Under the hot sun Friday afternoon, 43 cars had two practice sessions in preparation for Saturday evening’s 300-mile race. The K&N Chevrolet struggled to find a correct balance on the track and posted a 42.789 second lap, 168.269 mph in the first practice. That was later followed with a 42.562 second run, 169.165 mph. That placed the No. 11 27th on the board with no mock qualifying run.
Practice sessions were held during the heat of the day and the race took place at night with cooler temperatures. “The weather conditions during the race are going to be significantly different than what we experienced during practice,” said Crew Chief Todd Gordon. “These cars react differently depending on the weather and the handling also varies.”
As the green flag waved, the No. 11 K&N Chevrolet moved up 11 positions in 25 laps. The handling woes continued as the teams began to cycle through for green flag pit
K&N Chevrolet at Auto Club Speedway for NASCAR Nationwide Series Race
stops. Gordon called Keller to pit road on lap 42 for the first of four pit stops. The K&N Chevrolet received four fresh tires, fuel and an air pressure adjustment. When the team rejoined the field they realized race leader Kyle Busch blazed by the field during the pit stops. As a result, the No. 11 found itself one lap down.
The front end of the No. 11 had a difficult time turning and a lack of rear grip was making the car a hand full. Keller went back to pit road on lap 58 for four new tires, fuel and another air pressure adjustment. The K&N Chevrolet averaged a 17th place running position for the remainder of the event.
Keller’s determination throughout the race paid off and he was the recipient of the Lucky Dog award. As a result he restarted at the tail-end of the longest line on lap 142. The eight-lap shoot out caused aggressive driving but Keller avoided any trouble. The K&N Chevrolet finished out the race in the 14th position. This was the second week in a row the team took a top-15 finish.
The NASCAR Nationwide Series heads to Richmond, Virginia for its next race. The Emerson Radio 250 will be Friday, September 5 and will air live on ESPN2 at 7:30 pm EST.
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K&N Engineering, Inc., with headquarters in Riverside, California, has been the world's leader in performance filter technology since 1969, serving the needs of the automotive, motorcycle, marine, industrial and military markets. K&N is heavily involved in nearly every form of motorsports from off-road and powersports to drag racing, stock cars and road racing. For more information about K&N Filters, please contact K&N Engineering, Inc., P.O. Box 1329, Riverside, CA 92502-1329, (800) 213-4182 for a dealer near you, (800) 858-3333 for technical service/questions, (951) 826-4001 Fax, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.knfilters.com.
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