News & Media


Busch to fill in for Keselowski at Watkins Glen

August 10, 2011, David Caraviello, NASCAR.com

Brad Keselowski will skip a second consecutive Nationwide Series start as he continues to recover from injuries suffered in a testing crash at Road Atlanta last week.

"With the incredible effort Brad Keselowski put forth last weekend in winning Sunday's race at Pocono, we think it's a smart move to let him focus on just the Sprint Cup action this weekend."

--KURT BUSCH

Penske Racing teammate Kurt Busch will replace Keselowski in the No. 22 Dodge Saturday at Watkins Glen International, the team announced Wednesday. The reigning champion in the Nationwide tour and a winner of two races in the Series this season, Keselowski turned his car over to teammate Sam Hornish Jr. for last weekend's event at Iowa Speedway.

Keselowski is still slated to drive in Sunday's Sprint Cup event at Watkins Glen. He won last weekend's race at Pocono despite suffering a fractured left ankle after his brakes failed in the test at Road Atlanta. He hit the unprotected Turn 1 wall at 100 mph and had to be airlifted to an area hospital.

Penske Racing president Tim Cindric said the remainder of Keselowski's Nationwide schedule will be determined on a race-by-race basis. Keselowski's Pocono victory, his second at the Sprint Cup level this season, placed him in the thick of the hunt for a wild card berth into the Chase.

"I have always tried to be a great team player throughout my career, and I am happy to help out our Penske Racing Team over on the Nationwide side this weekend at the Glen," Busch said. "With the incredible effort Brad Keselowski put forth last weekend in winning Sunday's race at Pocono, we think it's a smart move to let him focus on just the Sprint Cup action this weekend."

Keselowski wrote on Twitter Wednesday that after a physical therapy session Tuesday night, it became clear that progress on his injured ankle was slower than had been hoped. Driving "severely aggravates" his ankle and back, he tweeted, so rather than take two steps forward with rehab and two back by attempting the Nationwide and Sprint Cup events, the decision was made to cut back to just the Cup race.

Busch has two Nationwide starts at Watkins Glen, a victory in 2006 and a third-place result the previous year. He is also the most recent road-course winner on the Sprint Cup tour, having claimed the event at Infineon Raceway in June.