Keller Rallies for 8th Place Finish at Dover!
Struggling with a loose race car during the first half of Saturday's Stacker 200 presented by
YJ Stinger, Jason Keller finally got the race car he was hoping for and rallied for an eighth place
finish in this NASCAR Busch Series race at Dover (DE) International Speedway.
Starting sixth in the field of 43 cars that was lined up by car owner points after qualifying
for the weekend's two races was canceled Friday due to the after effects of Hurricane Isabel,
Keller found himself a lap down by lap 135 after the race's first series of pit stops due to
his ill handling Ford Taurus. Those stops came under green flag race conditions with
the cars of drivers Scott Riggs, Brian Vickers and Bobby Hamilton, Jr..
After his crew made some major changes to his #57 Albertson's Supermarkets / Northeastern Supply
Company car, Keller suddenly found himself behind the wheel of one of the fastest cars on the
track. One by one he picked off cars for position over the event's final 60 laps,
getting underneath Scott Wimmer with 22 laps remaining for the 8th spot. Jason finished
the race as the first car a lap down.
Vickers, the 19-year-old driving sensation for Hendrick Motorsports, was able to beat Riggs out
of the pits for the lead following the race's final series of pit stops under caution on lap
169. He held on to earn his second win of the season and in the process took over the
points lead for the first time in 2003 as the previous leader, veteran David Green, was relegated
to a dismal, 31st place finish after being spun out by Riggs early in the race and hitting the
outside retaining wall in turn four. Green finished 93 laps behind Vickers. Hamilton
Jr., second with Riggs third, Kasey Kahne fourth and Mike Bliss rounding out the top five.
With his eighth place finish, Jason's 14th such finish in 2003, Keller was able to move a few
points closer to the lead and now trails Vickers by 106 while remaining in fifth place. Riggs
and Ron Hornaday each moved up a spot in the standings to second and third and now trail Vickers by
32 and 61 points, respectively. Green dropped to fourth, 67 points out of the top spot.
"We just had a very loose race car at the start of the race, and by the time we made the changes
that helped, we found ourselves a lap down," Keller said after the race. "But the big thing
is that we improved the race car, and we had one of if the fastest cars on the track at the end of
the race, so that is very positive as we move on to the final seven races of the year," he added.
The Busch Series teams take another week off before heading out to Kansas City for the Mr. Goodcents
300 at Kansas Motor Speedway on Saturday, October 4. That race will be televised live on
NBC beginning at 2 p.m.EDT.