Restart penalty squelches Keselowski's winning chances

Reid Spencer - NASCAR Wire Service Monday, Sep 28 1534
On Lap 243 of Sunday’s race, NASCAR black-flagged Brad Keselowski’s No. 2 Team Penske Ford for jumping a restart.

Keselowski had edged ahead in the restart zone but had settled into second place behind race leader Greg Biffle, who had control of the restart coming to the green flag.

The resulting pass-through penalty dropped Keselowski well back in the field, but he remained on the lead lap and raced his way back to 12th place, thanks to his own skill and fuel shortfalls that beset other drivers late in the race.

Keselowski leaves New Hampshire eighth in the standings, 15 points ahead of Dale Earnhardt Jr. in 12th.

“I got the chance to do something again for the first time—the first person to ever be penalized for jumping a restart when I didn’t pass anyone,” Keselowski said after the race. “So that’s a new one, but we moved on, and we made the most of a good day with the Miller Lite Ford and got a solid finish that hopefully will make our Dover a little bit easier, so that was good.”

Restarts have been a particular point of emphasis with NASCAR and its drivers of late, leading to the positioning of additional cameras and an official to monitor the restart zone.

“We looked at all the data available to us, all the video,” said series director Richard Buck. “We have the senior official on the ground. We made sure the rules are very clear to everybody, especially in the last couple drivers meetings, to be sure we had everybody informed.

“It was very clear-cut in our mind based on the video we had, the different angles that we had. By having the individual on the ground directly across from the restart box, they can really get a good understanding and allow us to feel 100 percent that we stamped it with a very good decision.”