#3 Best Duel Moment – Brian Keselowski Makes the 2011 Daytona 500

Brian Keselowski's car awaits the start of the 2011 Daytona 500 Photo - Kyle Magda

Brian Keselowski’s car awaits the start of the 2011 Daytona 500
Photo – Kyle Magda

Brian Keselowski was a long shot to make it into the 2011 Daytona 500.

He and his No. 92 team posted the slowest qualifying speed on pole day and the team had a lot of work ahead of them. Keselowski started 24th in the second Gatorade Duel, the last position in the field.  His brother Brad was competing in the same duel.

Brian ran in the back for most of the race.

A popular way of racing during 2011 Speedweeks was the new tandem draft, when two cars would hook up and push each other around the track.

With 21 laps remaining, Brad got a bump from Todd Bodine and sent the No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge spinning. This forced Brad to come to pit road to fix some damage and start in the back on the ensuing restart. He happened to find his brother and the two stormed their way to the front.

With Brad’s help, Brian made the Daytona 500 by securing the second transfer spot with a fifth-place finish. After failing to make a race in three tries in 2010, Brian Keselowski finally made his Sprint Cup Series début in the 2011 Daytona 500.

A few days after the Duels, Brian received funding from Discount Tire, who came on as a sponsor for the No. 92 Dodge.

Brian started 12th in the Daytona 500, but the “Big One” took him out on lap 28, relegating him to a 41st place finish.

2011 Gatorade Duel #2 Top Ten

#31 Jeff Burton (won by. 005 seconds)

#33 Clint Bowyer

#15 Michael Waltrip (got first transfer spot)

#18 Kyle Busch

#92 Brian Keselowski (grabbed second transfer spot)

#1 Jamie McMurray

#2 Brad Keselowski (helped his brother make the Daytona 500)

#11 Denny Hamlin

#56 Martin Truex Jr.

#99 Carl Edwards (finished second in the 2011 Daytona 500)