June 14, 2010 10:42 AM

Strong Finish for Braun and No.16 Con-way Freight Team

Sparta, Ky. (June 12, 2010) – In his return to the No. 16 Con-way Freight Ford Colin Braun qualified 13th for the Meijer 300 at Kentucky Speedway.  Braun and the team unloaded a very fast race car at the start of the weekend and raced in the top-15 for most of the event.  After surviving five cautions in the last 55 laps and impending inclement weather, Braun went on to finish 10th, his second top-10 finish in as many races.  He was also the Raybestos Rookie of the Race. 

By the competition caution, thrown on lap 21, Braun was running in the 12th position and radioed to crew chief Ben Leslie that his car was tight off of the corner.  He brought his car to pit road and the team made quick adjustments, adding fuel and changing four tires.  Braun restarted 22nd as pit strategy varied through the field, some teams taking only two tires.  After the adjustment, Braun continued running in the top-15, moving up as high as 13th by lap 79.  Continuing to battle a tight handling race car, Braun brought the Con-way Freight Ford to pit road for further adjustments.  While he quickly moved to the 11th spot after the restart, Braun radioed to say the car was now very free into the corners. 

In a last minute decision, Leslie called his driver down pit road for one last try at finding the correct balance for Braun to get to the finish.  After a two tire and fuel stop, Braun restarted in 16th on lap 137.  Before he could get his car up to speed, the caution flag was shown after the lead cars bunched up on the restart.  Braun went on to endure four more caution periods before the checkered flag was shown, very narrowly missing an accident involving teammate Paul Menard as well as close four-wide racing on lap 176. 

With ten laps remaining, Braun was in 11th position and chasing down the No. 99 of Trevor Bayne for 10th.  On lap 197, Braun successfully made the pass to earn his second consecutive top-10 finish in the Con-way Freight Ford. 

“What a great night for this team,” Braun said after the race.  “We unloaded very fast this weekend and it was great to get a good finish to back it up.  Ben (Leslie, crew chief) made some great calls and my spotter was really on top of things tonight as well, helping navigate me through some of those late race accidents.  My crew had some awesome stops too and so this really was a team effort.  I’m thrilled to be able to have this kind of momentum heading to Road America next weekend and hopefully we can keep this top-10 streak going.”

Joey Logano won his third consecutive Kentucky race from the pole, followed by Roush Fenway Racing teammate Carl Edwards, Brad Keselowski, Brendan Gaughan and Reed Sorenson.  Braun was the Raybestos Rookie of the Race and is currently third in the rookie of the year standings.  The Nationwide Series travels to Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin for the inaugural Bucyrus 200 and the series’ first road course race of the season.  

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