Sunday, June 15, 2014

Brad Keselowski finds tire changer on Penske NASCAR Nationwide team

Hunter Masling at MIS
Hunter Masling thought the text message from Brad Keselowski was a joke.
“I thought it was somebody messing with me,” the NASCAR front-tire changer said.
Indeed, Keselowski sent the text. The driver of the No. 2 Penske Racing Ford wondered if Masling would be on the pit crew for his Sprint Cup car.
Masling had been working as the front-tire changer for the No. 22 Penske car in the Nationwide Series.
Following the Memorial Day weekend race at Charlotte, where Keselowski finished 10th, the Rochester Hills native sought to change his pit lineup.
So he texted Masling. Masling said yes.
“It’s a lot different,” Masling said.
Masling has worked on the No. 22 Nationwide crew all season.
The Louisiana native made his third Sprint Cup start with Keselowski at Michigan International Speedway on Sunday.
In Masling’s first two races, the No. 2 car had back-to-back runner-up finishes.
“That was just a coincidence,” Masling said with a smile. “It’s fun.”
Last year, in order to get Cup experience, a Penske pit coach “farmed out” Masling to the No. 93 Sprint Cup car driven by Travis Kvapil.
“It’s a whole different level (with Keselowski),” Masling said, noting that he now pits for a Sprint Cup championship contender.
“You don’t want to make a mistake,” he said. “If you do, you want it to be a minute one.
“I’ve got to keep doing what got me here.”
Next weekend, Masling pulls “double duty.”
He’ll pit for the No. 22 during the Nationwide race at the Road America course in Wisconsin on Saturday afternoon, and then go by team plane to California for a road-course race in Sonoma, Calif.
“It shouldn’t be too bad,” he said of the itinerary.

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November 5, 2014 at 8:35 PM 

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