Track: Chicagoland Speedway
Race: Overton’s 400
Date: July 1, 2018
No. 2 Stars, Stripes and Lites Ford Fusion – Brad Keselowski
Stage 1: 6th
Stage 2: 6th
Laps Completed: 267/267
Laps Led: 16
Driver Point Standings (behind leader): 5th (-144)
- Brad Keselowski scored a ninth-place finish in the Overton’s 400 Sunday afternoon at Chicagoland Speedway. The driver of the Stars, Stripes, and Lites Ford Fusion collected his 10th top-10 finish of the season. He is fifth in the MENCS driver standings, 144 points behind the leader.
- Keselowski started seventh in the 267-lap, 400-mile race. He ran solidly among the top-five in the early laps of the event. Keselowski cycled into the race lead on lap 39 and led the next eight laps before making his scheduled stop on lap 46. Despite a loose-handling Ford Fusion, Keselowski worked his way back up to sixth position at the conclusion of Stage 1 on lap 80. He pitted during the stage caution on lap 83 for four tires and adjustments to give him more rear grip on the longer run and lined up fourth when Stage 2 took the green on lap 86.
- The driver of the Star, Stripes and Lites Ford Fusion ran inside the top-five during the early laps of second segment. Keselowski was up to third-place when he stopped for fuel and tires on lap 121 and cycled back to fourth when the sequence of stops was complete. The second caution slowed the race on lap 129 and one lap later Keselowski pitted for four tires and more adjustments. A mix of strategies shuffled him back to eighth for the restart on lap 132. Despite wrestling a tight-handling car, Keselowski worked his way up to sixth when Stage 2 concluded on lap 160. He pitted on lap 163 for fuel, tires, and adjustments and restarted fifth when the final stage began on lap 167.
- Keselowski was running fourth at the time of the fourth caution on lap 178. He radioed to crew chief Paul Wolfe that his car was best it had been all day so the team decided not to pit during the yellow. The move gave Keselowski the lead for the restart on lap 181 and held the top spot for the next four laps. Keselowski’s car became more of a handful as the laps ticked off. He was running sixth when the caution came out on lap 209, which gave him the chance to pit for tires and adjustments. Unfortunately, the No. 2 Ford Fusion was really tight during the closing laps of the race. In an effort to gain positions, Keselowski lightly grazed the wall (lap 218) and pushed his car sideways on traffic (lap 231) forcing him to settle for a ninth-place finish.
Quote: “We struggled with some stuff out there today. Struggled with a vibration and we struggled with grip. We were a little better, probably a fifth-place car today. I probably cost us a couple of spots but that is just the way it goes. I think we are the same as we have been. We can run fifth-to-tenth at the 1.5 mile tracks but we are behind the 78 (Martin Truex Jr.), the 18 (Kyle Busch) and the Stewart-Haas cars.”
TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!