Team Penske Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Race Report
Track: Michigan International Speedway
Race: Consumers Energy 400
Date: August 12, 2018
No. 2 Discount Tire Ford Fusion – Brad Keselowski
Stage 1: 9th
Stage 2: 9th
Laps Completed: 200/200
Laps Led: 0
Driver Point Standings (behind leader): 7th (-277)
- Brad Keselowski rebounded from a loose to score a second-place finish in the Consumers Energy 400 Sunday afternoon at Michigan International Speedway. The driver of the No. 2 Discount Tire Ford Fusion grabbed his sixth top-five and equaled his best finish of the season. Keselowski also matched his best finish at Michigan which came in the August race in 2012. He is seventh in the MENCS driver standings, 277 points behind the leader.
- Keselowski qualified 18th in the 200-lap, 400-mile race. He steadily worked his way through traffic and into the top-10 by the conclusion of Stage 1 on lap 60. His No. 2 Ford Fusion was consistently loose on corner entry throughout the run and tight in the center of the corners. Crew chief Paul Wolfe made the call for right-side tires only during the competition caution on lap 27. Keselowski restarted 12th on lap 29 and worked his way up to ninth-place over the next 31 laps. During the stage caution, Keselowski pitted on lap 63 for four tires and adjustments and restarted ninth when the race went green on lap 66.
- On lap 74 Keselowski reported that he felt a loose wheel. Two laps later the fifth caution slowed the race, giving the Discount Tire team the opportunity to pit. He made a four-tire stop for tires and fuel on lap 76 and restarted 21st when the race restarted on lap 79. Once again Keselowski sliced his way through traffic, climbing into the top-10 by lap 92 and scoring a ninth-place finish when Stage 2 ended on lap 120. He pitted during the stage caution on lap 123 for four tires and adjustments when lined up 10th for the restart on lap 126.
- Keselowski used a good restart at the beginning of Stage 3 to pick up three positions in one green flag lap. He did the same thing on the restart following the sixth and final caution on lap 143, this time moving up to third position. He said his car was too tight in the center and loose off but he kept the leaders in sight. On lap 171, Wolfe called his driver to pit road for his final stop under green for four tires. When the cycle of green flag stops was complete on lap 184, Keselowski was in third and in hot pursuit of second-place Austin Dillon. He chased Dillon down and passed his rival for the position with two laps to go.
Quote: “It’s nice to just be able to have a mostly clean race and to be able to kind of get the finish we deserve. It’s important to get what you have out of your car, and although we might not have race‑winning speed, you still need to execute. So with that in mind, that’s good for everybody’s morale at Team Penske and on the Discount Tire team. Of course, we want to break through and win. We’re not where we need to be to just win on pure speed against those guys week in and week out. We’ve just got to find it. As a team, we have to find that little bit of performance. We know it’s possible, and it’s up to us to make it happen.”
TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!