Track: Dover International Speedway
Race: Gander Outdoors 400
Date: October 7, 2018
No. 2 Wurth Ford Fusion – Brad Keselowski
Stage 1: 6th
Stage 2: 10th
Laps Completed: 404/404
Laps Led: 8
Playoff Standings (behind first): 7th (-47)
- Brad Keselowski’s chances for a top-five finish at Dover International Speedway were derailed in the closing miles of the race, leaving Keselowski with a 14th-place finish in the final rundown. The driver of the Wurth Ford Fusion is seventh in the MENCS driver standings, 47 points behind the leader and 21 ahead of the ninth-place cutoff position.
- A gutsy pit call by crew chief Paul Wolfe late in the race put Keselowski in the lead and gave him a chance to challenge for the victory. Keselowski was running fifth at the time of the third caution on lap 340. Two laps later Keselowski pitted for right-side tires and fuel, giving him the lead on lap 342. When the race went green, Keselowski settled into third-place and was racing Chase Elliott for the position when the final caution of the race waved on lap 393. Neither Elliott nor Keselowski pitted during the caution, moving them to the front row for the restart in lap 396, with Keselowski on the inside lane.
- As the field came off Turn 2, Keselowski was side-by-side with Aric Almirola in a tight battle for third-place. Almirola bounced off the outside wall and into the right-rear of the Wurth Ford, turning Keselowski sideways and into the path of Martin Truex Jr. and Alex Bowman. Despite the damage, Keselowski finished on the lead lap.
- The bitter turn of events in the closing laps of the race spoiled an otherwise solid run by Keselowski and the No. 2 team at Dover. He started fourth and scored a sixth-place finish in Stage 1, a 120-lap segment, despite struggling to turn in the center of the corners. He was loose early in Stage 2 and tight late in the segment but scored a 10th-place finish when the segment ended on lap 240.
- Wolfe made more adjustments and improved the handling of Keselowski’s No. 2 Ford Fusion in the third and final stage. Keselowski ran among the top-five for much of Stage 3 and was in fifth position when the caution waved with just 61 laps to go.
Quote: “I thought we had a shot at a top three or four with our Wurth Ford Fusion. I was pretty confident they would wreck; I was just hoping we were going to be in front and I think I was about a foot from being in front of it. I felt like we were going to have a really great day to stay ahead of the cutoff, but we didn’t. I feel really good about next week in Talladega. We’ll see what we can do there and see how it goes.”
TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!