No. 2 Discount Tire Ford Mustang – Brad Keselowski
Stage 1: 3rd
Stage 2: 4th
Laps Completed: 499/500
Laps Led: 40
Driver Point Standings (behind first): 5th (-90)
- A late-race penalty sidetracked Brad Keselowski’s chances for a possible victory Sunday afternoon at Bristol Motor Speedway. Keselowski was running second behind teammate Joey Logano when the 11th and final caution slowed the pace on lap 479. Crew chief Paul Wolfe made the call for right-side tires on lap 481, with Keselowski returning to the track in fifth position for the restart – or so he thought. NASCAR officials ruled that Keselowski lined up incorrectly for the restart, issuing a pass-thru penalty on lap 486. He served the penalty on lap 490, 10 laps from the finish of the 500-lap race. The process cost Keselowski a lap to the leaders and left him with an 18th-place finish.
- The bitter turn of events for the Discount Tire team spoiled an otherwise good afternoon. Keselowski started 12th but was running fourth as Stage 1 drew to a close. He pitted on lap 120 during the third caution, but speedy service on the pit lane put him fourth for the restart with two laps left in the opening segment. He finished fourth when Stage 1 concluded on lap 125 and didn’t pit during the stage caution, moving into the lead on lap 130.
- The driver of the Discount Tire Ford Mustang led the next 15 laps before settling into second-place behind teammate Joey Logano. Keselowski pitted under caution on lap 215 for four tires and restarted second when the race went green. He drifted back to fourth-place when Stage 2 concluded on lap 250, needing a longer run to run well. Keselowski pitted twice during the stage caution (once for four tires and once for a loose left-front lugs), shuffling him back to 18th for the restart on lap 261.
- Fortunately for the Discount Tire team, they got the long run they needed to make up the lost distance. Keselowski powered his way through traffic, climbing into the top-10 by lap 329. He was up to seventh-place when the eighth caution slowed the pace on lap 376. Keselowski got four tires on lap 378, restarted seventh when the race went green on lap 382.
- He was seventh when the caution waved on lap 414. Wolfe made the call for right-side tires when the pit lane opened, moving Keselowski up to fourth for the restart on lap 422. He patiently ran second behind Kyle Busch until he grabbed the lead on lap 445, holding the top spot until Logano wrestled it away on lap 470.
- The eleventh and final caution of the race set up one last round of stops on lap 481. Keselowski again got right-side tires and appeared to be fifth in line for the restart, but that wasn’t the case. The driver of the Discount Tire Ford did gain one position in the MENCS driver standings, moving up to fifth-place, 90 points behind the leader.
Quote: “Nobody could figure out the lineup. There wasn’t enough communication and it was just a tough deal.”
TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!