No. 2 Miller Lite Ford Mustang – Brad Keselowski
Stage 1: 1st
Stage 2: 1st
Stage 3: 14th
Laps Completed: 398/400
Laps Led: 76
Driver Point Standings (behind first): 5th (-69)
- A late-race brush with the wall and spin derailed Brad Keselowski’s chances for a solid finish in Sunday night’s Coca-Cola 600. Keselowski was running eighth when he brushed against the wall on lap 385 of the 400-lap, 600-mile race at Charlotte Motor Speedway. On lap 392, just eight laps from the finish, Keselowski spun off Turn 4, bringing out the 16th and final caution. He made multiple pit stops for repairs during the yellow but returned to the track to collect a 19th-place finish. The driver of the Miller Lite Ford is fifth in the NASCAR Cup Series point standings, 69 points behind leader Kyle Busch.
- Keselowski started 21st in the Coca-Cola 600 and steadily worked his way through traffic during Stage 1. He climbed into the top-10 by lap 36, saying that his Miller Lite Ford was so much better than last week in the All-Star race. He avoided all five cautions that slowed the segment and beat Kevin Harvick in a five-lap dash to win Stage 1. He stayed out on the track during the stage caution and restarted in the lead when the race went green on lap 107.
- The driver of the No. 2 Ford Mustang briefly dropped to third at the beginning of Stage 2, but rallied back to take the lead from teammate Ryan Blaney on lap 134. He led the next 29 laps before pitted on lap 163 during the eighth caution. Keselowski grabbed the led from William Bryon on lap 168 and led until lap 189. He pitted one lap later for four tires and adjustments and restarted 11th for the final eight-lap sprint to end the stage. Keselowski quickly motored his way through the field, grabbing the lead from Alex Bowman with two laps left to win Stage 2. His stage wins earned Keselowski two valuable playoff points.
- The complexion of the race for the Miller Lite team changed when Keselowski pitted during the stage caution on lap 204. A possible loose wheel forced his back to pit road before the race went green, shuffling Keselowski back to 11th-place for the restart on lap 208. The extra stop forced the team to put on a set of scuffed tires during their next stop on lap 253.Keselowski had his hands full for the remainder of the segment with a Ford Mustang that was too tight in traffic. He finished when Stage 3 concluded on lap 300. He made a stop for four tires on lap 303 and lined up 13th when the final stage went green on lap 307.
- Keselowski clawed his way back into contention during the final segment of the race, surging up to fifth-place by lap 329. But on lap 354, he said he felt “a big push” and pitted under green one lap later, for four tires. On lap 361 the 15th caution came out, putting Keselowski a lap down. But fortunately he was first car one-lap down and received the free pass back onto the lead lap. Keselowski pitted for four tires under the yellow and lined up 16th when the race went green on lap 365.
- Keselowski was up to eighth position when he tagged the wall on lap 385. The contact led to a cut right-rear tire, which triggered his spin on lap 392, wiping away any hopes for a good finish.
Quotes: “We had power steering issues and I got into the wall late in the race. A few laps later I cut the right-rear tire and spun. That pretty much ended our night.”
TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!