No. 2 Miller Lite Ford Mustang – Brad Keselowski
Stage 1: 2nd
Stage 2: 14th
Laps Completed: 267/267
Laps Led: 0
Driver Point Standings (behind first): 3rd (-67)
- Brad Keselowski saved his best for last Sunday evening at Chicagoland Speedway and was rewarded with a fifth-place finish in the Camping World 400. Keselowski claimed his seventh top-five of the 2019 season. He racked up his ninth consecutive top-10 at Chicagoland, a streak that dates back to 2011, pushing his average finish in 11 races at the track to 8.8. Keselowski gained a position in the NASCAR Cup Series point standings, moving up to third, 67 points behind leader Joey Logano.
- The race was delayed by lightning and rain for over three hours after just 12 laps but restarted at 5:30 p.m. CT. Keselowski and the Miller Lite team struggled to find the correct balance on their No. 2 Mustang throughout the event. The driver of the Miller Lite Ford started 12th and battled a loose condition for much of the first segment. Crew chief Paul Wolfe called his driver to pit road for a scheduled green flag stop on lap 52, early in the pit cycle. The strategy worked, as Keselowski roared through the field to claim second-place when the stage ended on lap 80. He pitted during the stage caution on lap 82 for four tires and adjustments. He restarted ninth when the race went green on lap 85.
- As the laps ticked off in Stage 2, Keselowski’s Mustang was still a handful, now being too tight on corner exit, especially off Turn 2. He was running 13th at the time of the third caution on lap 104 and pitted one lap later for four tires and air pressure adjustments. Keselowski restarted 13th on lap 108 and once again struggled to make his way forward. The No. 2 Mustang was still tight off the corners but was now also sliding the back of the car through Turns 1 and 2. The end result was a 14th-place finish when Stage 2 concluded on lap 160. Wolfe made a track bar and air pressure adjustments when Keselowski pitted during the stage caution on lap 163. He lined up 14th when the race went green on lap 166.
- Early in Stage 3 Keselowski said he was too loose on corner entry and too tight off but as the laps ticked away he began working his way through traffic. By lap 179 he was inside the top-10 and had just worked his way up to fifth position when the final round of pit stops began under green on lap 217. Keselowski pitted on lap 219 for four tires and was holding firm to fifth when the cycle was complete on lap 226. Try as a he might over the final 41 laps, Keselowski couldn’t closer to the front, crossing the finish line fifth when the checkered flag waved.
Quotes: “We dug really hard at the end. We had a good run at the end and made a lot of passes and made a lot of ground with some good strategy on pit road and good execution by the Miller Lite team. It wasn’t quite enough speed to run with them. We had some real good glimpses of having what it takes but it wasn’t long enough. It was a struggle all day. We couldn’t get a handle on it. We got our best at the end which is certainly what matters. We will take it and learn from it and move on.”
TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!