No. 2 Alliance Truck Parts Ford Mustang – Brad Keselowski
Stage 1: 5th
Stage 2: 12th
Laps Completed: 301/301
Laps Led: 12
Driver Point Standings (behind first): 5th (-120)
- Brad Keselowski scored a 10th-place finish in the Foxwoods Resort Casino 301 Sunday afternoon at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Keselowski claimed his 10th top-10 finish of the 2019 season and 12th top-10 effort in 19 starts at New Hampshire. The driver of the Alliance Truck Parts Ford Mustang is now fifth in the NASCAR Cup Series point standings, 120 points behind leader Joey Logano.
- Keselowski kicked off his weekend by winning the pole position at New Hampshire on Friday afternoon. He ripped off a lap of 27.927 seconds, 136.384 mph to win his first pole of the 2019 season, ending a 68-race drought dating back to Michigan in August 2017. Keselowski claimed his 15th career Cup Series pole position and his fourth in 19 starts at 1.058-mile New England superspeedway, his most at any track.
- Once the race started, Keselowski struggled with rear grip. He ran second behind leader Kyle Busch during the early laps of the race before taking the lead under green on lap 37. He led the next 11 laps before pitting under caution on lap 47 for four tires and adjustments. He returned to the track in third position for the restart on lap 50. But the adjustments to the No. 2 Mustang didn’t work as intended, leaving Keselowski once again needing rear grip, however, he overcame his handling woes to score a fifth-place finish when Stage 1 ended on lap 75. Crew chief Paul Wolfe made the call during the stage caution to pit for right-side tires and a wedge adjustment. The strategy moved Keselowski up to second for the restart on lap 82.
- Shortly after the race went green, the driver of the No. 2 Ford Mustang reported that he was still fighting the same issues with the car’s balance. The third caution on lap 111 gave Keselowski the opportunity to pit. He once again took right-side tires this time paired with a track bar adjustment and he lined up fifth for the restart on lap 116.
- Keselowski was running fifth at the time of fourth caution on lap 138 but told his team that the adjustments were making gains on his car’s balance. He pitted for four tires and no adjustments on lap 140 and was shuffled back to 13th for the restart thanks to different pit strategies among the leaders, scoring a 12th-place finish when Stage 2 ended on lap 150. Keselowski stayed out during the stage caution and was fourth when the race went green on lap 157.
- During the long green flag run that followed, Keselowski held firm to fourth position. On lap 215 the seventh caution set up a round of stops under the yellow and Keselowski pitted for four tires and fuel. Excellent work by the 2 crew moved Keselowski up to second-place for the restart on lap 218. He was running third when the ninth and final caution slowed the pace on lap 266. Wolfe made the call for right-side tires when Keselowski stopped on lap 266 and he restarted fifth on lap 272.
- The final 29 laps of the race ran green and nothing seemed to work in Keselowski’s favor. The chaotic restart on lap 273 shuffled him back to eighth position and as the race entered its closing laps he and Kyle Busch raced each other hard, with Busch edging Keselowski for ninth position at the checkered flag.
Quotes: “Not the result we wanted today with our Alliance Truck Parts Ford. We’ll regroup and bounce back strong next weekend at Pocono.”
TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!