No. 2 Autotrader Ford Mustang – Brad Keselowski
Stage 1: 28th
Stage 2: 6th
Laps Completed: 90/90
Laps Led: 0
Driver Point Standings (behind first): 6th (-123)
- Brad Keselowski scored a ninth-place finish in the Go Bowling at The Glen Sunday afternoon at Watkins Glen International. Keselowski claimed his 12th top-10 finish of the 2019 and his sixth in 10 start at the New York State road course. He remains sixth in NASCAR Cup Series point standings, 25 points behind fifth-place Martin Truex Jr. and trails leader Kyle Busch by 123.
- Keselowski earned the 10th-place starting position during qualifying on Saturday evening. The driver of the Autotrader Ford Mustang fell in line eighth on the initial start. He ran there until he made a scheduled green flag pit stop on lap 17, taking four tires and a wedge adjustment. Keselowski needed rear grip everywhere except for the center of Turn 2 where his Mustang was too tight. He was credited with a 28th-place finish when Stage 1 ended on lap 20. Crew chief Paul Wolfe called his driver to the pit lane during the stage caution on lap 22 for a splash of fuel and lined up seventh for the restart on lap 24.
- Keselowski ran among the top-10 throughout Stage 2 despite struggling at the exit of Turn 1. He benefitted from two late cautions and a good restart on lap 36 in the segment to score a sixth-place finish. A spin by Bubba Wallace forced Stage 2 to finish under caution. Keselowski did not pit during the stage caution, keeping track position for the start of the final stage on lap 43.
- He briefly ran inside the top-five after the green flag but was sixth when he pitted under green on lap 58. Wolfe made the call for four tires and Keselowski was sixth when the pit cycle was complete. The fourth and final caution on lap 63 set up a 25-lap run to the finish when the green flag waved on lap 65 with Keselowski, who didn’t pit, in sixth position.
- The final stretch of green flag racing didn’t work to Keselowski’s advantage. He was involved in a spirited battle with Matt DiBenedetto for seventh before finally yielding the position on lap 86 of the 90-lap event. One lap later Kyle Larson found a way past, but Keselowski held off Kurt Busch over the final two laps to claim a ninth-place finish.
Quotes: “Our Autotrader Ford was a fifth to tenth-place kind of car all weekend and we ended up ninth. I thought we could have been a little bit better at the end if I would have done a few things different, but nowhere near the speed we needed to run with the Gibbs cars or the 9 car (Chase Elliott), so we made the most of the weekend with what we had.”
TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!