No. 2 Miller Lite Ford Mustang – Brad Keselowski
Stage 1: 6th
Stage 2: 9th
Laps Completed: 312/312
Laps Led: 3
Driver Point Standings (behind first): 8th (-2701)
- Brad Keselowski fought off a late-race mechanical gremlin to score a 10th-place finish Sunday afternoon at ISM Raceway. The driver of the Miller Lite Holiday Knitwear Ford Mustang claimed his 19th top-10 finish of the 2019 season and 10th at the one-mile oval. Keselowski enters the final race of the 2019 season eighth in the NASCAR Cup Series point standings, four behind seventh-place Ryan Blaney and 29 ahead of ninth-place William Byron.
- Keselowski started 12th in the 312-lap event. For much of Stage 1, the driver of the No. 2 Ford Mustang held firm to 11th-place in the running order. The first caution of the race on lap 68 set up a round of pit stops among the leaders, but crew chief Paul Wolfe made the call to keep his driver on the track. Keselowski took the lead on lap 70 and scored a sixth-place finish when the segment ended on lap 75. He pitted on lap 79 for four tires and an air pressure adjustment and lined up in 17th position when the race went green on lap 82.
- Stage 2 ran caution-free and Keselowski steadily worked his way through traffic to score a ninth-place finish when the segment ended on lap 150. Throughout the run Keselowski ran lap times comparable to the leaders but just needed track position to contend. He pitted during the stage caution for four tires and restarted 10th when the race went green on lap 159.
- Keselowski worked his way up to seventh-place when a cycle of green flag pit stops began on lap 240. He made his scheduled pit stop for four tires on lap 246 and when he returned to the track, he radioed his team that he thought he was down a cylinder. As the laps ticked off, he thought it might be loose plug wire.
- But despite the loss of power, Keselowski stayed among the top-10. As the run went on, the lap times between himself and those he was racing for position evened out and he kept pace. The fifth and final caution on lap 304 set up one final crazy restart with four laps to go. He survived the intense three-wide racing to claim a top-10 finish.
Quotes: “I don’t know if I had anything for the 11 (Denny Hamlin) or 18 (Kyle Busch). I didn’t really get a chance to run around them on equal tires, but I felt like we were a top three or four car at least and lost a cylinder at the end. I felt lucky to bring home 10th. The tracks where tires fall off and the short tracks the Gibbs cars have been lights out, so we certainly have some room to be better and hopefully we can show it at Homestead.”
TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!