No. 2 Discount Tire Ford Mustang – Brad Keselowski
Stage 1: 3rd
Stage 2: 9th
Finish: 1st (32nd-career NASCAR Cup Series victory)
Laps Completed: 500/500
Laps Led: 115
Point Standings (behind first): 4th (-55)
Brad Keselowski went from third to first with three laps to go to score his second NASCAR Cup Series victory of the 2020 season Sunday at Bristol Motor Speedway. Keselowski was running behind leaders Joey Logano and Chase Elliott when the they made contact in Turn 3. The driver of the Discount Tire Ford grabbed the lead with three laps to go and never looked back, officially taking the checkered flag by .471 seconds over second-place Clint Bowyer.
Keselowski drew the pole position and led the first 62 laps in the event before scoring a third-place finish when Stage 1 ended on lap 125. The driver of the No. 2 Mustang was good at the top of the track but was struggling with turning in the center on the bottom. He pitted on lap 130 for four tires and restarted fourth when the race went green on lap 136.
He finished ninth when Stage 2 ended on lap 250. Keselowski said he needed a longer run and for the track to come to him. A mix of pit strategies among the leaders shuffled the driver of the Discount Tire Ford Mustang back to 16th when the third and final stage went green on lap 261.
By lap 327, Keselowski has worked his way into the top-10 but got zapped by a speeding penalty after a four-tire stop under caution on lap 330, moving him back to 16th position.
On lap 460, crew chief Jeremy Bullins made the pit call that put his driver in position to win the race. He called Keselowski to pit road for a change of left-side tires. Keselowski restarted 12th three laps later and, armed with fresher tires, began his march to the front.
He was up to fourth-place when the 17th and final caution set up the final restart of the race on lap 495. Lined up in the preferred outside lane, Keselowski was in perfect position to avoid trouble when Logano and Elliott made contact, giving him the lead with three laps to go.
The victory was Keselowski’s second of the 2020 season and his 32nd in 386 NASCAR Cup Series races. He won for the third time in 21 Cup starts at Bristol Motor Speedway and jumps up to fourth-place in the NASCAR Cup Series driver standings.
Quotes: “We kind of got a Christmas present here in Bristol but we’ll take it. We’re in position and able to strike when it counted with the Discount Tire Ford Mustang. Joey and Chase got together there, and I don’t know what all caused it, but we were just in position to strike and here we are in victory lane. I wish I could celebrate with my team, but you know how everything is right now. There’s so much going on in the world I’m just so thankful to get to be a race car driver and get to do this.”
TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!