No. 2 PPG Ford – Brad Keselowski
Stage 1: 22nd
Stage 2: 12th
Laps Completed: 500/500
Laps Led: 5
Point Standings (behind first): 5th (-72)
For the second-consecutive race, Brad Keselowski rallied from deep in the field to score a solid finish and make up points in the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series season. Keselowski lost a lap early in the 500-lap event on Wednesday night at Martinsville Speedway, only to finish third, his fifth top-five result of the 2020 season. The driver of the PPG Ford Mustang claimed his 10th top-five in 21 races at the .526-mile Virginia speedway. He now sits fifth in the NASCAR Cup Series driver standings, 72 points behind leader Kevin Harvick.
Keselowski started sixth, but fell a lap down and outside the top 30 before the race reached the 50-lap mark, with what he thought was a flat tire. He made two pit stops during Stage 1 and was about claw his way back onto the lead lap when the first segment ended on lap 130. Keselowski pitted during the stage caution on lap 135 and restarted 22nd when the race went green on lap 140.
During Stage 2, Keselowski steadily worked his way through traffic and finished 12th before pitting during the stage caution on lap 260 for four tires and air pressure adjustment. Good work by the PPG pit crew moved him up to ninth-place for the restart on lap 271.
Keselowski continued to work his way forward during the next green flag run, climbing up to second-place at the time of the sixth caution on lap 327. The 2 Crew held serve on the round of pit stops that followed. Keselowski restarted second on lap 332. He grabbed the lead from teammate Joey Logano on lap 365 and led the next five laps before Martin Truex Jr. took the lead from him on lap 370.
From there, Keselowski wasn’t able to mount another challenge for the lead. He restarted second following the seventh and final caution on lap 403. He briefly fell back to fourth position but passed Logano and Chase Elliott to move up to second with 54 laps to go. Ten laps later teammate Ryan Blaney slipped by, dropping Keselowski to third.
Quotes: Yeah, decent finish for us. We ended up third. I felt like we had a pretty good car. Had a rough start there. Started in the outside lane. I guess with the track not having any rubber, when you started on the outside lane, the tire completely blistered and corded. Unfortunately I didn’t get any stage points, but rallied to get up to the lead there about 150 to go. Wasn’t quite good enough to hold off the 19. He was super, super strong.”
TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!