No. 2 Western Star/Alliance Parts Ford Mustang – Brad Keselowski
Stage 1: 8th
Stage 2: 15th
Laps Completed: 130/130
Laps Led: 0
Point Standings (behind first): 5th (-62)
Brad Keselowski made a late rally to grab a ninth-place finish in the Pocono Organics 325 Saturday afternoon at Pocono Raceway. The driver of the Western Star/Alliance Parts Ford Mustang produced his 10th top-10 finish of the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series season and his 13th top-10 in 21 career Cup Series races at the 2.5-mile Pennsylvania speedway. Keselowski is now fifth in the Cup Series driver standings, 62 points behind leader Kevin Harvick.
The start of the race was delayed by a rain shower, pushing the green flag back by nearly 90 minutes. Keselowski scored an eighth-place finish when Stage 1 concluded on lap 25 as he told his team the No. 2 Ford Mustang was running loose off of Turn 1. Keselowski pitted during the stage caution on lap 27 for four tires and a wedge adjustment and he restarted 26th when the race returned to the green flag on lap 30.
In Stage 2, Keselowski steadily worked his way up the running order. He liked the adjustments that crew chief Jeremy Bullins and the team put in place and he was running in the sixth position by when a caution slowed the pace on lap 65. The No. 2 Mustang visited pit lane for four tires during the yellow flag and Keselowski took the green flag in 14th position when the race restarted on lap 69, just eight laps from the finish of Stage 2. Keselowski was scored in 15th place when Stage 2 concluded on lap 77. He stayed on track during the stage caution and restarted 13th when the green flag waved to resume racing action on lap 82.
Keselowski was running 17th when he made his final scheduled pit stop for right-side tires and fuel under the green flag on lap 91. Over the final the 39 laps of the race, the Western Star/Alliance Parts Ford Mustang came to life and Keselowski used his speed on the long run to march back toward the front. He moved inside the top-10 on lap 123 and passed Matt Kenseth with two laps remaining to secure a ninth-place finish.
Quotes: “We didn’t start where we wanted to but we adjusted really well and I thought by the end we were one of the best cars. It was incredibly difficult to pass. I caught cars that I was a second faster than and then I just couldn’t pass. It was a big track position day. I think you saw that with the guys that started up front all finished up front. We tried to make some moves to make some passes and probably caught ourselves some spots. If we rode around all day we would have maybe got two or three more spots out of it. I appreciate the fact that my team has a lot of effort and was shooting for the stars.”
TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!