No. 2 Western Star/Alliance Parts Ford Mustang – Brad Keselowski
Stage 1: 5th
Stage 2: 1st
Laps Completed: 140/140
Laps Led: 13
Point Standings (behind first): 3rd (-67)
Brad Keselowski grabbed his third stage win of the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series season on the way to an 11th-place finish Sunday afternoon at Pocono Raceway. The driver of the Western Star/Alliance Parts Ford was running third with four laps to go when he was forced to pit for fuel. Keselowski is third in the NASCAR Cup Series driver standings, 67 points behind leader Kevin Harvick.
Rain and lightning delays hampered the start of the 140-lap, 350-mile race. The race went green in earnest just after 6:00 p.m. ET – nearly 90 minutes after the scheduled start. Keselowski said his No. 2 Mustang was excellent during Stage 1 especially in clean air and he scored a fifth-place finish when the segment ended on lap 30. He didn’t pit during the stage caution and restarted third when the race went green on lap 35.
In Stage 2, Keselowski stretched his fuel mileage to perfection and was rewarded with a stage win. He picked his way through four cautions and survived a green-white-checkered dash to the finish to win. Keselowski dove under Aric Almirola on the restart to grab the lead on lap 84 and scampered away over the next lap to claim the stage victory. Keselowski remained on the track during the stage caution and led until he pitted under green for four tires and fuel on lap 95.
The final 45 laps ran caution free. Keselowski sliced his way through the field as those around him began to make scheduled pit stops on lap 110. He returned to the top-10 by 116 and settled into third position behind Denny Hamlin and Kevin Harvick by lap 126. Unfortunately, Keselowski couldn’t make it to the end of the race. He stopped on lap 136 for a splash of fuel, which shuffled him back to 11th-position and he didn’t get closer to the front before the race ended four laps later.
Quotes: “I’m happy we got our Western Star/Alliance Parts Ford Mustang so fast today. We were in position all day long. Jeremy (Bullins, crew chief) and all the guys on the team did a great job. We won a stage and got a Playoff point and that’s something I’m happy about.”
TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!