SPARTA, KY – This was the year that Brad Keselowski was supposed to win the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at the Kentucky Speedway. The Team Penske driver won in 2012, 2014, 2016 and….Keselowski, qualified up front and had his sights set on a fourth victory in eight tries on the 1.5-mile track. Instead, his top five finish in his No. 2 Ford was like a win.
Keselowski, came home third in Saturday night’s Quaker State 400 for his first top 10 effort in over a month. His last one came in early June at the Pocono Raceway via a fifth place run that day.
While he hasn’t been terrible since, five top 10’s now over his last seven starts on the season, to come away with a top five with the way his night started is an accomplishment to he and his crew.
Keselowski, started off running really well and even was battling for the lead exiting pit road on his first pit sequence. On track, while he was passing Martin Truex Jr. for the top spot, he was called back down pit road for speeding while exiting.
That costly mistake took him from the lead to the last car on the lead lap. They’d rally for a top five and can thank a pit call after the completion of the second stage for that. Crew Chief Paul Wolfe called for two tires on his stop which propelled him from 14th to the lead on that stop. He’d then remain up front the rest of the way as that call helped him get his valuable track position back and he’d try his hardest not to lose it again.
When JJ Yeley brought out the Lap 206 yellow, that put Keselowski back up on the same sequence with the same strategy as the leaders. It was game on from there.