The longest race of the NASCAR season, the 400-mile Coca-Cola 600 turned out to be the shortest for Brad Keselowski and the No. 2 Miller Lite Ford Fusion team.
Caught in an oil slick with two broken cars in front of him just 19 laps in at Charlotte Motor Speedway, the Michigan native was sent home early in a season-worst P39.
“We had a really fast Miller Lite Ford and I think we had a shot at winning tonight, but that’s how it goes,” Brad said after leaving the infield care center injury-free.
Kicking off in 10th place, BK jumped up to eighth on lap 3, passing both Clint Bowyer and Denny Hamlin. Passing Martin Truex Jr. three laps later, and trading the spot back on lap 17 was the last memorable moment of the Coke 600.
The first caution flew on lap 20 when Jeffrey Earnhardt’s motor blew, casting a solid chunk of metal off his engine block and onto the 1.5-mile quad oval surface. Coincidentally, the block landed right in front of the No. 24 of Chase Elliott, instantly piercing his radiator and detonating his motor, leaving an oil trail—and nowhere for the trailing Miller Lite Ford.
“Somebody broke and there was just oil everywhere and I couldn’t turn,” Kes said. “I ran into the back of Chase. Somebody broke in front of him, then he ran over what they broke, and then he broke, so there were two cars broken in front of me and just oil everywhere. You couldn’t stop and turn. You couldn’t do anything. It’s a real bummer for our team.”
The Red, White and Blue Deuce slid through the oil and smashed into the back of the No. 24, leaving far too much damage for the 2 Crew to repair within the 5:00 crash clock.
While the finish was disappointing, the outright speed of the Deuce was promising. After three straight weeks on 1.5-mile tracks, the Monster Energy Cup tour heads to Dover International Speedway for the AAA 400 Drive for Autism airing live on FOX Sports 1 at 1 p.m. ET, on Sunday, June 4.