- Brad Keselowski started fifth in the 400-lap event and faced adversity early in the race. He wrestled a loose handling Stars, Stripes and Lites Ford during Stage 1 and lost track position when he missed his pit stall during a sequence of stops under caution on lap 85. In an effort score stage points, he remained on the track for the final 12 laps of the segment but was no match for those on fresher tires, finishing Stage 1 in 26th position.
- Neither Keselowski’s luck nor his car’s handling improved in Stage 2. His car continued to be a handful, especially on corner exit, and the team was forced to make an extra pit stop under caution on lap 117 for loose lug nuts. As the stage drew to a close, Keselowski went a lap down but finished the segment as the first car a lap down, earning him a free pass back on the lead lap. He made a four tire stop plus adjustments on lap 204 and lined up 15th when the Stage 3 began on lap 208.
- The third segment of the race saw Keselowski’s fortunes begin to turn. The handling on the No. 2 Ford improved. He was eighth on lap 274 when the ninth caution slowed the pace. Most of the leader stayed out during the yellow but crew chief Paul Wolfe made the call for a four-tire stop on lap 275. Thanks to the fresh tires, Keselowski rallied through the field and finished third in Stage 3. He pitted again during the stage break on lap 303 and restarted second when the final 100 lap segment began on lap 308.
- Armed with track position and clean air, Keselowski maintained a strong presence inside the top-five. He ran as high as second-place during the final segment before settling into third position on lap 366. On lap 382, he slipped back to fourth after battling Denny Hamlin for position but held firm to the spot over the final 18 laps.
- Keselowski’s seesaw night in the Coca-Cola 600 ended on a positive note. He overcame a handful of difficulties to score a fourth-place finish Sunday night at CMS, his third top five and seventh top-10 finish of the season.
“I thought the 78 (Martin Truex Jr.) was really strong. He and the 18 (Kyle Busch) were probably pretty close. They were just in another league. I ran as hard as I could tonight and the team did a great job the last few stops to put us in a position and that was just kind of what we had. We’ll go back to the drawing board and try to find some more speed. If we keep this execution that we had tonight, then we’ll get some wins, but we’ve got to have more speed.”
MAY 27, 2018 . CHARLOTTE MOTOR SPEEDWAY
CAR: NO. 2 MILLER LITE FORD FUSION
Leave A Comment