- Brad Keselowski made a late-race rally to score a sixth-place finish Sunday afternoon at Kansas Speedway. But despite claiming his 17th top-10 finish of the 2018 season, the driver of the Discount Tire Ford Fusion fell 18 points short in his quest to advance to the Round of 8 in the NASCAR Playoffs. Keselowski leaves Kansas 10th in the driver standings, 18 points behind ninth-place Ryan Blaney.
- During Stage 1, Keselowski had his hands full with a loose-handling Ford Fusion. On lap 62, during the first caution of the race, crew chief Paul Wolfe made the call for right-side tires only and adjustments. Keselowski was still loose after the race went green but he held on to score a 16th-place finish when the stage ended on lap 80.
- Although they came up short in their effort to keep their championship hopes alive, Keselowski and the team did everything in their power to advance. Crew chief Paul Wolfe twice long-pitted Keselowski in Stage 2 in an effort to gain track position, needing only a timely yellow flag to make the strategy work. Keselowski took the lead on lap 122 during a sequence of green flag stops and led until he was forced to pit on lap 138. The race ran caution free until the stage ended on lap 160 and Keselowski was credited with a 13th-place finish. He pitted during the stage caution on lap 163. Excellent work by the Discount Tire team moved Keselowski up to ninth-place when the race went green on lap 166.
- Wolfe tried the strategy again late in the race. Keselowski was eighth when a cycle of green flag stops began on lap 212. He kept Keselowski on the track 10 laps later than his completion (laps 214-223) hoping for a caution that would put Keselowski in position to contend for the victory. But race stayed green and Keselowski was shuffled back to tenth position when the cycle of stops was complete on lap 235.
- The good news was that the handling woes No. 2 Discount Tire Ford were gone. Keselowski began to slice his way through traffic. He was up to eighth-place by lap 248. He passed Joey Logano for seventh on lap 258 and two laps later moved by Ryan Blaney for sixth. Try as he might, Keselowski couldn’t climb further up the leaderboard over the final seven laps, crossing the finish line in sixth position.
“I would say about the end of that first stage it was pretty obvious that we needed something. We just weren’t as good today as we were yesterday and I am not sure why. Everyone else seemed to find a little from practice and we were about the same, maybe a little worse than we were in practice. I am proud of what we did down the stretch of the year, winning three races and all that. I feel like we can go win Martinsville next week so I am excited about that but of course the ultimate goal is to win a championship and we won’t have an opportunity to do that this year.”