Brad Keselowski was dicing for positions at the front of the lead draft in Monday evening’s Daytona 500 when he and Aric Almirola made contact, triggering a pileup that collected 19 cars. Keselowski was credited with a 36th-place finish in the final rundown and is 30th in the NASCAR Cup Series driver standings.
A heavy rain after just 20 laps forced the race to be postponed until Monday afternoon, with Keselowski sixth in the running order. When the race resumed, he pitted for fuel on lap 23 and took the lead on lap 25 when the leaders ahead of him pitted for a splash of fuel before the race went green. Keselowski led eight of the next 10 laps before conserving fuel in an effort to make it to the end of Stage 1. The driver of the Discount Tire Ford was 15th when the second caution of the race was displayed on lap 60. Keselowski pitted one lap later for four tires and fuel and gained three positions over the final two green flag laps to finish 11th when the segment ended on lap 65. He pitted for fuel only on lap 67 and restarted eighth when the race went green on lap 71.
In Stage 2, Keselowski struggled to get back to the front of the pack. He briefly ran inside the top-five but was shuffled back to the ninth position in the draft when the fourth caution slowed the pace on lap 91. Keselowski pitted for right-side tires on lap 92 and restarted eighth on lap 95. He hovered around 10th-place for the next 33 laps before being shuffled back to 13th in the running order when the stage ended on lap 130. Crew chief Jeremy Bullins called for four tires and a right-side wedge adjustment when Keselowski pitted under caution on lap 132. Solid pit work by the No. 2 team moved Keselowski up to ninth when the race went green on lap 135.
The driver of the No. 2 Ford Mustang was shuffled back to 14th by lap 140 but from there he rallied to the front. He grabbed the lead on lap 149 and led the next 15 laps. Keselowski was running second when made a scheduled green flag pit stop for right-side tires on lap 170 and was third in the running order when the pit cycle was complete on lap 175.
Keselowski took the lead from Kyle Busch on lap 181 and was running to the outside of Christopher Bell in a battle for second position, just in front of Almirola at the front of the lead pack when his night ended.
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