Brad Keselowski won a stage and led 30 laps on his way to a second-place finish Thursday night at Kansas Speedway. Keselowski grabbed his fifth stage win of the 2020 season and racked up his seventh top-five finish. The driver of the Wabash Ford Mustang is second in the NASCAR Cup Series driver standings, 97 points behind leader Kevin Harvick.
Keselowski started seventh and was loose throughout much of Stage 1. He and crew chief Jeremy Bullins improved the balance on the No. 2 Mustang and scored a fifth-place finish when the segment ended on lap 80. Keselowski pitted during the stage caution on lap 83 for four tires and a chassis adjustment and restarted fourth when the race went green on lap 86.
Armed with a better handling Mustang, Keselowski ran inside the top-five throughout Stage 2. Bullins made the call for right-side tires during a stop under caution on lap 101, which gave Keselowski the lead before he settled into fifth. Another caution on lap 142 set up a round of stops two laps later. Bullins this time called for four tires and Keselowski restarted eighth with 12 laps to go in the stage. Keselowski used the fresher tires to power through the field and pass Ryan Blaney with two laps to go to win the stage.
The third and final stage was a chaotic, with six cautions in the final 100 laps and three-wide racing on each restart that followed. But Keselowski remained a fixture in the top-five. He took the lead from William Bryon on lap 206 and led the next 15 laps. He was running second when a caution on lap 234 gave him the chance to pit one final time for four tires and a chassis adjustment. Keselowski restarted fourth on lap 245 and made it to second place but couldn’t track down Denny Hamlin in the closing laps.
“I thought Denny (Hamlin) and I were probably pretty close to equal the second half of the night,” said Keselowski. “It was just a matter of who got out in front. We didn’t get out in front on the restarts there and he was able to take advantage and bring home the win. All in all, it was still a really good day for our Wabash Ford Mustang.”