Brad Keselowski scored a 13th-place finish in the Go Bowling 235 Sunday afternoon at the Daytona International Speedway road course. With Sunday’s result, Keselowski is now third in the NASCAR Cup Series driver standings, 136 points behind leader Kevin Harvick.
Keselowski started 17th Sunday in the Wabash Ford Mustang and, with the exception of missing the frontstretch chicane on the third lap of the race, had an uneventful Stage 1. Crew chief Jeremy Bullins made the call to pit for four tires and an air pressure adjustment under the green flag on lap 12. Keselowski returned to the track and was scored in 18th place when the caution-free opening stage concluded on lap 15. The driver of the Wabash Mustang remained on track during the stage caution and restarted in eighth position when the race resumed on lap 17.
Stage 2 was also completed without a yellow flag. Keselowski ran among the top 10 drivers early before he made a scheduled green-flag stop on lap 26, with the No. 2 Ford taking on four fresh tires and a track bar adjustment four laps before the conclusion of the stage. Keselowski was credited with a 15th-place finish when the segment concluded on lap 30. The team once again decided to remain on the track during the stage caution and Keselowski advanced to seventh place for the race restart on lap 32.
Keselowski was running fifth when the race was halted due to lightning on lap 37. The balance of the No. 2 Mustang was similar to earlier in the race when Keselowski reported that the car lacked forward drive off the corners, especially in Turn 6.
The race restarted on lap 39 and Keselowski was in the ninth position when he pitted under green on lap 44 for four tires and a right-rear wedge adjustment. He found himself running outside the top 20 and the team knew it would be close to try and stretch its fuel window to the end as the race entered the final 10 laps.
The fourth and final caution of the race proved to be a stroke of good fortune for Keselowski. He pitted for four tires and air pressure adjustments on lap 61 and restarted 21st when the race returned to green with three laps to go. The final laps featured three- and sometimes four-wide racing but Keselowski carved his way through traffic to earn a 13th-place finish.
“We were able to rally at the end and pick up a few spots. Our Wabash Ford took off pretty good but the longer runs were a struggle.”