Despite a valiant effort by Brad Keselowski and the No. 2 Discount Tire team, they will finish second in today’s Season Finale 500 at Phoenix Raceway and as the runner up in the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series (NCS) standings. Keselowski charged hard and raced within the top-five most of the day, but ultimately fell short to 2020 NCS Champion, Chase Elliott.
Keselowski started third and ran second behind teammate Joey Logano to the competition caution on lap 30. The balance on the Discount Tire Ford was too free during the run and crew chief Jeremy Bullins made a track bar adjustment plus four tires during the stop under yellow on lap 33. Keselowski restarted eighth when the race went back green on lap 36. For the remainder of the stage, the balance on the Discount Tire Ford swung to the tight side but Keselowski overcame the handling and scored a fourth-place finish when the segment ended on lap 75. He pitted during the stage caution for a left-rear wedge adjustment and restarted fourth on lap 83.
In Stage 2, Keselowski was running fourth when a vibration forced him to pit under green on lap 128, earlier than scheduled. Fortunately, the race stayed green and Keselowski emerged third when the pit cycle was completed on lap 155.
The third caution of the day slowed the pace on lap 160 and Keselowski restarted fifth after pitting for four tires and air pressure adjustments. From there he drove to the front grabbed the lead from Elliott on lap 173. He and Elliott waged an entertaining battle for the lead over the final 17 laps of the stage with Keselowski making the pass to win the segment on lap 190, the final lap of the segment. He pitted during the stage caution for four tires and restarted eighth when the race went green on lap 200.
Keselowski had great long-run-speed throughout the third and final stage of the 2020 season. Throughout multiple pit stops to help the handling on the No. 2 Ford, Keselowski continued to gain positions on the track. Keselowski managed to pass teammate, Joey Logano, late in the third stage, but unfortunately could not chase down the leader. Keselowski would finish the race in the second position to secure his best finish in the series standings since his 2012 championship season.
“I would have liked to have one of those late-race yellows like we saw in the truck race and the Xfinity race,” said Keselowski. “I thought we were pretty good there and just didn’t have the track position to make it show. I knew we had a good shot at the end of the second stage and just couldn’t keep it up in a spot to where we could have the lead. I am really proud of the speed we had in the Discount Tire Ford. It was a solid day. I just wish we had one more spot.”