Brad Keselowski scored a fourth-place finish Sunday afternoon in the NASCAR Cup Series race at Phoenix Raceway. The driver of the WURTH Ford Mustang claimed his third top-five finish in five races during the 2021 season. Keselowski is second in the NASCAR Cup Series driver standings, 39 points behind leader Denny Hamlin.
Keselowski started from the pole and took the lead for the first time on lap 34. He led the next 10 laps, but couldn’t quite find the correct balance on the WURTH Ford and needed better drive off the corners to challenge for the lead. Keselowski held off Denny Hamlin in the final laps of the segment to score a third-place finish when Stage 1 concluded. He made a four-tire stop during the stage caution and restarted fifth when the race went green on lap 83.
In Stage 2, Keselowski ran among the top-five but needed his Mustang to improve on corner entry and drive off. The No. 2 crew made several adjustments during a pit stop under green on lap 140, but were not able to make a sizable gain. He passed teammate Ryan Blaney on the final lap of the segment to grab a fourth-place finish in Stage 2. Crew chief Jeremy Bullins called for four tires and another round of adjustments during the stage break on lap 190 with Keselowski lining up fifth for the restart.
The hard work by Bullins and the WURTH team showed during the final stage as the balance on the No. 2 Mustang improved. The seventh and final caution on lap 283 set up a chaotic restart where Keselowski, who restarted third, grabbed the lead. Unfortunately, the No. 2 Mustang was unable to stay up front. Keselowski fell in line fourth and held off Chase Elliott and Kyle Larson down the stretch to claim his top-five finish.
“Not a bad day for our WURTH Ford Mustang,” said Keselowski. “We were just really consistent and ran inside the top-five all day. We got the lead there towards the end on that one restart and I thought ‘Oh, man, we’re going to drive away’ and I just wasn’t quite fast enough. We tried some things to try to be better for the fall and I don’t know if they were necessarily better so a lot to learn.”