Brad Keselowski and the Discount Tire Ford team scored a 14th-place Sunday afternoon at Richmond Raceway. Keselowski rebounded from a mid-race gamble that didn’t go as planned to score a lead lap finish. He is now ninth in the NASCAR Cup Series driver standings, 165 points behind leader Denny Hamlin.
Keselowski started 20th in the 400-lap race and he and the 2 Crew worked together throughout Stage 1 to move closer to the front. He was up to 12th position at the time of the competition caution on lap 30 then gained three more spots after a visit to pit road. Keselowski restarted ninth and held his own during the remainder of the segment to score a ninth-place finish when Stage 1 ended on lap 80. Crew chief Jeremy Bullins made the call for four tires and a track bar adjustment during the stage caution, and he restarted ninth when the race went green on lap 90.
Midway through Stage 2, Bullins made the call to keep Keselowski on the racetrack during a cycle of green flag pit stops. The move was designed to keep the driver of the Discount Tire Ford inside the top-10 and give the team an extra set of tires for the third and final stage. Unfortunately, the move didn’t go as planned and Keselowski finished the segment 16th, one lap down.
For the remainder of the event, Keselowski and the team were focused on making up the lost distance. Throughout much of Stage 3, he ran in the free pass position but didn’t get a timely caution to unlap himself until lap 382, 18 laps from the finish. Keselowski took the wave around during the fifth and final caution and rejoined the lead lap at the tail end of the field. He was credited with a 14th-place finish at the checkered flag.
“Our Discount Tire Ford was fast today but it just didn’t come together for us,” said Keselowski. “We’ll bounce back next week.”