An extra pit stop under caution with just under 100 laps to go spoiled a solid run by Brad Keselowski Sunday afternoon at Dover International Speedway. Keselowski lost track position in the exchange and was left with a 16th-place finish in the final rundown. The driver of the WURTH #Thanks2Teachers Ford Mustang is ninth in the NASCAR Cup Series point standings, 170 points behind leader Denny Hamlin.
During the opening laps of the 400-lap race, Keselowski was pleased with his No. 2 Ford Mustang. He worked his way from his 15th-place starting position to 10th at the time of the competition caution on lap 35. Keselowski pitted for four tires and restarted sixth when the race went green on lap 40. From there, the driver of the WURTH Ford did a respectable job and claimed a 10th-place finish when the segment ended on lap 120. Keselowski pitted during the stage caution on lap 123 for four tires and adjustments and restarted 11th on lap 129.
The balance on the car was a handful for Keselowski in Stage 2, wrestling the same issues as earlier in the race. He pitted for four tires and a round of adjustments under caution on lap 173 and the changes appeared to improve the car’s handling. On lap 194, Keselowski was racing teammate Joey Logano for position when he slipped sideways off Turn 2. He recovered from the close call to finish eighth when Stage 2 concluded. He pitted during the stage caution for four tires and adjustments and restarted eighth on lap 248.
The third and final stage was disappointing for Keselowski and the WURTH team. Shortly after the stage went green Keselowski again got loose in Turn 2, this time under Kevin Harvick but once again he kept his Mustang in a straight line. Needing both front turn and stability, Keselowski pitted on lap 304 for four tires and adjustments. Unfortunately, a lug nut got caught between the left-front wheel and the brake caliper and Keselowski was forced to pit again before the race went green. The extra stop shuffled Keselowski back to 16th-position in the running order and despite his best efforts couldn’t get closer to the front.
“We had an okay day going in the Wurth Ford prior to the problem on pit road,” said Keselowski. “After that we just weren’t able to recover.”