Brad Keselowski scored a 19th-place finish in the rain-soaked EchoPark Automotive Texas Grand Prix Sunday afternoon at Circuit of the Americas. The driver of the Thomas Built Buses Ford Mustang is now ninth in the NASCAR Cup Series driver point standings, 175 points behind leader Denny Hamlin.
Keselowski qualified 24th on Sunday morning at the 3.41-mile road course. Before the race began, NASCAR gave teams the option of starting the race on racing slicks or wet weather tires. Keselowski and crew chief Jeremy Bullins opted for slicks but pitted after the first lap to put on the wet weather tires after a steady rain began to fall. The No. 2 Ford returned to the track in 28th position. Bullins chose to pit again on lap 8, planning to run to the end of Stage 2 before another visit to pit lane. Keselowski was up to 12th when the Thomas Built Buses Mustang got turned around on lap 14, one lap from the conclusion of Stage 1. He recovered and was credited with a 22nd-place finish in the opening segment. Bullins made the call to remain out on track during the stage caution and Keselowski restarted 16th on lap 18.
The restart to begin Stage 2 was chaotic with rain and low visibility. Somehow Keselowski avoided the spinning car of Christopher Bell on lap 20 and then immediately pitted for four tires during the caution period that followed. Keselowski lined up 21st when the race returned to green flag conditions on lap 24. Another full course yellow slowed the pace on lap 26 and NASCAR officials made the call for single-file restarts for the remainder of the race. Keselowski did a solid job during the remainder of the segment to score a 13th-place finish when stage two ended on lap 32. Bullins once again called for Keselowski to remain on track during the stage caution and the No. 2 Ford restarted ninth when the green flag waved on lap 35.
One lap later, Keselowski found himself spun around again as he battled Ryan Newman for ninth place. The driver of the Thomas Built Buses Ford recovered without any damage to the No. 2 Mustang. He made a scheduled stop for four tires on lap 44 under the green flag. Over the final 10 laps of the race, Keselowski was able to gain a few positions, climbing his way up to 19th by lap 54 when more inclement weather and poor visibility forced NASCAR officials to call the race official 14 laps from the scheduled finish.
“It was a crazy race and visibility was certainly an issue” said Keselowski. “We were fortunate to not wreck.”