Brad Keselowski scored a second-place finish in the NASCAR All-Star race Sunday night at Texas Motor Speedway. Keselowski equaled his best finish in 13 starts in the event. The driver of the Discount Tire Ford Mustang also placed second in 2012 and 2016.
Keselowski started ninth in the 100-lap event and ran in the middle of the pack throughout the first 15-lap round. He scored a seventh-place finish and said the balance on the No. 2 Ford Mustang was free in both ends of the track. Crew chief Jeremy Bullins made the call for four tires and a wedge adjustment on a pit stop after the round. Keselowski restarted sixth and immediately jumped up to the second position. He and Ross Chastain would exchange the position once more before Keselowski cleared his rival on lap 25 and scored a second-place finish when Round 2 ended on lap 30. He pitted for a set of scuff tires during the caution that followed and restarted 20th after a full-field inversion set the lineup for Round 3.
The third 15-lap segment was tough for Keselowski. He was unable to make any headway through traffic with a car that was really loose with the exception of the exit of Turn 4 where it was too tight. Following the round Keselowski pitted for four tires and more adjustments. He restarted 21st when the race went green to begin Round 4. He made the most of his fresh tires, climbing up to 13th position before the segment ended on lap 45. Bullins then called his driver to pit road for wedge and trackbar adjustments and Keselowski restarted ninth when the race went green.
Round 5 was a 30-lap segment and Keselowski immediately began to climb up the leaderboard. He was up to fifth-place by lap 67 and took the lead when the leaders ahead of him pitted under green on lap 75. Keselowski pitted as scheduled on lap 79 and then immediately Ross Chastain spun, cycling Keselowski to the lead. He held the top spot through lap 80 and finished fifth when the round ended on lap 90.
Keselowski stayed out and lined up fifth when the race went green for the final 10-lap shootout. The driver of the Discount Tire Ford restarted in the top lane and muscled his way into second position behind Kyle Larson. Try as he might over the closing laps, Keselowski couldn’t find a way past his rival and was forced to settled for the runner-up position.
“The Discount Tire team did a great job of executing and getting us in position” said Keselowski. “We just didn’t have enough speed to make the most of it. It was good execution day though and I am proud of that. This is the best Ford Mustang I have had here. I just couldn’t get close enough to him (Larson). I could get to like five or six feet and then the draft stopped working. I felt like we made some great moves, but it just wasn’t enough.”