Brad Keselowski collected a 13th-place finish Sunday afternoon at Road American despite several issues that threatened to derail his respectable afternoon. Keselowski overcame a spin, pit road penalty and a malfunctioning driver cooling unit to claim his solid finish. Keselowski remains 10th in the NASCAR Cup Series driver standings, 205 points behind leader Denny Hamlin.
Keselowski qualified 20th on Sunday morning and used a conservative strategy throughout Stage 1. The driver of the Snap-on Mustang tried to be as smooth as possible and take care of his equipment early in the race. As the opening 14-lap stage drew to a close, several cars on the lead lap began to pit but crew chief Jeremy Bullins kept his driver on the track. The move gave Keselowski a 16th-place finish. He pitted during the stage caution for four tires, but the team was penalized for a crew member over the wall too soon, which shuffled the No. 2 Ford back to 31st on the restart on lap 16.
Keselowski had passed six cars when he spun at the exit of Turn 14 on lap 22. Once again he lost track position but Bullins kept his driver on the track until the stage ended. The strategy moved Keselowski up to 11th when Stage 2 concluded on lap 29. The balance on the No. 2 Mustang needed lateral grip and Bullins made the call during the stage caution for four tires and wedge adjustment. Keselowski restarted 26th when the race went green on lap 32.
The third and final stage saw Keselowski make up positions and be in contention for a top-10 finish as the race drew to a close. He continued to battle not having drive or lateral grip, but Bullins kept adjusting improve the car. Keselowski climbed up to 16th position with eight laps to go and moved into 13th when three leaders were forced to pit for fuel during the final two laps.
“We had a hard-fought day in our Snap-on Ford” said Keselowski. “This is a tough track and we fought hard to make the most of our day with what we had.”