Brad Keselowski scored a seventh-place finish Sunday night at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The driver of the Autotrader Ford Mustang captured his 13th top-10 finish of the season. Keselowski is eighth in the NASCAR Cup Series driver standings, four points ahead of ninth-place William Byron.
Keselowski started eighth and wrestled a loose handling Ford Mustang for much of Stage 1. He pitted during the competition caution on lap 25 for tires and a round of adjustments but the balance remained a handful. By the end of the stage on lap 80, Keselowski had drifted back to 12th-place with a Mustang that was now landing harshly in the corners. He pitted during the stage caution for another set of tires, more adjustments and restarted 17th on lap 87.
In Stage 2, Keselowski stretched his fuel mileage to perfection and was rewarded with a sixth-place finish when the segment ended on lap 160. Several lead lap cars opted to pit near the end of the stage, but Keselowski remained on the track and picked up five precious stage points. The balance on the Autotrader Mustang remained a handful during the stage but Keselowski pushed that aside to claim a solid finish in the segment. He pitted during the stage caution on lap 163 for four tires and restarted seventh three laps later.
Early in Stage 3, Keselowski said his Ford Mustang was the best it had been all race despite being a little free on the long run. As darkness settled in over the 1.5-mile speedway, the Autotrader Mustang responded to the cool temps. He passed Kevin Harvick on lap 250 to pick off the seventh position, 17 laps from the finish, but unfortunately couldn’t get any closer to the front.
“It wasn’t a bad night. We executed really, really well and made the most of what we had with the Autotrader Ford. That was just all we had. We just kind of rode in 10th to 15th most of the day and at one point we got up to 7th or 8th but couldn’t really hold it,” said Keselowski. “At the end, we just really executed really well. The pit stops were great. The pit calls were good. No loose wheels or any troubles and we were able to get a solid day out of it to get ourselves a little cushion.”