Brad Keselowski scored a second-place finish in the rain-soaked NASCAR Cup Series event on Monday afternoon at Talladega Superspeedway. Keselowski grabbed his eighth top-five finish of the 2021 season and is 20 points ahead of the eighth-place cut line in the NASCAR Cup Series Playoff driver standings.
Keselowski started seventh and ran strong throughout Stage 1. The driver of the Discount Tire Ford grabbed the lead on lap 39 and once again on lap 43, flashing by Denny Hamlin and leading the next 11 laps. The former Champion was running third when the caution came out of lap 57, three laps from the finish of the segment and forcing the stage to finish under caution, leaving Keselowski with a third-place stage finish.
Rain played a huge factor in Stage 2. The race was halted by rain on lap 73 for 18 minutes. When the race resumed, Keselowski pitted for fuel just before the race went back to green on lap 77. Keselowski was running near the front of the lead draft when Alex Bowman spun on lap 98, but Keselowski cleanly navigated his way through the skirmish. The extra caution laps gave Keselowski and crew chief Jeremy Bullins confidence they could make it to the end of the stage on fuel.
Keselowski restarted sixth and was shuffled outside the top-10 five laps later, but he worked the draft and rallied back to third on lap 113. With the rain closing in and the intensity of the racing picking up, Keselowski was locked in a battle for position at the front of the lead draft. He passed teammate Joey Logano on lap 117 for second just before a downpour hit the track, forcing NASCAR officials to halt the race once again, this time for good.
“A very intense Talladega race and wouldn’t expect anything different. We put ourselves in a good position the whole race and I’m really proud of that. We were really close to making a move on Bubba to win the stage and the race, but I didn’t need that rain. I needed another two or three laps,” said Keselowski. “I think it was a good race for our Discount Tire team, and we put ourselves in position to not have to go to the Roval and have a hero day. We just need a solid day.”