2017-11-05 Something happened on Lap one and basically we started the race last and a lap and a half down. (Photo: Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski had an adventurous afternoon at Texas Motor Speedway, salvaging a fifth-place finish and staying alive in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Playoff hunt.
Keselowski started Sunday’s AAA Texas 500 in 10th but was forced to pit road on Lap 2 after contact from Kyle Busch in Turn 1 of Lap 1 of the 334-lap event.
Keselowski was riding in the outside groove when Busch slid up and made contact with the left rear of Keselowski’s No. 2 Ford cutting down his left-rear tire and forcing him to pit road, falling off the lead lap in the process.
“It was a long day for everybody. This is the best we ran on a mile and a half in some time, so I’m happy about that,” Keselowski said. “Something happened on Lap one and basically we started the race last and a lap and a half down.”
Keselowski took the wave around following a caution on Lap 91 and was got back on the lead lap a few laps later after receiving the free pass during a caution on Lap 94.
The 2012 Cup Series champion began to slowly work his way to the front after getting back on the lead lap but wasn’t in position stage points, leaving valuable points on the table.
“I’m disappointed with the way the race started. It probably cost us 10 or more points,” Keselowski said. “I hate to give up those stage points. We’ve had really great efforts the last two weeks. We probably arguably deserve a little better result but I’m still proud of the effort with strong, solid days with top fives.”
Keselowski now goes to the final race in the Round of 8 next week at Phoenix Raceway in position to advance to the Championship 4 by 18 points.
He’s disappointed how his race started Sunday at Texas but was pleased with the recovery and is looking forward to the penultimate race of the 2017 season next Sunday at Phoenix.
“It was a long day for everybody on the team. This is the best we ran on a mile and a half in some time, so I’m happy about that,” Keselowski said. “We’ll need to go and have a solid race at Phoenix next week and hope none of the other other guys win. It’s doable, but it’s gonna be a nail biter next week for sure.”
He’s disappointed he’s not locked in to the Championship 4 yet but knows his mission next weekend.
“I’d feel confident if we were locked in. These races you don’t know what’s gonna happen,” Keselowski said. “We need to score some stage points. We really lost out on that today and probably have another top five effort. That’s kind of what we’re hoping for.”
Monster Energy NASCAR Cup, Brad Keselowski
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