Brad Keselowski: “We can see the end of the tunnel”
After a DNF Daytona and a speeding penalty early at Kentucky, Brad Keselowski was able to fight back to score his best finish since his runner-up result at Atlanta in March.
Keselowski qualified fourth and remained near the front of the field early in Saturday night’s Quaker State 400 and appeared to have a good car for most of the night.
He led a total of 38 laps in the race - thanks in part to a two-tire pit stop - but that was just part of an up and down night for the Team Penske driver.
“We ran second behind Martin there at the start and I felt like we were a little bit better than him at the beginning of the race, and as we transitioned into the night, we kind of lost a little bit of speed,” said Keselowski.
“I got the pit road speeding penalty, which was a real kick in the you‑know‑whats track position‑wise, and my crew chief Paul Wolfe made a good call to get us some track position back.
“We took the lead there and were trying to just run, run, run as fast as we could, and Martin just ran us down and got by us pretty honest, so he was just super strong, and that was all we had.”
Keselowski joined his Team Penske teammates in the top 10 for the sixth time this season and he feels the team team is making progress as they search for more wins.
“We've been right in that fifth‑ to sixth‑place range, but I feel like when they drop the green the leaders just drive away from us, and this week, at least at the start of the race, we were able to run with Martin,” said Keselowski.
“As the race progressed we couldn't stay with him, but all in all, that's still as fast as we've been on a mile‑and‑a‑half this year, and that's something commendable for my team, and I just wanted to make sure they got that recognition.”
Becoming part of the conversation
While much of the attention in the NASCAR Cup Series appears to be focused on the “Big 3” - Truex, Kevin Harvick and Kyle Busch - it seems Keselowski has been under the radar, but that may change soon.
“We've been good, not great this year, and this is a sport of great,” he said. “You know, you've got to be great to win. This is the closest we've been to great this year on the mile‑and‑a‑halfs.
“You know, we can see the end of the tunnel, and we're just 20 yards away. It's just a matter of getting there, not taking a step back and taking a step forward.”
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