Keselowski's Chase chances go up in smoke at Talladega: "We kept finding debris"
Brad Keselowski vowed not to “points race” as he tried to advance to the third round of the Chase and he stayed true to form.
Keselowski led 90 of the first 145 laps of Sunday’s Hellman’s 500 at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway and was running second when the engine let go on his No. 2 Team Penske Ford.
Keselowski joined Martin Truex Jr. in the garage, also with an engine failure, as two of the top five seeds in the 16-driver Chase appeared set to be sent to the sidelines.
“It was a lot of fun to be leading at Talladega. I really like this track. It’s been good to us and there are a lot of great fans here today,” Keselowski said in the garage. “We were doing the best we could to make a show of it and have some fun and lead some laps and just happy and proud to have a fast car.”
Asked what his approach would be heading into the season’s final four races, Keselowski said, “Win more races.”
Keselowski had been working with driver Ryan Blaney on trying to extract some debris from his front grille when his engine let go.
“I’m not an engine guy, but the car was really strong and we definitely kept finding debris,” he said. “I thought I got it cooled off and only got it slightly over, but I don’t know.”
Keselowski had entered Sunday’s race ranked 11th among the 12 remaining Chase drivers as the field was scheduled to be cut from 12 to eight after the race.
His performance during the race was good enough to allow him to advance, but that disappeared when his engine expired. He finished 38th and was officially eliminated from the Chase.
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