Brad Keselowski may have 'let one slip away' at Talladega

Brad Keselowski watched Bubba Wallace use a block to protect his lead and had a way to get around him but thought he had more time.

Brad Keselowski may have 'let one slip away' at Talladega
Listen to this article

Instead, a four-car wreck on Lap 117 of the scheduled 188 laps of Monday’s rain-delayed race at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway brought out a caution, locking Keselowski into second place.

Soon after the caution was displayed, the rain returned, and NASCAR halted the race. With not enough time to dry the track before darkness, the race was declared official since it had already passed the halftime point.

That left Bubba Wallace with his first career Cup Series win and Keselowski as runner-up and lamenting his decision to delay an attempt to around Wallace for the lead.

“Gosh, if I would have known it was going to rain right then, I had a move I could have made and I was like, ‘No we’ve got five laps in the stage left, I don’t want to burn that move yet,’ ” Keselowski said. “Then it rains and I kind of feel like I let one slip away here.

“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.”

Read Also:

Keselowski had run well throughout the shortened race. He led 13 laps – second-most in the race to Kevin Harvick’s 16 – and continually put himself in position to contend for the lead.

Wallace had deftly blocked a Keselowski advance right before the final caution came out.

“You never count out the Penske cars,” Wallace said. “We talk about them in our Monday and Tuesday meetings. Those guys make it work and there’s a reason why they win the races.

“Knowing we had to defend them. Freddie (Kraft, Wallace’s spotter) did a hell of a job on top of the roof. So proud of him. We just made the right moves and it worked out.”

Keselowski’s second-place finish may have stung but it still left him in a strong position heading into the final race of the second round of the playoffs next Sunday on the Charlotte Roval.

Keselowski is currently ranked fourth out of 12 drivers in the standings and 20 points above the cutoff line. The bottom four in the standings without a win will be eliminated from further playoff contention following the race at the Roval.

“All in all, it’s still a great day,” he said. “We scored a lot of stage points, which is really positive and put ourselves in a good position next week to go to the Roval.

“We put ourselves in position to not have to go to the Roval and have a ‘hero’ day. We can have just a solid day.”

Asked his initial thoughts on heading to the Roval next week – the only road course in the Cup playoffs – Keselowski said: “A tough race for us. Road courses have been really tough, but thankfully, we don’t have to go there and win.”

shares
comments

Related video

Hamlin: Wallace's victory "more special" than my own
Previous article

Hamlin: Wallace's victory "more special" than my own

Next article

Why Bubba Wallace’s Talladega win is such a big moment for NASCAR

Why Bubba Wallace’s Talladega win is such a big moment for NASCAR
The ex-F1 driver taking on NASCAR with a new team Prime

The ex-F1 driver taking on NASCAR with a new team

Saddled with uncompetitive Minardi machinery, Tarso Marques didn't manage to score points in his three partial seasons of Formula 1. But now the Brazilian has the chance to show what he can do in NASCAR, and explains the story of his comeback with new Cup Series entrant Team Stange

NASCAR Cup
Apr 13, 2022
The early benefits and challenges of NASCAR's Next Gen car Prime

The early benefits and challenges of NASCAR's Next Gen car

NASCAR’s new stock car generation is encouraging an influx of fresh blood into its top tier. But there are concerns that parts are in short supply as the entire paddock tries to build up stocks at the same time

NASCAR Cup
Feb 22, 2022
How Penske's rookie sensation opened NASCAR's new era in style Prime

How Penske's rookie sensation opened NASCAR's new era in style

After holding his nerve and hip-checking his teammate on the run to the line, Austin Cindric made a perfect start to life as a full-timer in the NASCAR Cup Series by winning the Daytona 500. Here's how the Penske Ford man emerged first across the line in the first points-scoring race for the much-anticipated Next Generation cars

NASCAR Cup
Feb 21, 2022
Six key themes to follow in the 2022 NASCAR Cup season Prime

Six key themes to follow in the 2022 NASCAR Cup season

There are plenty of uncertainties ahead of the 2022 NASCAR Cup season as an all-new fleet of cars take to the track for the first time. Ahead of this weekend's Daytona 500, our experts explain what you need to know

NASCAR Cup
Feb 17, 2022
How NASCAR had to learn a harsh lesson ahead of Next Gen arrival Prime

How NASCAR had to learn a harsh lesson ahead of Next Gen arrival

The NASCAR Cup kicks off with the Daytona 500 this weekend, but a major engine overhaul and a subsequent mountain of work has been required to be ready for the arrival of the Next Gen cars.

NASCAR Cup
Feb 16, 2022
How Larson took the long way round to NASCAR Cup glory Prime

How Larson took the long way round to NASCAR Cup glory

From villain to hero, Kyle Larson had to reach his lifelong goal the hard way and go through a very public shaming after a ban for using a racial slur, but his talents shone long before his name grabbed the headlines...

NASCAR Cup
Nov 10, 2021
How NASCAR is gearing up for its "biggest change" in 2022 Prime

How NASCAR is gearing up for its "biggest change" in 2022

It’s not just Formula 1 that’s set for upheaval in 2022, as the NASCAR Cup series adopts its Next Gen cars that will cast any in-built advantages aside and require teams to adopt a totally new way of operating. Far more than just a change of machinery, the new cars amount to a shift in NASCAR's core philosophy

NASCAR Cup
Oct 12, 2021
Why Bubba Wallace’s Talladega win is such a big moment for NASCAR Prime

Why Bubba Wallace’s Talladega win is such a big moment for NASCAR

Bubba Wallace claimed his maiden NASCAR Cup Series at Talladega on Monday to become the first Black victor in the category since Wendell Scott in 1963. Both Wallace and Scott had faced obstacles and racism in their paths to their breakthrough wins, and NASCAR is trying to put it right with its range of diversity programmes

NASCAR Cup
Oct 5, 2021