Keselowski vows "to make that move again" despite last-lap wreck

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Keselowski vows
Jim Utter
By: Jim Utter
Feb 19, 2017, 6:55 PM

After checking over his No. 2 Ford on pit road after the race, Brad Keselowski looked up and said, “I had this one won. It’s the story of my life here.”

Denny Hamlin, Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota, collides with Brad Keselowski, Team Penske Ford
Race winner Joey Logano, Team Penske Ford
Denny Hamlin, Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota avoids crashing
Brad Keselowski, Team Penske Ford
Brad Keselowski, Team Penske Ford
Start: Brad Keselowski, Team Penske Ford leads
Denny Hamlin, Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota
Denny Hamlin, Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota
Helmet of Denny Hamlin, Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota

Of late, that’s been true.

Keselowski has been in position to win the Daytona Clash several times in the last several seasons, but too often he said “something happens.”

In Sunday’s rain-delated Clash, Keselowski got a push from Team Penske teammate Joey Logano for a chance at the lead on the final lap and made contact with then-leader Denny Hamlin. Hamlin came down to block and spun out while Keselowski was able to drive on.

In the meantime, Logano bypassed both and took home the victory.

Keselowski defends move

“I got up beside Denny. Everything happens so fast here, he probably thought he was clear, I don’t know. We made a little contact there and I feel bad for everybody,” Keselowski said.

“It is the Clash, it’s not the (Daytona) 500 and I guarantee he knows and everyone else who is watching today (knows) that I’m going to make that move again. I had to make the move. I know all the other drivers are back watching and they know not to make that block on me again.”

Despite coming up short on the victory in the unofficial season opener, Keselowski vowed he would “keep knocking on the door.”

“I think I’ve been in position to win it three or four times – in second or third in like the last two laps and it kind of falls apart,” he said.

Joe Gibbs Racing teammates Hamlin, Daniel Suarez, Matt Kenseth and Kyle Busch spent much of the race working together to remain up front and in position to win.

The plan paid off as during the final 10 laps, it was usually JGR cars holding the top three or four positions.

Hamlin's take

As the last lap unfolded, Hamlin retained the lead but Logano and Keselowski finally were able to work together and break up the JGR contingent.

“The No. 2 was coming with a huge run and I tried to do everything I could to block and cover the bottom before he got there, but he was coming at such a higher rate of speed I probably didn’t get there in time,” Hamlin said.

“There’s really not much I can do differently at the end. Perhaps staying in the middle lane there through (Turns) 1 and 2 and trying to side draft. He had help from (Logano). I was in a bad spot there. He was just coming so much faster than what I was. There’s not much that I could have done to defend.”

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About this article

Series NASCAR Cup
Event Daytona Clash
Location Daytona International Speedway
Author Jim Utter
Article type Breaking news