Brad Keselowski posts best finish of year after double-OT scoring review at TMS

By Matt Crider, Staff Writer

FORT WORTH, Texas — Brad Keselowski knew he had at least matched his best finish of the season, but he had a feeling that he actually had bettered the mark by one position.

In the end, the veteran driver proved to be right.

Keselowski was chasing William Byron for third place Sunday at Texas Motor Speedway when Byron made a run at Ross Chastain on the final lap. Contact from Byron sent Chastain into the backstretch wall, and Byron ran into the back of Chastain’s No. 1 Chevrolet again as he tried to get past.

Keselowski pulled alongside Byron as the caution flag flew for the crash, sealing a victory for Chase Elliott in the Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 400. Scoring showed Byron in second place and Keselowski in third, which would have equaled the season’s best finish for the Roush Fenway Keselowski Racing driver and co-owner.

“All I’ve got is my viewpoint inside the car, but I didn’t feel like that was a third,” Keselowski said shortly after climbing out of the No. 6 Ford. “I felt pretty confident I was in front of him for second, but we’ll go see the video and figure that out from there.”

Keselowski was overheard asking crew chief Matt McCall to talk to NASCAR about the finishing order. McCall told Kickin’ the Tires that he had not seen the video but would address the issue with Cup Series officials.

After NASCAR completed its review of the finish, official results had Keselowski in second place and a new high for his new-for-2024 Mustang Dark Horse.

“It’s frustrating as hell, but you can still get good finishes by running good, smart days and executing on pit road and having a great strategy, and I’m proud of our team for doing that here today,” Keselowski said. “It just kind of shows that we have good spirit and the culture is good, because we’re putting ourselves in position.”

The runner-up result is Keselowski’s first top-10 of the season on any track longer than 1 mile. On short tracks, he finished third at Bristol and eighth at Richmond, following a fourth-place effort at 1-mile Phoenix Raceway. 

“We’re not as fast as we want to be and it’s really frustrating to not have that speed, but that doesn’t mean we’re giving up,” Keselowski said. “And this was a great example of that, you know. We were a 15th-place car most of the day, maybe a little worse than that. And we just kept putting ourselves in position, racing hard and racing smart, making good calls on pit road and executing on pit road.” 

Elliott and Keselowski survived a race that saw several contenders crash or spin out. Christopher Bell, Ty Gibbs and Kyle Larson were among those who had assorted troubles.

Denny Hamlin crashed from second place on a late restart, setting up overtime. An incident involving Harrison Burton set up double overtime, then Chastain’s crash ended the race because Elliott had taken the white flag.

Fifth-place Daniel Suarez said the 1 ½-mile TMS oval was challenging to drive.

“That’s why a lot of people were wrecking,” Suarez said. “One run the car was doing one thing, the next run it was doing something different. It was very tricky. It wasn’t easy to drive the car. That’s why there were so many accidents.”

Keselowski said the drivers and the cars also contributed to the afternoon’s events.

“Just kind of a product of the cars and the type of racing and the drivers and the willingness to wreck cars and not give a damn about it,” Keselowski said. “So it’s interesting, but it is what it is for Cup racing today.”

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