Dominant Keselowski drive ends in disappointing finish

Brad Keselowski led a race-high of 105 laps, but got shuffled back on the final restart and wound up with a mediocre finish in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway.

Starting from pole position, Keselowski led all but three laps that fell during a cycle of green flag stops, and won the first stage.

He continued his dominant run through the second stage, only ceding the race lead on Lap 111 to hit pit road. This time, however, Martin Truex Jr., who pitted a few laps earlier, cycled ahead of him in the running order. This lead to Truex taking over the race lead when the pit cycle concluded and winning the second stage, with Keselowski finishing second.

On the ensuing restart on Lap 128, Keselowski raced side-by-side with Truex for 75 percent of the lap, before edging ahead of Truex exiting Turn 4 to take the race lead. But Truex powered by him to retake the lead the next lap, and Keselowski didn’t return to the lead again.

He took just right-side tires on, what was originally, the final round of stops with 39 laps to go to regain lost track position. Truex still cycled ahead of him, but he found himself in position to end the day with a solid finish. A flurry of late cautions, however, pushed him down the running order.

Keselowski restarted 11th on the overtime restart, but was swallowed up on the bottom lane and wound up finishing 17th.

“It just didn’t come together there at the end, but it was nice to lead a bunch of laps,” Keselowski said. “That was good and something I was really proud of, but I just didn’t have enough to really run with the 77 and the 78. We tried a little strategy to kind of get something out of it, but the way it all played out I ended up getting the bottom lane on the restarts and getting absolutely swallowed. We tried. We put in as much effort as we could. We knew we didn’t have as much as those two, but we gave it 100 percent effort and I was really proud of my team for that.”

Keselowski leaves Michigan fifth in points, 213 back of Truex.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of SpeedwayMedia.com

Tucker White
Tucker White
I've followed NASCAR for well over 20 years of my life, both as a fan and now as a member of the media. As of 2023, I'm on my eighth season as a traveling NASCAR beat writer. For all its flaws and dumb moments, NASCAR at its best produces some of the best action you'll ever see in the sport of auto racing. Case in point: Kyle Larson's threading the needle pass at Darlington Raceway on May 9, 2021. On used-up tires, racing on a worn surface and an aero package that put his car on the razor's edge of control, Larson demonstrated why he's a generational talent. Those are the stories I want to capture and break down. In addition to NASCAR, I also follow IndyCar and Formula 1. As a native of Knoxville, Tennessee, and a graduate of the University of Tennessee, I'm a diehard Tennessee Volunteers fan (especially in regards to Tennessee football). If covering NASCAR doesn't kill me, down the road, watching Tennessee football will. I'm also a diehard fan of the Atlanta Braves, and I lived long enough to see them win a World Series for the first time since 1995 (when I was just a year old). I've also sworn my fan allegiance to the Nashville Predators, though that's not paid out as much as the Braves. Furthermore, as a massive sports dork, I follow the NFL on a weekly basis. Though it's more out of an obligation than genuine passion (for sports dorks, following the NFL is basically an unwritten rule). Outside of sports, I'm a major cinema buff and a weeb. My favorite film is "Your Name" and my favorite anime is "Black Lagoon."

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