Race Weekend Central

Brad Keselowski Falls One Spot Short of 1st Win in 107 Races

While one winless streak ends with Chase Elliott conquering his 42-race winless streak, Brad Keselowski‘s grows one more race.

Despite having the fresher tires for the multitude of late race restarts, Keselowski ultimately finished second.

See also
Chase Elliott Snaps 42-Race Winless Streak, Wins in Texas

Keselowski started the race 22nd, and in the first stage felt like a non-factor. However, the handling of the Next Gen car on the slick/bumpy corners of Texas Motor Speedway caused many crashes and spins from various drivers throughout the field. There were 16 cautions, tying the Texas record and breaking the record in a 400-mile race at a 1.5-mile track.

After running no higher than 18th for the first 138 laps, Keselowski and crew chief Matt McCall made the call to stay out for the remainder of stage two. The strategy call paid off for the No. 6 team, taking sixth place in stage two.

After pitting for stage three, the No. 6 methodically worked his way back to the front on the second-longest 45-lap green flag run where he battled his way to second.

“There was definitely some fall off, not a ton,” Keselowski said. “These Next Gen cars are really hard on the right rear tires and when they would wear out, you’d see some guys really lose control of the cars.”

Keselowski was hoping for a caution to allow him to take advantage of fresher tires than the leaders who had pitted. Luckily for Keselowski, that’s exactly what he got in the form of John Hunter Nemechek slamming the turn 3 wall.

With the caution trapping many one lap down, this allowed Keselowski to restart 10th, and the owner of RFK Racing wasted no time climbing to third behind the leader Denny Hamlin and Elliott.

However his advantage would start to fade once he got in the wake of Elliott, and it would have to take another caution to allow the No. 6 Ford Mustang to have a chance.

Keselowski would get much more than that: four cautions to end the race and set up a double overtime finish.

See also
Denny Hamlin Wipes Out with Texas Win in Sight

Hamlin would spin battling with Elliott for the lead off of turn four, but Ross Chastain got by Keselowski to inherit the outside front row for the final two restarts.

Haplessly, Keselowski could only manage to push Elliott on the bottom, unable to make a move into turn one. And it was Elliott, not Keselowski, who would break his winless streak, while Keselowski would avoid the wrecking Chastain to obtain runner-up.

“Proud of the team that we have the pit stops and the strategy and execution to put ourselves in position to get a finish we probably didn’t deserve but earned with some never-give-up spirit,” Keselowski said to FOX Sports 1.

This goes down as Keselowski’s fourth runner-up finish during this 107-race winless streak.

“We didn’t have a ton of speed,” Keselowski told FOX Sports 1. “Honestly, I’m more frustrated than anything because I feel like we have a great team, and we don’t have the speed to go with it, and we’re doing all we can to overcome that. The driver in me is frustrated because I feel like these are races I’m good enough to win, and we don’t have the speed to do it. And the owner in me is mad as hell because it’s my fault for not making the cars faster.”

Despite coming short of the win, Keselowski’s finish of second scores his team a solid points day.

“A strong day for us, scored a lot of points,” Keselowski said. “Persevered through some struggles early on to get track position and be in a position to have a good day.

“But we fought out of that, and I’m really proud of that.”

Keselowski might be the bridesmaid again, but next week presents a new opportunity as the NASCAR Cup Series rolls into Talladega Superspeedway, and with how strong RFK has ran at superspeedways, this presents a splendid opportunity to break the winless streak.

About the author

Wyatt Watson has been an avid fan of NASCAR since 2007 at the age of 8. He joined Frontstretch in February 2023 after serving in the United States Navy for five years as an Electronic Technician Navigation working on submarines. Wyatt writes breaking NASCAR news and contributes to columns such as Friday Faceoff and 2-Headed Monster. Wyatt also contributes to Frontstretch's social media and serves as an at-track reporter.

Wyatt Watson can be found on Twitter @WyattGametime

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Carl D.

Brad is getting closer and closer. I believe his next win will come before the playoffs start.

Bill B

One of these days Brad.

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