Brad Keselowski falls short in bid for second title

Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Miller Lite Ford, leads a pack of cars during the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Championship Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 19, 2017 in Homestead, Florida.

HOMESTEAD, Fla. – Quite frankly, Brad Keselowski didn’t have the car to add a second Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series title to his 2012 championship without a strategic miracle.

Accordingly, on Lap 197 of 267, Keselowski and crew chief Paul Wolfe forced the issue by short-pitting after 32 laps of green-flag racing. After Keselowski brought his No. 2 Team Penske Ford to pit road, Championship 4 drivers Martin Truex Jr. and Kevin Harvick followed two laps later. Kyle Busch stayed on track, planning to bridge the final 102 laps with one pit stop.

But a caution on Lap 227 for Kurt Busch’s spin in Turn 4 bunched the title contenders for a restart on Lap 234, and Keselowski finished seventh 34 laps later, as Martin Truex Jr. won the Ford Eco-Boost 400 and the championship.

“We ran as hard as we could and put it all out there and just basically didn’t have enough speed,” Keselowski said. “On the mile-and-a-halves we weren’t as good as the 78 (Truex) and 18 (Kyle Busch) and those guys. This last race coming down to a mile-and-a-half (speedway) didn’t particularly bode well for us, but my team ran as hard as they could run.

“They made some great calls—Paul Wolfe and everybody—and put ourselves in position every chance we could to make the most out of the opportunities that existed without just being lightning fast, but it wasn’t there.”

Greg Engle
About Greg Engle 7421 Articles
Greg is a published award winning sportswriter who spent 23 years combined active and active reserve military service, much of that in and around the Special Operations community. Greg is the author of "The Nuts and Bolts of NASCAR: The Definitive Viewers' Guide to Big-Time Stock Car Auto Racing" and has been published in major publications across the country including the Los Angeles Times, the Cleveland Plain Dealer and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He was also a contributor to Chicken Soup for the NASCAR Soul, published in 2010, and the Christmas edition in 2016. He wrote as the NASCAR, Formula 1, Auto Reviews and National Veterans Affairs Examiner for and has appeared on Fox News. He holds a BS degree in communications, a Masters degree in psychology and is currently a PhD candidate majoring in psychology. He is currently the weekend Motorsports Editor for Autoweek.