At times Sunday at Phoenix Brad Keselowski seemed to be fast enough to contend with Chase Elliott for the race win and the 2020 Cup series championship. He did lead 16 laps, but it seemed as though every time he gained track position a slow pit stop would lose him spots on track.
After the last round of green flag stops that started around lap 259, another slow stop for Keselowski left him in third after the stops cycled through. He was able to muscle past his teammate Joey Logano with 10 laps to go but ran out of time and had to settle for second.
“I would have liked to have one of those late-race yellows like we saw in the truck race and the Xfinity race,” Keselowski said. “I thought we were pretty good there and just didn’t have the track position to make it show. I knew we had a good shot at the end of the second stage and just couldn’t keep it up in a spot to where we could have the lead. I’m really proud of the speed we had. It was a solid day. I just wish we had one more spot.”
Immediately after the race, Keselowski had not had a chance to talk to his crew to find out what had happened during his pit stops.
“I haven’t had a chance to look at that,” Keselowski said. “You know, obviously at the end of Stage 2 I was right where I wanted to be, in the lead, and we lost a spot, which is not fun. But it’s a team effort, and just was tough to fight back through.
“We got up to second there at the end, and I feel like we were pretty equal. The 9 car and I would have loved to have had a chance to race it out, but that’s not the way it played out.”
Keselowski admitted that he felt as though he had given a race win away.
“Yes and no,” he said. “I feel like I did all I could do. You know, with that in mind, you try to shake it off and move on. I mean, I can’t change anything about what happened, and I hate it for my guys that that’s the way it played out, but so it goes.”
As for his season.
“I had a lot of fun this year,” Keselowski said. “I can’t speak for everyone else, but we fought through everybody. The industry fought through a lot of stuff and we ran great races and put on some great shows. Missed not having the fans, but also enjoyed being able to spend more time at home with my family on Thursdays and Fridays that we would have never had before. Yeah, it’s a bizarre year, but the obstacles kind of were in the way and we made the most of it.”