RFK Caps Wild Day in Bristol with Pair of Top-10s

For the second week in a row, RFK again came away with a pair of top-10 finishes as Brad Keselowski finished third in Bristol, and Chris Buescher seventh in the BuildSubmarines.com Ford.

Tire management was the storyline in arguably one of the more notable short-track races in recent memory. Both RFK Fords spent time inside the top five, and both maintained top-10 position for much of the afternoon.

6 Recap
Keselowski had one of the faster cars of the day, earning the second-most stage points of any driver (16), combined with the podium finish.

“It was a pretty good day for us with RFK and the 6 car here,” Keselowski said after the race. “We just kind of ran top five pretty much the whole race and kept them honest. I got ran into on one of those pit caution cycles. That did a little damage to the front end, otherwise I think I could have had a shot to win it today, but still solid to come home third. It was a really good week.”

After starting 17th, Keselowski quickly put the field on notice with the King’s Hawaiian Ford. He was in the top-10 just 20 laps into the afternoon, and after a pair of cautions and restarts, he drove into the top five by lap 60. From there, he effectively never left, earning a fourth-place finish in stage one.

He began the second stage in third, and drove to P2 by the end of stage two (lap 250). The final 250 laps were broken up just twice – first at lap 311, and for the final time at lap 369 – as teams thrashed with tire management, often times putting on scuffed tires. Eventually, NASCAR granted teams an extra set of Goodyears as the laps counted down.

Around lap 430 – still with a pit cycle remaining – cars in the lead pack began falling off, forcing a wide range of green-flag pit stops. Crew chief Matt McCall kept the veteran on track longer than most anyone on track, ultimately giving the No. 6 a shorter run on tires to the end. Following his pit stop at lap 450 – where he inherited the lead for a lap – Keselowski ultimately cycled back to the top five, and eventually the top three.

Despite the fall off, the field managed the closing laps with no cautions as Keselowski finished third, the second-straight week with an RFK top five.

17 Recap
Buescher had an eventful, but productive, afternoon climbing through the field in the BuildSubmarines.com Ford. After rolling off 34th, crew chief Scott Graves quickly employed a strategy play in the first caution, putting right-side tires on the No. 17 just 20 laps in.

He restarted 18th and quickly improved to 13th just 10 laps later. The No. 17 team put him out 10th for a restart at lap 79, and from there cycled to third as stage one concluded at lap 125.

He restarted sixth for stage two as that green-flag run lasted 35 laps until lap 175 when Buescher ran fifth. After another stop for right-side tires, Buescher restarted on the point at lap 190. He took scuff tires in the next break at lap 234 and restarted 18th, before going on to finish the stage 24th.

Buescher ran 21st with 200 laps remaining, and slowly progressed to 18th by lap 379. As the tire fall off began and the green-flag cycle ensued at lap 430, Buescher ran sixth before pitting for the final time at lap 446. He held on for the seventh-place result as the final 121 laps ran caution-free, securing the No. 17 team’s second-straight top-10.

Up Next
Circuit of the Americas (COTA) hosts the first road course race of the season next weekend. Race coverage next Sunday is set for 3:30 p.m. ET on FOX, with radio coverage on PRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio (Channel 90).

RFK Racing PR