Brad Keselowski led the field in the closing moments of Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway. The driver/owner of the King’s Hawaiian Ford Mustang led 47 laps in the 260-lap event, including 28 of the final 29. As cool as the crisp west Georgia afternoon, Keselowski held off a pack of charging Penske Fords for the final 25 laps, but despite the valiant effort from the NASCAR Champion, lost the lead as the field moved into turn three with just under half a mile left in the 400-mile event.
Keselowski and the No. 6 Team held on for the second-place finish, RFK’s best finish at the 1.5-mile track since 2010.
“A great run all-in-all for our RFK King’s Hawaiian Ford Mustang,” said Keselowski after the race. “We were right there. I’m glad a Ford won and it was a heck of a battle. I’m proud of my team and the effort, just not much we could do there at the end.
“It’s night and day from where we were a year ago, 100 percent,” added an optimistic Keselowski. “You just keep running like this with good finishes and the wins will come.”
Keselowski started the day fourth based on Saturday’s strong effort in qualifying. He finished stage one in third position and moved to second as the field went green for stage two. After a green flag pit cycle the No. 6 King’s Hawaiian Ford finished the second stage sixth.
Keselowski took the lead for the first time on lap 209 and led the majority of the race’s final 50 laps. He appeared poised for the victory coming into the final lap, but was unable to hold off the charge from the No. 22 and his teammates.
“The bottom row came with a huge run,” said Keselowski. “I thought I had it blocked and Joey (Logano) just kept shaking and his car didn’t stall out. I couldn’t get the push down the back, but it was still a great run for our team and something we’ll continue to build on until we get there. We are getting really close.”
Keselowski, who has now led in all five races this season, moved up to fifth in the Cup point standings, one point behind fourth and 17 outside of first place.
The No. 6 team returns to action next week in road-course racing action at the Circuit of the Americas (COTA) in Austin, Texas. Race coverage Sunday is set for 3:30 p.m. on FOX. Radio coverage can be heard on PRN and SiriusXM Channel 90.