Keselowski Earns Solid Top-5 at Loudon in Ford

Brad Keselowski fought his way to fifth-place finish Monday in the Ford at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, his fourth top five effort of the season.


“There were a handful of cars that were really just good on the short runs – we were one of them – and some that were really good on the long run than the short run,” Keselowski said after the race. “You just have to capitalize and you saw that on the restarts, where they got really wild – three and four wide.


“We were able to capitalize. We’re clawing – just clawing. We know we’re not fast enough on these types of tracks to win, but we’re getting everything we can out of these days.”


The two-time Loudon winner began the day inside the top-10, and virtually never left once he worked back into the top-10 following stage one. The 301-lap race was moved to Monday after persistent rain Sunday in the New England area, the fourth-straight week to affect action for the Cup Series.


After finishing the opening stage in 12th, Keselowski restarted eighth for stage two at lap 77. A green-flag pit cycle broke up the stage with Keselowski’s stop coming at lap 128 from the seventh spot. The green-flag run held on all the way to lap 162 when the No. 6 ran eighth. Another caution followed right after, this time with Keselowski staying out.


He restarted eighth with 11 to go in the second stage, and finished it there, earning stage points. With the pit stop just prior, Keselowski stayed out in the stage break as mixed strategies were deployed throughout the field.


He restarted fifth at lap 191 for the final stage, and by lap 232 had worked his way up to fourth. Another green-flag pit cycle began at that point with Keselowski pitting at lap 237 in what would be one of the fastest stops on the day for the team.


The green-flag run stretched all the way to lap 270 when the first of three yellows in the final 31 laps was displayed. Keselowski was seventh at the time of the caution, and elected to take four fresh tires, while eight other cars in front took only two fresh tires.


The strategy ultimately paid off as Keselowski carved his way through two more restarts – one with 16 laps remaining from the ninth spot – and the final with nine laps remaining from sixth – to record the fifth-place effort.


Up Next

The NASCAR Cup Series heads to Pocono Raceway next for its lone race date of the season. Race coverage Sunday afternoon is set for 2:30 p.m. ET on USA Network, with radio coverage on MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.