Brad Keselowski ran into bad luck again Sunday afternoon at Martinsville Speedway after earning top five stage finishes in the early part of the 500-lap race, before an incident on lap 274 ended his promising run in the King’s Hawaiian Ford.
In the penultimate race of the 2023 season, Keselowski began the day from the 10th position. A late-stage caution in the opening 130 laps opened the door for early strategy, as crew chief Matt McCall elected for right-side tires. That call put him sixth on the ensuing restart, which came with 19 laps remaining in the stage.
He went on to finish fifth, earning stage points, before then taking left-side tires, as tire wear was hardly an issue in the early going. Keselowski began stage two in 14th, and surged back into the top-10 as a yellow flag occurred at lap 215. He restarted fifth at lap 225, and maintained the position to finish fifth in the stage conclusion at lap 260.
Then, under the stage break following, Keselowski took right side tires on the King’s Hawaiian Ford, and briefly stalled exiting his pit stall. The mishap put him a few positions behind, setting up the No. 6 in 14th for the restart at lap 270.
Just a couple laps into the run, the No. 22 initiated a multi-car incident, which ultimately resulted in heavy front-end damage for Keselowski. The team would take the car to the garage for repairs, and Keselowski eventually returned to the track for the final three laps to avoid a DNF.
Phoenix Raceway hosts the Championship and final race of the 2023 season next weekend. Race coverage on Sunday is set for 3 p.m. ET on NBC, with radio coverage on MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio (Channel 90).