Not the flag Keselowski was looking for at Bristol

Image by Kinrade/LAT

Not the flag Keselowski was looking for at Bristol

NASCAR

Not the flag Keselowski was looking for at Bristol

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Brad Keselowski saw a flag late in the Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway, but not the one he was looking for.

Keselowski was black-flagged when the Cup Series race restarted for the final time with 14 laps to go. NASCAR declared that the Team Penske driver had not followed directions of where to line up after pitting from the race lead.

Kyle Busch, Kurt Busch, Daniel Suarez, Paul Menard, Ryan Newman, and Clint Bowyer were the top six as all stayed out. Keselowski, however, ended up in front of Newman and was directed by NASCAR race control multiple times to drop back.

Per NASCAR rules, Keselowski should have lined up as the fourth driver on the inside lane behind the six drivers who had stayed out. Through all the confusion, in which NASCAR added an extra lap to correct the lineup, Keselowski ended up three-wide coming to the restart with one of those drivers being teammate Joey Logano.

“I think they should take the rulebook, tear half of the pages out of it, and go race,” Keselowski told a FOX Sports reporter as he left pit road. “Got too many damn rules. Too many lucky dogs, wave arounds.

“There’s so much stuff going on the drivers don’t know what’s going on and NASCAR don’t know what’s going on. There’s too many rules.”

Had the penalty not been issued, Keselowski was confident in his position. He led 40 laps before giving up the race lead to pit for two tires.

“Not only that, I screwed my teammate,” Keselowski admitted. “[Joey] had four new tires and we’re all jumbled up like that. He was going to eat those guys alive [but] since we’re still jumbled up, he didn’t get an opportunity. I feel bad about that.

“Basically, it took two of the best cars of the race out of it and handed it to Kyle [Busch].”

Logano finished third and said it was a no-win situation when the last caution came out and the decision had to be made whether to pit or not.

“It’s really hard to pass, and by the time I got to third, those cars were so far ahead of me I was stuck and was not going to get to them,” Logano said of winner Kyle Busch and second-place finisher Kurt Busch. “It stinks when you have the fastest car and don’t win, but it’s a team sport, and it takes every piece to make it work. We had the car part figured out today; we just missed it on some other ends and just have to keep fighting hard.

“We got a stage win, and that was nice, and we led a lot of laps. But you want to win at Bristol — so bad. Bristol is the coolest track. You see the start-finish line and think you’re gonna get it, but things happen quick here.”

Keselowski fell to 18th after serving his pass-through penalty and said he would go see NASCAR.

“I’m sure I’ll get a line of crap,” he said, “but I’ll try.”

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