Despite coming up one spot short in the NASCAR All-Star Race, Brad Keselowski found things to be happy with Sunday night.
Keselowski finished second to Kyle Larson at Texas Motor Speedway. Able to make a strong move to take the lead by getting to the inside and clear of Larson and Chase Elliott with eight laps to go, it was a short-lived time at the front. Larson charged back on Keselowski on the outside in Turns 1 and 2, and Keselowski was unable to mount a serious charge on Larson after losing the top spot, following him to the checkered flag.
“It feels like running second to the Hendrick cars right now is an accomplishment,” Keselowski said. “They are just stupid fast. I had him off Turn 4, but they just have so much speed. He just motored right back by me, like damn!
“It feels like a first-in-class day with the Discount Tire Ford. The team did a great job of executing and getting us in position; we just didn’t have enough speed to make the most of it. It was a good execution day, though, and I am proud of that.”
Keselowski was one of the main players throughout the 100-lap event. After the top-12 invert at the end of the first round, Keselowski fought teammate Ryan Blaney for the lead in the second round before settling for second.
A full field invert after the second round knocked Keselowski and his team back for a bit. Keselowski finished the third round last. Keselowski was 13th at the end of the fourth round and, through his cumulative finishes, started the fifth round in the ninth position.
— NASCAR (@NASCAR) June 14, 2021
Luck in the fifth round helped Keselowski keep his track position. Teams were required to make a pit stop during the fifth round, and Keselowski stayed out longer than most of the leaders to cycle to the lead. When the caution waved as he completed his pit stop, Keselowski returned to the track ahead of Chase Elliott, which kept him at the front of the field.
Keselowski, after the choose rule, started the final round in sixth place. He was fighting for the race lead two laps into the final round but remains winless in the All-Star Race.
“That is the best car I have had here, I just couldn’t get close enough to (Larson),” said Keselowski. “I could get to like five or six feet, and then the draft stopped working. His car is so fast down the straightaway. Even with this package, you can’t draft those Hendrick cars. They are so fast.
“We have work to do. I feel like my team really executed the race very well and got us in position. We just didn’t have the raw speed we needed to close it out. I felt like we made some great moves, it just wasn’t enough.”