By Justin Schuoler, Staff Writer
HAMPTON, Ga. – Brad Keselowski fought for his life in the rain-shortened Quaker State 400.
Despite winning Stage 2 with valuable championship points and a Playoff point, the ensuing pit cycle shuffled his No. 6 Castrol Edge Ford Mustang outside the Top-10. When the green flag dropped, the entire field understood the assignment and battled for each position like it was the last lap.
Because it would be at any given moment.
Keselowski clawed his way through the field with a chance to get back to the lead, but unfortunately ran out of time and finished sixth at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
“It was a good day,” admitted Keselowski. “We were right where we needed to be, but didn’t get the breaks we needed. I was really happy with our performance and quality of the cars we had. My teammate, Chris Buescher, did a good job, but just didn’t catch the breaks we needed at the end.”
Since the field was alerted about the weather radar, various pit strategies built a 37-wide guessing game of fuel strategies to determine when NASCAR would eventually call the race early. Some drivers like Michael McDowell were on fumes while others like himself had fuel for more laps.
“No, we had 12-14 laps left of fuel and that was not enough and we ended up running 15 laps or so,” he shared. “I think we made the right call, we just needed the rain to be 10 minutes earlier or 10 minutes later.”
His winless streak extends to 81, dating back to his victory at Talladega Superspeedway in 2021. While the number has spanned multiple seasons, it shouldn’t go without saying that RFK Racing has been competitive more and more. Both he and teammate Buescher led laps and battled side by side with the Team Penske Fords during Stage 2.
“It’s just part of the deal. You win races you shouldn’t and you lose ones you probably should win and you have to take the punches as they come.”
And just as Keselowski shared over the radio in the closing laps: “I’m giving you all I’ve got.”