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Brad Keselowski Finishes Second Again in Shortened Coke 600

Brad Keselowski

Brad Keselowski (6) battling for position during the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. (Photo: Phil Cavali | The Podium Finish)

CONCORD, N.C. — Fresh off of a win in the last points-paying race at Darlington, Brad Keselowski looked to go back to back at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Keselowski, a previous Coca-Cola 600 winner started back in 30th place but quickly showed off the speed of his No. 6 car and finished eighth in Stage 1.

Stage 2 went even better for Keselowski as he finished fifth and started to become one of the fastest cars on the track.

As Stage 3 began, Keselowski began to flex his muscles, especially after gaining track position. After restarting in sixth place, Keselowski made it up third and on Lap 218 got around William Byron for second.

A caution came out for Corey Lajoie, leading to a restart on Lap 236 with Keselowski in second. Christopher Bell held onto the lead but Keselowski also held onto to second and began chasing down Bell.

It all came to an end just 10 laps later on Lap 246 when a caution came out for rain and on Lap 249 the race was red-flagged and never resumed. Making Bell the winner and Keselowski finishing in second for the third time this season.

“Yeah, it was pretty disappointing. I felt like we had a car to win the race,” Keselowski said. “We kind of ran down the 20 (Bell) car twice and just didn’t get to see it play out. Kind of slipped through our fingers there.”

Towards the end of Stage 2 Keselowski began running some of the fastest lap times on track, allowing him to get up to the second position. The rain took away any chance Keselowski had, especially with over 150 laps remaining in the race.

Brad Keselowski

Brad Keselowski (6) battling with Michael McDowell (34) during the Coca-Cola 600. (Photo: Phil Cavali | The Podium Finish)

“I think everybody knew the situation. I can’t claim ignorance to that, said Keselowski. “We were going as hard as we could. I feel like I needed another 10 laps or so to be able to make a pass. But that’s not how it played out.”

The main thing Keselowski needed was longer runs, something he harped on during and after the race.

“I think we had more speed than him, but there was a pretty big air advantage that he had,” Keselowski said post-race. “As laps would go on, the aero grip gets displaced by the mechanical grip, and then we could take him.”

Despite the strong race, Keselowski still is disappointed but knows the points earned with the second-place finish are valuable.

“It was good to be that fast. You want to make it count with wins,” said Keselowski. “You don’t want to be a sore loser for a second but it stinks because I know we had a car to win today. If that doesn’t hurt, you’re in the wrong business.”

“But still, we scored good points today,” Keselowski said. “I think we moved up to 10th, which is nice, and the highest Ford, which is nice. But I think we had a lot more capability than what we were able to get out of it.”

Overall the finish was the sixth top-five of the season for Keselowski, which is tied for the most in the Cup Series with Denny Hamlin and Kyle Larson and his seventh top 10 in 2024.

“All in all, really happy with our performance,” said Keselowski. “Car was really fast. Pit stops were phenomenal. Just didn’t get to see it through. Bummed for our team, bummed for everybody. But the weather is what the weather is.”





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