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Brad Keselowski Tallies Another Top Five, Finishes Third at WWTR

Brad Keselowski

Brad Keselowski waving to the crowd during pre-race ceremonies at World Wide Technology Raceway for the Enjoy Illinois 300. (Photo: Josh James | The Podium Finish)

MADISON, Ill. — In the last two points-paying races, Brad Keselowski won at Darlington and finished second at Charlotte. These finishes put him in a tie for the series lead in top-fives and gave Keselowski a top-five streak going into World Wide Technology Raceway.

Keselowski carried that top-five speed to the Enjoy Illinois 300, where after qualifying seventh, he ran a clean race to come home in third place.

“We had good speed, especially on long-run speed,” Keselowski told Harry Loomis post-race. “I’m proud of that, really proud of that.”

In the closing laps, Keselowski was on pace to finish inside the top five, most likely in fifth. However, he was able to make up two spots due to the misfortune of others in front of him. With 19 laps to go, Christopher Bell reported an engine problem while battling for the lead and coming to the white flag, Ryan Blaney ran out of fuel while leading.

Brad Keselowski

Brad Keselowski (6) racing for position during the Enjoy Illinois 300 at World Wide Technology Raceway (Photo: Josh James | The Podium Finish)

These incidents gifted the win to the guy who took over the No. 2 car after Keselowski left, Austin Cindric, his first victory since the 2022 Daytona 500, breaking an 85-race winless streak.

Even with that, Keselowski still wishes that he could have nabbed at least one more spot to finish in second.

“I wish we could’ve gotten the (No.) 11 (Denny Hamlin). I needed like a couple more laps to run him down, but recovered early from some problems on pit road and just put ourselves in position,” Keselowski said.

The top-five finish was also a great points day for Keselowski, earning him 40 points total on the day and even leading 17 laps. Finishing in the top five at a track like World Wide Technology Raceway is also huge for RFK Racing because Keselowski has been vocal about the team’s struggles at flat, shorter-styled tracks.

Brad Keselowski

Brad Keselowski’s pit crew performing a pit stop during the Enjoy Illinois 300 at World Wide Technology Raceway. (Photo: Josh James | The Podium Finish)

“The shorter flatter tracks have been a weak spot for us, so it’s good to get a good run and finish that one for sure,” Keselowski said after being asked if the top five at Gateway is an accomplishment.

Even though he was unsuccessful in getting the win, Keselowski also acknowledged the significance of Ford reaching Victory Lane. With Cindric winning, it is now only the second points-paying win for Ford across all three national series, with the only other being Keselowski’s Darlington victory.

“Yeah that (No.) 12 car (Ryan Blaney) had a ton of speed. He looked stout,” said Keselowski. “I didn’t think he was the best car, but maybe we were just behind him there. Good for everybody.”

Heading into next weekend’s race at Sonoma, Keselowski has finished inside the top five in five of the last seven races and three in a row overall and will look to extend that streak to four.

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