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Keselowski Makes Pit Road Mistake, Finishes Sixth at Richmond


(Photo: Wayne Riegle | The Podium Finish)

RICHMOND, Va. — Brad Keselowski made a mistake on pit road while leading Sunday’s Cook Out 400 at Richmond Raceway, resulting in a sixth-place finish instead of a potential win.

While in for service on Lap 285, Keselowski locked up the right front tire while entering his pit box and ended up sideways. His RFK Racing crew pitted him that way, but it cost Keselowski significant time under green.

The 39-year-old from Rochester Hills, Michigan couldn’t fully recover and finished just outside the top five after a restart with three laps to go.

Keselowski’s pit road mishap allowed teammate Chris Buescher to take the lead when the cycle completed and he went on to win the race.

“I struggled a little bit on the pit sequence with some of my stuff,” Keselowski said in a post-race press conference. “I’d have to go back and watch it all. I just got in a little too hard, wide, locked up the right front.

“Certainly Chris [Buescher] was very fast. When we got back out on the track, got passed by two or three cars, I was just trying to hold on there for a little bit. Car handling got away from me a little bit. Not exactly sure why. We’ll go back and take a look at that.

“We ran really hard to try to get back in the top five. Wasn’t really able to push back through. I was kind of stuck sixth or seventh I think for the remainder of the race with some guys in front of us that were staying out. Couldn’t quite get back by some of those guys. I think I passed the 23, but the 8 passed me, kind of drove away. Just couldn’t make that next step. So just lost the handling there a little bit.”

(Photo: Wayne Riegle | The Podium Finish)

It had been a banner day for RFK as the two cars ran in the top five nearly all day along with Denny Hamlin and his two 23XI Racing cars. Keselowski led all drivers with 102 laps led while Buescher tallied 88.

Keselowski finished Stage 1 in ninth after qualifying 13th and made it up to the front of the field for the Stage 2 victory. He won the race off pit road and led in the final stage until his first pit stop in Stage 3. The No. 6 team elected to split each of the final two 130-lap stages into thirds while other teams had varying strategies.

While Keselowski had obvious frustration with falling short of a win, he remained proud of Buescher and RFK Racing on their second victory in as many seasons. However, it left the team owner wondering what the day could’ve been for the organization.

“We wanted to win 1-2. That’s the ultimate goal. We didn’t get that, but we still had a heck of a day where we ran 1-2 [for] parts,” Keselowski said. “This is kind of the next step for us, is to be able to win races on a contender basis. I told somebody, a lot of you guys here this year, we moved from irrelevant to relevant. The next step is to try to be contenders. You get to the contender status by winning races.

“We’re not where we want to be. We want to be where we win every week, we’re 1-2 finishing. This is another step in our progression and a lot to be proud of.”

Buescher, who entered Richmond already on the playoff grid, secured his spot into the 16-man show beginning in September at Darlington Raceway. Keselowski remains stout at 11th in points, 151 above the cutline with four races remaining in the regular season.

The series heads to Michigan International Speedway on Sunday, August 6.

Nathan Solomon serves as the managing editor of The Podium Finish. He has been part of the team since 2021 and is accredited by the National Motorsports Press Association. Solomon is a senior in the Jandoli School of Communication at St. Bonaventure University. Contact him at

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