2019 Season Comes to an End

Brad Keselowski was credited with an 18th-place finish in the Ford EcoBoost 400 Sunday evening at Homestead-Miami Speedway. The driver of the Discount Tire Ford Mustang finished the 2019 season eighth in the NASCAR Cup Series point standing, 21 points behind seventh-place teammate Ryan Blaney and 28 ahead of ninth-place Clint Bowyer. Keselowski started eighth in the 267-lap, 400-mile event after rain washed out qualifying. He was running eighth on lap 25 when he radioed the team that the balance on the No. 2 Mustang was tight. Crew chief Paul Wolfe called his driver to pit road for their first stop of the day on lap 34 for four tires and a wedge adjustment. When the cycle of green flag stops was complete, Keselowski was 12th. But the handling characteristics didn’t improve as the stage progressed. He was still struggling to turn, and he fell a lap down on lap 67. Keselowski was credited with a 18th-place finish when Stage 1 ended on lap 80. Wolfe made the call for four tires and a track bar adjustment when Keselowski pitted during the stage caution on lap 84. He restarted 16th when the race went green on lap 86. The adjustments by Wolfe improved the balance of the Discount Tire Ford. By lap 107 Keselowski said his car was turning better and was a just a tick on the free side. He was running 15th we he made a scheduled stop under green on lap 118 for four tires and an air pressure adjustment. Early in the run Keselowski said his Discount Tire Ford was very good but after a few laps it began to tighten up. By lap 137 the balance had shifted to where he was way too tight again but appeared to catch a break in the form of the second caution on lap 138. Keselowski took the wave around back onto the lead lap and lined up 17th for the restart on lap 142. He stayed on the lead lap over the final laps of segment. Keselowski finished 21st when Stage 2 ended on lap 160 but pitted with the lead lap cars on lap 163 and restarted 19th on lap 166. The final 101 laps of the race ran caution-free and was a tough stretch for Keselowski and the Discount Tire team. On lap 191 Keselowski told the team that his Mustang was “eight on a 10-scale tight” especially in the center of the corners. He pitted as scheduled on lap 206 under green for four tires and a significant track bar adjustment. Sixty-one laps later Keselowski ended his season with a 18th-place finish.

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Top 10 Finish in Phoenix

Brad Keselowski fought off a late-race mechanical gremlin to score a 10th-place finish Sunday afternoon at ISM Raceway. The driver of the Miller Lite Holiday Knitwear Ford Mustang claimed his 19th top-10 finish of the 2019 season and 10th at the one-mile oval. Keselowski enters the final race of the 2019 season eighth in the NASCAR Cup Series point standings, four behind seventh-place Ryan Blaney and 29 ahead of ninth-place William Byron. Keselowski started 12th in the 312-lap event. For much of Stage 1, the driver of the No. 2 Ford Mustang held firm to 11th-place in the running order. The first caution of the race on lap 68 set up a round of pit stops among the leaders, but crew chief Paul Wolfe made the call to keep his driver on the track. Keselowski took the lead on lap 70 and scored a sixth-place finish when the segment ended on lap 75. He pitted on lap 79 for four tires and an air pressure adjustment and lined up in 17th position when the race went green on lap 82. Stage 2 ran caution-free and Keselowski steadily worked his way through traffic to score a ninth-place finish when the segment ended on lap 150. Throughout the run Keselowski ran lap times comparable to the leaders but just needed track position to contend. He pitted during the stage caution for four tires and restarted 10th when the race went green on lap 159. Keselowski worked his way up to seventh-place when a cycle of green flag pit stops began on lap 240. He made his scheduled pit stop for four tires on lap 246 and when he returned to the track, he radioed his team that he thought he was down a cylinder. As the laps ticked off, he thought it might be loose plug wire. But despite the loss of power, Keselowski stayed among the top-10. As the run went on, the lap times between himself and those he was racing for position evened out and he kept pace. The fifth and final caution on lap 304 set up one final crazy restart with four laps to go. He survived the intense three-wide racing to claim a top-10 finish.

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Spin in Texas Leads to 39th Place Finish

Brad Keselowski would like to have lap 53 back from Sunday’s race at Texas Motor Speedway. An uncharacteristic mistake resulted in an incident that forced him from the race to finish in the 39th position. Keselowski led the Team Penske qualifying effort on Saturday evening by slotting into the eighth position to start the event. He radioed to crew chief Paul Wolfe that he was too loose on corner entry, but otherwise happy with the handling of the No. 2 Wurth Ford Mustang. An early four-tire pit stop placed Keselowski back in the running order, but those positions were made up during a rash of early cautions that saw him cycle to the fifth position when the race resumed on lap 48. Unfortunately, the handling was still not to his liking and Keselowski was doing all he could to maintain track position while dropping through the field. He decided to try the higher groove in turns 3 and 4, but the traction compound had not activated to improve the grip level. As a result, Keselowski made hard contact with the outside wall to end his day prematurely.

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Tribute 2 Veterans

One of the special things about being a race car driver is that I get to meet a lot of people. I try to sign a lot of autographs and listen to as many fans’ stories as possible every race season. Some of their stories can be cool like old racing tales or how far they’ve traveled to a race, while others can even be strange. But then there are some that really pull at your heart strings. I enjoy the conversations that come from each interaction, but more often than not, there is one topic that really gets my attention.

“Hey, thanks for honoring my brother at Atlanta.”

“Man, it was cool to see my grandfather’s name on your car.”

When I hear these phrases, it always makes me smile because I know they are talking about our special Tribute2Veterans Autotrader car.

It will never get old to have fans approach me with their stories about their friends, family members and heroes who were honored on my No. 2 Autotrader Ford the past two years. It’s a great feeling knowing how much people value that opportunity to see those familiar names on board my car.

Some of you may remember, but the special Tribute2Veterans design showed up at Atlanta this year. There were more than 200 military members’ names on the car, all submitted by fans. Each of those fans graciously donated to the Checkered Flag Foundation to help raise money for our veterans, and I’m forever grateful for that support.

Thinking back to Atlanta, I felt under the weather all race weekend long and was even a bit skeptical about how we’d be able to run with the new rules package in effect. I honestly don’t think I could’ve predicted how it would turn out. But there were definitely moments where I’d reflect on how the Tribute 2 Veterans weekend was about something much greater than myself – it was about the heroes riding along on the No. 2. Coincidence we ended up in Victory Lane that day?

Many of you have come to recognize my signature patriotic burnout, and that weekend in Atlanta, it took on a whole new meaning. Having our first win of the season felt so good, but knowing those names were on the car made it even more special. It’s a moment that I’ll never forget.

I couldn’t have dreamed up a better way to salute the heroes on board the No. 2 Autotrader Ford.

Paige and I are honored that our Checkered Flag Foundation will be able to partner with Autotrader again to bring back the Tribute2Veterans scheme. I believe that part of my responsibility as a race car driver is to give back, and I can’t think of a better way to do that than by supporting those who selflessly sacrifice their lives for us.

If you have a military member you would like to honor on my car in 2020, visit the Foundation website here: https://bit.ly/2oxCl07

Each submission will receive a personalized certificate and a commemorative poster of the No. 2 Autotrader Ford Mustang displaying the veteran names. I’m hoping to see a lot of these at autograph sessions to come where I can continue to have some of my favorite conversations.

As we celebrate the 10-year anniversary of the Foundation in 2020, I can’t think of a better way to jumpstart our year than with the return of Tribute2Veterans. My family and I could not be more proud to honor those who sacrifice for us.

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Brad Top 3 in Martinsville

Brad Keselowski held off Denny Hamlin in the closing laps to score a third-place finish in the First Data 500 Sunday evening at Martinsville Speedway. Keselowski claimed his 13th top-five finish of the 2019 season and his ninth top-five in 20 starts at Martinsville. He sits ninth in the NASCAR Cup Series point standings, 38 points ahead of 10th-place William Byron.

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Brad Out of the Playoffs in Kansas

Brad Keselowski missed advancing to the Round of 8 in the NASCAR Playoffs Sunday afternoon at Kansas Speedway. The playoff fortunes for the driver of the Discount Tire Ford Mustang seesawed back and forth multiple times in the closing laps of the race between he and Chase Elliott but when the dust finally settled, Keselowski was eliminated from the playoffs by just three points.

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BK Finishes 25th In Wild Dega Race

In a Talladega race filled with wild wrecks and multiple cautions, Brad was caught up in a late race accident and finished 25th. While the finish was not what the 2 team was hoping for in the second round of the playoffs, Brad remains 20 points to the good of the cutoff line.

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