Brad Keselowski Stumbles Out of the Gate of the Eliminator Round

Brad Keselowski Stumbles Out of the Gate of the Eliminator Round

by October 27, 2014 0 comments

Photo Credit: Hunter Thomas/The Fourth Turn

RIDGEWAY, Va. — Brad Keselowski’s hopes for claiming his second NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship hit a speed bump at Martinsville Speedway on Sunday afternoon after finishing the Goody’s Headache Relief Shot 500 in the 31st position.

The 2012 series champion would encounter mechanical issues on Lap 438 of the 500-lap race as his No. 2 Alliance Truck Parts Ford would slow on Martinsville’s frontstretch due to transmission woes. As Keselowski would slow on the track, a chain reaction pileup would occur behind him that would inflict damage upon the cars of Danica Patrick, Martin Truex Jr., Kasey Kahne, and Casey Mears and would bring out the red flag.

Keselowski retreated down pit road and received a push to the garage once the red flag was withdrawn. Team Penske’s No. 2 team repaired their wounded car in enough time to get it back out on the track on Lap 465. Keselowski would ultimately finish the race 28 laps off of the lead.

“It’s not the day we want by any means, but the guys did a great job,” Keselowski said. “They put a gear in this car in 28 laps at Martinsville, that’s pretty phenomenal but it was just unfortunate the way the day played out.

“We were doing the things we needed to do.  We were surviving.  We were gonna probably have ourselves a fifth or sixth-place day, which is certainly something we could be proud of and move forward with, but this kind of puts us in a position now where we need to win.  This Chase lends itself to those moments and we’re a team that’s capable of them, so we’ll try to be as positive as we can and move forward with two more opportunities to do just that.”

Had he made it through the race without his transmission issue, Keselowski was on track for a solid top-10 result that would have placed him within the cutoff zone for the Eliminator Round cutoff with two races remaining.

“My car barely had a scratch on it and was in really good shape to probably fun fifth or sixth, which would have been a very decent day for us,” Keselowski says.” We didn’t quite have the speed we needed to win today and then something broke, which was unfortunate not just for us but for the other guys that got tore up in it.

“It’s just one of those deals, there was nothing you could really do different.  I’m not really sure what happened.  Something in the back of the car broke and I don’t even know what yet, so it’s just one of those deals.”

Keselowski heads to Texas Motor Speedway for race two of the Eliminator Round 26 points out of a transfer spot, seventh in the drivers’ standings.

For fans of the six-time 2014 race winner and for Keselowski himself, all hope is not lost as Keselowski was able to punch his way into the Eliminator Round with a ‘hail mary’ victory at Talladega in the GEICO 500 last Sunday after entering the race outside of a transfer spot.

Keselowski knows that grabbing a win at either Texas or Phoenix – the final race of the round – will provide himself and the No. 2 team with a challenge, however, he states that a win at either track is attainable.

“Yeah, it’s still tough to do,” Keselowski says of securing a ‘clutch’ victory. “It’s not like we’re just gonna go and guarantee a win at Texas and Phoenix, but it’s also not impossible and we’ve got the team, if there is one, to pull it off.”

Kyle Pokrefky
Follow Kyle Pokrefky on Twitter at @KPokrefky

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