By David Morgan, NASCAR Editor
CONCORD, N.C. – Final practice seemed to be going exactly as planned for 2012 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series champion Brad Keselowski, but things went awry for him just minutes after blazing around Charlotte Motor Speedway with the fastest lap of the session.
Keselowski toured around the Charlotte road course with a lap of 1 minute, 17.730 seconds at 105.596 mph, but as the session neared its final moments, the frontstretch chicane became the bane of his existence.
The lap looked to be going just fine until he got crossed up entering the chicane and he tried to avoid the blue curbs, which are being called turtles this weekend. Though he avoided the turtles for the most part, the avoidance effort caused his Ford to spin head-on into the outside wall, damaging the front end of his car and requiring a tow back to the garage.
After a quick inspection of the damage, the team made the call to break out the back-up car, which will send Keselowski to the back of the pack for Sunday’s race. Luckily for him, he is already locked into the next round of the Playoffs courtesy of his win at Las Vegas.
Following Keselowski on the speed chart was Hendrick Motorsports rookie William Byron, Kyle Larson, Paul Menard, Martin Truex Jr., Kurt Busch, AJ Allmendinger, Michael McDowell, Chase Elliott, and Ryan Blaney.
With practice complete, all that’s left to do is turn them loose and race on Sunday, with the green flag scheduled for 2:00 pm ET on NBC.