Early on in Sunday’s Auto Club 400, it looked as if Brad Keselowski wouldn’t be in contention for the win by the time the checkered flag flew, but as he and his team have done so many times in the past, they persevered through the adversities to bring home a second place finish on the day.
Starting from third place, Keselowski’s troubles started from the drop of the green flag as outside polesitter Denny Hamlin couldn’t get going on the start, causing Ryan Newman to get into the rear of Keselowski’s Ford and causing a significant amount of damage.
As Keselowski was nursing his wounded car around the track trying to feel it out, the hits just kept on coming as Jimmie Johnson made contact with him a few laps later, sending Keselowski for a spin through the infield grass off Turn 4.
Under caution, the No. 2 team got his car patched up and back on track within the allotted time and although it looked like a car that had been raced at Martinsville instead of Auto Club Speedway, Keselowski was able to make his way back toward the front of the field, breaking into the top-10 by the end of Stage Two.
Throughout the final stage, Keselowski was able to stay in the top-10 and with the flurry of late cautions, made his way into the top-five as the laps wound down. Restarting third on the final restart in overtime, he grabbed second place just before the white flag was displayed and that is where he would stay for the final two miles, unable to catch race winner Kyle Larson.
“Just great perseverance by the team here at the Wurth Ford Fusion,” said Keselowski. “We wanted to win, but I got out of the car and looked at the damage and this thing is torn to pieces. I feel lucky to get second. Curious to see what we could have done if we weren’t torn up, but great day for us really persevere despite adversity. You’re just going to have that in a 36 race season, so it’s a really important characteristic for your team and I’m proud of them for that.”