Brad Keselowski carved his way through a pair of late-race restarts Sunday afternoon to finish fifth in the Castrol Edge Ford Mustang at Talladega Superspeedway.
“We could just never get track position,” Keselowski said after the race. “Felt like we had a car that could win this race if we could get to the front, but we could never get to the front with all the pit cycles and everything. It just kept cycling us back, and it was really frustrating.
“Towards the end when we got to the front, I feel like if the No. 23 didn’t spin, we were in a spot to win the race, pushing eight down the back-stretch. It’s just not the way the cookies crumbled.”
In rare Talladega fashion, the full field of cars survived through the opening two stages with only a pair of caution flags in the opening 60 laps. However, that tide turned in the closing laps as a multi-car incident occurred with five laps to go before a pair of NASCAR overtime restarts ultimately settled the 500+-mile race.
Keselowski was running 13th at the time of the caution with five to go and restarted 12th for the first overtime attempt. Then, he fired off seventh on the final attempt and was second on the bottom line at the white flag. Despite a hard hit on the right front in an incident that ended the race under yellow, Keselowski maintained his position and was scored fifth as the ending settled.
Keselowski started the day from the 20th position and was unable to score stage points in the opening two segments, but secured his second top-five of the season and fourth top-10.
The No. 6 team returns to action at Dover next weekend. Race coverage on Sunday is set for 2 p.m. ET on FS1, PRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.