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Sunday, October 24, 2021

Keselowski let Talladega NASCAR victory “slip away”

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Keselowski watched race winner Wallace use a block to guard his lead, and felt he had a strategy to get across the 23XI driver earlier than working out of time.

As a substitute, a four-car wreck on Lap 117 of the scheduled 188 laps at Talladega introduced out a warning, locking Keselowski into second place.

Quickly after the warning was displayed, the rain returned, and NASCAR halted the race. With not sufficient time to dry the monitor earlier than darkness, the race was declared official because it had already handed the half-time level.

Wallace duly claimed his first profession Cup Collection win, leaving Keselowski as runner-up and lamenting his choice to delay an try to round Wallace for the lead.

“Gosh, if I might have recognized it was going to rain proper then, I had a transfer I may have made and I used to be like, ‘No we’ve bought 5 laps within the stage left, I don’t wish to burn that transfer but,’ ” Keselowski stated.

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“Then it rains and I sort of really feel like I let one slip away right here.

“We have been actually shut to creating a transfer on Bubba to win the stage and the race, however I didn’t want that rain. I wanted one other two or three laps.”

Keselowski had run properly all through the shortened race, main 13 laps – second-most within the race to Kevin Harvick’s 16 – and frequently put himself in place to contend for the lead.

Wallace had deftly blocked a Keselowski advance proper earlier than the ultimate warning got here out.

Bubba Wallace, 23XI Racing, Toyota Camry McDonald’s and Kurt Busch, Chip Ganassi Racing, Chevrolet Camaro Monster Vitality

Picture by: Nigel Kinrade / NKP / Motorsport Images

“You by no means rely out the Penske vehicles,” Wallace stated. “We discuss them in our Monday and Tuesday conferences. These guys make it work and there’s a cause why they win the races.

“Figuring out we needed to defend them. Freddie (Kraft, Wallace’s spotter) did a hell of a job on prime of the roof. So happy with him. We simply made the correct strikes and it labored out.”

Keselowski’s second-place end could have stung but it surely nonetheless left him in a robust place heading into the ultimate race of the second spherical of the playoffs subsequent Sunday on the Charlotte Roval.

Keselowski is at the moment ranked fourth out of 12 drivers within the standings and 20 factors above the cutoff line. The underside 4 within the standings and not using a win shall be eradicated from additional playoff rivalry following the race on the Roval.

“All in all, it’s nonetheless a fantastic day,” he stated. “We scored a number of stage factors, which is actually Positive and put ourselves in a great place subsequent week to go to the Roval.

“We put ourselves in place to not should go to the Roval and have a ‘hero’ day. We will have only a stable day.”

Requested his preliminary ideas on heading to the Roval subsequent week – the one highway course within the Cup playoffs – Keselowski stated: “A troublesome race for us. Highway programs have been actually powerful, however fortunately, we don’t should go there and win.”

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