Track: Phoenix Raceway
Race: LS Tractor 200
Date: March 7, 2020
No. 12 XPEL Ford Mustang – Brad Keselowski
Stage 1: 7th
Stage 2: 13th
Laps Completed: 200/200
Laps Led: 7
Driver Point Standings (behind first): n/a
- Brad Keselowski made a late-race rally to score a fourth-place finish in the LS Tractor 200 Saturday afternoon at Phoenix Raceway. Keselowski grabbed his 12th top-five finish in 21 races at Phoenix and racked up to seventh consecutive top-10 at the one-mile desert oval.
- Keselowski qualified fourth for the 200-lap, 200-mile race. The balance on the No. 12 XPEL Mustang was tight during the early laps of Stage 1. Crew chief Matt Swiderski made the call to pit during the first caution on lap 33 for four tires. Keselowski restarted 22nd with nine laps left in the stage and rallied through the field to claim a seventh-place finish when the segment ended on lap 45. He stayed out when the other leaders pitted during the stage caution and led the field when Stage 2 went green on lap 55.
- The driver of the XPEL Ford settled into fifth moments after the race went green and once again wrestled a tight-handling Mustang during Stage 2. He pitted for four tires on lap 86, with just four laps remaining in the stage and finished 13th when the segment ended on lap 90. Once again, he stayed out during the stage caution and restarted 10th when the race went green on lap 92.
- As the laps ticked off in the final stage, Keselowski was able to work his way up in the running order but fought a No. 12 Mustang that was too tight. He pitted for four tires and chassis adjustment on lap 130. On the restart, Daniel Hemric dove below Keselowski in Turn 2. The cars touched and Keselowski scraped against the outside wall but escaped with no major damage, but he was shuffled back to 10th for the restart on lap 153.
- From there the rally was on with Keselowski steadily moving up through the top-10. He climbed up to fifth position by lap 172 when he passed Justin Haley and was chasing down Kyle Busch when he simply ran out of laps and was forced to settle for a fourth-place finish.
Quote: "We started off and the XPEL Ford was really tight. We made some adjustments and got to that next to last restart and got wrecked but recovered from that and drove through the field. I think we would have had a shot to win if we didn't have to come from so far behind. Everyone on the XPEL Ford worked hard and got us in position there at the end. We gave it our all and I gave it all I had but it just wasn't enough."
No. 22 MoneyLion Ford Mustang – Austin Cindric
Stage 1: 5th
Stage 2: 9th
Laps Completed: 200/200
Laps Led: 9
Driver Point Standings (behind first): 3rd (-21)
- Austin Cindric and the No. 22 MoneyLion team scored an eighth-place finish in the LS Tractor 200 Saturday afternoon at Phoenix Raceway. Cindric racked up his third consecutive top-10 finish this season.
- The driver of the MoneyLion Mustang started second and powered his way to an early lead over Kyle Busch. As the first 45-lap stage progressed, he slowly lost position and was credited with a fifth-place finish at the end of Stage 1. He pitted during the stage caution to correct the rear lateral grip issue and restarted ninth when Stage 2 began on lap 55.
- The Mooresville, N.C., native fell to the 11th position during Stage 2 but with six laps remaining in the second 45-lap segment, the third caution gave Cindric the opportunity to pit. He restarted 15th but fought his way back to ninth when Stage 2 concluded on lap 90.
- Cindric ran inside the top-five in Stage 3 but over the long run, the No. 22 Ford steadily lost grip which caused him to slip through the field. He and Ross Chastain battled for position during the final segment and made contact but there was no significant damage. Cindric and the No. 22 MoneyLion team would settle for an eighth-place finish at the end of the 200-lap race.
- Following Saturday's race, Cindric now has four top-10 finishes in five races at Phoenix and remains third in the NASCAR Xfinity Series driver standings, 21 points behind leader Harrison Burton.
Quote: "I about got wrecked twice for position. It is a one lane racetrack but the first thing you do when you run up on a guy is not left-rear him. I would like to hear his (Ross Chastain) point of view for sure. It's a part of it nothing to lose sleep over. I think we need to improve our package for today, especially with the PJ1 stuff."