Daytona 500 eludes Brad Keselowski, again

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Sixty-seven laps.

Brad Keselowski led a race-high of 67 laps, Sunday, at Daytona International Speedway. He ran all but three laps inside the top-15 and maintained an average position of 4.8. Of course, with seven combined wins at Daytona and Talladega Superspeedway, you wouldn’t expect less from one of NASCAR’s all-time best restrictor plate racers.

Furthermore, with prior victories at Charlotte, Darlington and Indianapolis (or Talladega), a Daytona 500 victory completes the career Winston Million. A feat accomplished only by seven drivers.

With one lap to go in the 64th running of the Daytona 500, Keselowski thought he had it.

Alas, he fell short.

Daytona 500 eludes Brad Keselowski, again

The final lap

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – FEBRUARY 20: Austin Cindric, driver of the #2 Discount Tire Ford, and Bubba Wallace, driver of the #23 McDonald’s Toyota, race to the finish of the NASCAR Cup Series 64th Annual Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway on Feb. 20, 2022, in Daytona Beach, Florida. Photo: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

Chase Briscoe, who pushed Keselowski the previous lap and a half, lost touch in Turn 3. Which left Keselowski with no help.

“I thought down the backstretch we were gonna win the race and just (Ryan Blaney) and (Austin Cindric) got a really good push from (Bubba Wallace) and basically cleared our lane and then our lane kind of broke up there at the end,” he said.

Briscoe received a push from Kyle Busch and jumped to the outside of Keselowski, coming to the line. Keselowski moved up to block and put him in the wall. Keselowski suffered the worst, however, as Briscoe completed the overtake and he fell back to a ninth-place finish.

Just after crossing the line, he bounced off David Ragan, clipped Michael McDowell and sent him up into the wall.

If that wasn’t enough, the driver that replaced him at Team Penske scored the victory.

“I’m happy for them,” he said. “There’s a great group of people over there and they deserve all their success.”

Daytona 500 eludes Brad Keselowski, again

It’s not all bad for Brad Keselowski

All in all, thanks to his Duel victory, Thursday, and top-five finishes in both stage, Keselowski leaves Daytona tied for the points lead.

TOP IMAGE: Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images