Brad Finishes Ninth in New Hampshire

After being put out early by wrecks in back-to-back weeks, Brad Keselowski and his No. 2 Wurth Ford team earned a hard-fought Top 10 finish at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

The 2 Crew overcame a jack malfunction on pit road and a machine that wasn’t quite as fast as desired to secure a ninth-place finish. After the tough day, BK was proud of the perseverance shown by his squad.

“Yeah, that was a reasonable finish for us for sure,” BK said. “We weren’t probably as fast as we wanted to be, but we stayed very persistent as a team and that is good.”

The 2 Crew kicked off the Overton’s 301 from 11th place but quickly proved they had a piece to contend with. Driving up inside the Top 5 prior to the lap 30 competition caution, crew chief Paul Wolfe used it as an opportunity to pit the car. While changing tires, the jack gave out, resulting in a drop back to P22. Valiant as ever, BK managed to drive back inside the Top 15 by the end of the first Stage on lap 75.

“The [first] pit stop was a bummer,” he said on the faulty jack. “I am not sure what happened there. Nobody wants to see that happen.”

Similar to the XFINITY race the day before, the Monster Energy Cup Series event experienced a red flag, but this was for track repairs from the VHT traction compound applied to the racing surface.

“I don’t know if the compound made things any racier,” BK said afterward. “It was certainly different but I don’t know if it was — I have to think about that one.”

As the race progressed, the VHT wore off, drastically changing the track conditions in the process. Noticing a swing to the loose side, Brad dropped back out of the Top 20 by the time Stage 2 ended.

In the second half of the race, the conditions started to swing back the way BK wanted. Settling in 12th on lap 178, he held the spot until pitting under green on lap 247 for a full set of tires and fuel in 12.6 seconds, cycling out to 21st place. Three laps later, the Michigan-born driver unlapped himself and started his charge to gain the lost positions.

Driving up to 16th when the final caution flew on lap 261 for a Ryan Newman wreck, Wolfe threw one last set of Goodyear rubber on the Deuce and prepped his driver for the remaining 40 laps. Restarting 13th, he passed Danica Patrick, Jamie McMurray, Chase Elliott and Dale Earnhardt Jr. before the end of the race en route to a ninth place result.

Looking forward to next week, the Monster Energy Cup Series heads to Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the Brantley Gilbert Big Machine Brickyard 400. Legendary car owner Roger Penske has the 2.5-mile superspeedway dialed in on the open-wheeled IndyCar side, but he is yet to score a win in full bodied stock cars. Tune in and see if Brad & Co. can fix that stat on Sunday, July 23 at 2:30 p.m. ET, when the race airs live on NBC.

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