In the closing laps of the race, Keselowski led as Larson worked his way through traffic to contend for the lead. With the No. 42 gaining ground each lap, the two were bound to have a dramatic battle to close the season.
The flag man spotted a rather small piece of metal on the track and NASCAR felt it warranted a debris caution. With the field once again bunched together, both drivers’ chances of winning quickly diminished.
Keselowski took the bottom lane on the final restart, but eventual champion @KyleBusch prevailed on the high side and shuffled the No. 2 to third. Larson fell back to fifth and ultimately ended his chance at grabbing his second victory of the weekend.
After the race, Larson was left to think about what could have been had there been no caution.
“Well, I didn’t need that last caution,” Larson said. “It probably cost me or Brad (Keselowski) a win, but it did make it somewhat exciting at the end. Disappointed that we didn’t get the win because I really thought we were about two to three laps away from passing Brad for the lead.”
The loss comes as a major disappointment for Larson who is still chasing his first Sprint Cup Series win. It looked to be his best chance at a victory this season since Dover, but he accepts his fate and is ready to shift his focus.
“We will just go back next season and try and fight for some more wins,” he said.
After making a disappointing exit from the Chase in the Eliminator Round, Homestead was a last-ditch effort for Keselowski to finish the season on a high note. With only one win the entire season, it could have been the race that sent him into the 2016 season with some momentum on his side. Although he led a race-high 86 laps, he admits that he wouldn’t have been able to pull off the victory regardless of the lane he chose on the final restart.
“The last four races we have run pretty strong, maybe not quite as strong as Phoenix as we wanted but three of the four races we were really strong and we just didn’t have enough to close it at the end,” he said. “I was really proud of my team tonight, really happy with what they were able to give me and we were able to take a run at it, we just didn’t quite have enough at the end on that final restart to hold those guys off.”
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