Engine issues are a part of the sport in NASCAR.
Almost every team will face at least one throughout the year and prove to be a major blow to a team’s chance at success, more times than not.
Just ask Brad Keselowski.
Keselowski, who entered the day needing a solid performance following his troubles in Kansas last weekend, looked to be in good shape during Sunday’s Hellmann’s 500. He had qualified second and remained in the front for the majority of his time on the track.
“We had a fast Miller Lite Ford and that kind of ended our day. It was a lot of fun to be leading at Talladega.” Keselowski said post-race. “We were doing the best we could to make a show of it and have some fun and lead some laps and just happy and proud to have a fast car.”
The 32-year-old, who’s been dominant at restrictor plate tracks before, showed strength this weekend. He led a race-high 90 laps and seemed to be able to do whatever it took to stay out front and be on pace to make the next round of the Chase.
Then on Lap 144, his day turned into a bad one in the blink of an eye. Moments after getting a piece of debris off his grill for the second time during the race, his engine expired. It’d end his day and cease his championship aspirations.
“I’m pretty confident I lost a rod or something in the lower end. That’s just the way it goes.” Keselowski said. “I don’t know. I’m not an engine guy, but the car was really strong, and we definitely kept finding debris. I thought I got it cooled off and only got it slightly over, but I don’t know.”
The 2012 Sprint Cup Series Champion settled for a 38th place finish.
With four races remaining and officially out of championship contention, Keselowski’s goals are simple for the remainder of the season.
“Win more races.”
Mitchell Breuer is a POPULAR SPEED Development Journalist
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