DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — Brad Keselowski stood beside the crinkled right front of his Ford and if his actions battling Denny Hamlin on the final lap of Sunday’s Clash didn’t resonate with fellow competitors, Keselowski made sure they understood his motive.
“I guarantee (Hamlin) knows and everyone else who was watching today that I’m going to make that move again and you better move out or you’ll end up wrecked,’’ Keselowski said.
Hamlin, seeking to win this event for the second consecutive year, conceded he was in “a bad spot” leading as the field went through Turn 2 on the final lap.
“He was just coming so much faster than what I was,’’ Hamlin said of Keselowski. “There’s not much that I could have done to defend.’’
Teammate Joey Logano‘s push launched Keselowski toward Hamlin and the lead at the end of the 75-lap race at Daytona International Speedway. Hamlin cut down to block.
“At that point, I knew (Keselowski) was going to win the race, or they were both going to crash,’’ Logano told NBC Sports in victory lane. “When he went to the bottom and saw (Hamlin) go for the block too late, you could see the crash building in front of you.’’
Hamlin and Keselowski made contact, allowing Logano to race by. Keselowski, who led 18 laps, finished sixth. Hamlin placed 13th after leading 48 laps.
Asked if there were hard feelings, Keselowski said: “It is the Clash. It is not the 500.’’
Nate Ryan contributed to this story.