When he was interviewed on NBC after Sunday’s Can-Am 500 at Phoenix Raceway, Brad Keselowski looked more like a guy who had lost a close race than someone who just earned his way into this Sunday’s championship round at Miami.
He knew he had a rough day. He knew he had a car that wasn’t fast. The Toyotas were much faster. And had it not been for Chase Elliott taking out Denny Hamlin late in the race, going to Miami was the last thing that would have seemed likely for Keselowski.
He should have been more excited and animated, but it was more like Keselowski was just happy to get there barely.
Here’s part of what a dour-looking Keselowski had to say after the race:
“We probably had great speed at Martinsville, great execution at Texas and great luck today. You would like to have them all on the same day. That’s really how you win. … We knew we didn’t have the speed but just tried to be smart and put yourself to a position to have an opportunity for good things to happen. We caught some breaks.”
On Monday’s NASCAR America, analyst Jeff Burton gave his take on Keselowski’s race and also what he and the rest of the No. 2 team need to do at Miami:
“I think their good moment was pit strategy to pit when no one else did, and when other people pitted, he stayed out.
“I wonder if that strategy moving him within four cars of Hamlin, whether that go in Hamlin’s mind when he was racing Elliott.
“I wonder if that kept enough pressure on them to put them in an uncomfortable situation and then make the ultimate mistake.
“They did not run well. There’s no sugar-coating it, they ran bad, never had speed the entire weekend. You could see it in practice, they kept looking, kept searching.
“None of the Penske cars ran well at all, very surprising that they ran so poorly at Phoenix. Now they have to regroup, just have to put it behind them.
“They did what they had to do, they’re playing with house money, so to speak, and just go to Homestead and get all they can get.”
Check out more of what Burton had to say in the above video.