FONTANA, Calif. — On Lap 43 of Sunday’s Auto Club 400, Brad Keselowski’s No. 2 Team Penske Ford brushed the outside wall and fell back in traffic.
Keselowski was 22nd for a restart with one lap left in the first stage of the race, but he didn’t stay there. Through a combination of pit strategy and determined driving, Keselowski charged forward after dodging a wreck on Lap 60.
On Lap 72, he passed teammate Joey Logano for second. And when eventual race winner Kyle Busch was slapped with a pit road speeding penalty under caution during the break after Stage 2, Keselowski led 38 straight laps and built a four-second lead before a timely caution on Lap 164 put Busch back in the mix for the win.
RELATED: Auto Club results
Ultimately, Keselowski finished third behind Busch and Logano, but he wasn’t fully satisfied with the performance of his car.
“We were a little off, really, all day,” Keselowski said. “We got a lot better from the first run to the end. We were so strong in practice. The track changing kind of threw us for a loop with the wind. Just never could get right off Turn 2. Ended up kind of costing us the race there with the 22 (Logano). I couldn’t stay in front.
“But the team, Team Penske, these guys worked really hard on this car to get it back. I brushed the wall a little bit earlier. They fixed it, got us back. They kept working on it and (we) still had a solid day.”