Brad Keselowski and Chase Elliott were both sitting on the bubble for the NASCAR Round of 8 heading into Sunday’s Hollywood Casino 400 from Kansas Motor Speedway, but with a 20-point lead over the Chevrolet driver, Keselowski seemed to have a good shot in continuing his championship bid.
The Team Penske Ford Mustang faded late in the race at the 1.5-mile tri-oval, however, falling back through the order following two overtime restarts. It was the second restart, brought out when the No. 41 of Daniel Suarez spun and took out the No. 8 of Daniel Hemric, that truly ended his championship hopes.
Keselowski was 13th for the late-race restart but became sandwiched in the middle of the pack before brushing the wall on the backstretch after taking the white flag. This sent him backward to 19th, while fellow Round of 8 hopeful Chase Elliott went on to finish second behind race-winner Denny Hamlin. The result meant the Hendrick Chevrolet driver edged Keselowski out of the Round of 8 by just three points.
“We didn’t make it,” Keselowski told NASCAR.com post-race. “I pushed as hard as I knew how and didn’t quite do good enough on the last restart, and that was it.
“We clawed as hard as we could, and there were times it looked like we were going to be fine and times it didn’t,” he added. “In the end it didn’t work out. I needed to get up to the top of the track on the last restart. I couldn’t get up. I got sandwiched. Somebody went three-wide and got me in the middle of (Turn) 4—just all bad.”
His Penske teammate Joey Logano, meanwhile, won Stage 1 and finished seventh in Stage 2, giving him enough points to keep his championship hopes alive. Logano also had bad luck in the late-rate restarts, however, making contact with Tyler Reddick as he attempted to avoid a wreck ahead of him, sending him spinning through the infield grass and damaging his No. 22 Mustang. He was classified 17th.
Check out all the highlights from the Hollywood Casino 400 in the video embedded below and click here for complete results. NASCAR heads to Martinsville next for the First Data 500 on Sunday, October 27th.