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2024 Goodyear 400: Two Winless Streaks Put to Relaxation as Brad Keselowski Capitalizes on Toyota’s Darlington Muck-Up

After 12 races into the 2024 NASCAR Cup Series season, a lot was at stake at Darlington. Given Toyota and Chevrolet’s dominance, Ford felt the pressure to register a victory like never before. Luckily for them, Brad Keselowski stepped up and registered his first-ever victory with RFK Racing. Safe to say, Ford came extremely close

2024 Goodyear 400: Two Winless Streaks Put to Relaxation as Brad Keselowski Capitalizes on Toyota’s Darlington Muck-Up

After 12 races into the 2024 NASCAR Cup Series season, so much was at stake at Darlington. Given Toyota and Chevrolet’s dominance, Ford felt the stress to register a victory like by no means earlier than. Fortunately for them, Brad Keselowski stepped up and registered his first-ever victory with RFK Racing.

Secure to say, Ford got here extraordinarily near profitable at Kansas Speedway had it not been for the picture end. Whereas Chris Buescher was at it once more on Sunday, all of it modified when the battle between him and Tyler Reddick obtained too intense within the dying laps.

Brad Keselowski ends his three-year winless drought with late drama in Darlington thriller

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With 4 top-five and 5 top-ten finishes previous to the race in Darlington, Brad Keselowski seemed in good contact. Nevertheless, the issue arose in changing the nice begins right into a win. Whereas that remained a standard theme for him within the final three years, Sunday witnessed a terrific battle from the NASCAR veteran.

Tyler Reddick led the sector to inexperienced from outdoors with Brad Keselowski second inside. Apparently, the 23XI Racing driver maintained good velocity within the beginning laps, Whereas no main change within the driving order was noticed, groups began pitting from the thirty fifth lap onwards.

Ty Gibbs is the highest-running driver who has pitted, then Byron, Larson and Keselowski.

Bubba Wallace, Ryan Blaney, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Austin Dillon haven’t stopped but. #NASCAR

— PRN (@PRNlive) May 12, 2024

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Ultimately, with Ryan Blaney pitting within the forty fifth lap, the pit cycle was accomplished. Because of the pit stops, Ty Gibbs took the chief’s place after beginning P4 within the race. Sadly for Gibbs, lapped site visitors across the 56th lap allowed others behind him to shut the hole.

Whereas the #54 driver did a beautiful job in sustaining his lead, Kyle Larson took over with 11 laps to go in Stage 1. Unsurprisingly, the Hendrick Motorsports driver held his result in win Stage 1. Whereas many vehicles struggled on the finish of the stage due to previous tires, Larson did fantastically effectively to distance himself from others.

LEAD CHANGE beneath business: Gibbs will get caught in lapped site visitors and Larson sails proper on by.

Larson now has a 1-second lead simply 2 laps after the cross.

10 to go in stage 1. #Goodyear400

— Stephen Stumpf (@stephen_stumpf) May 12, 2024

One of many highlights of Stage 1 was Todd Gilliland as he began P15 however completed P6. With Larson registering his seventh stage win of the 2024 marketing campaign, it couldn’t have gotten any higher for the #5 crew. Solely Denny Hamlin remained the opposite driver with at the very least three stage wins this season.

On got here the second stage and the leaders determined to pit taking 4 tires. As groups resumed on the observe, Tyler Reddick took the lead courtesy of some fast pit actions. Stage 1 winner Kyle Larson resumed in fifth place with Martin Truex Jr, Brad Keselowski, Ty Gibbs, and Reddick forward of him.

Off pit highway: Reddick (+3), Keselowski (+1), Gibbs (-1), Larson (-3), Truex (–), Blaney (+2), Byron (+2), Logano (+3), Wallace (+1), Buescher (-3).

Hamlin (+1) in eleventh, Gilliland (-6) in P12.#NASCAR

— Zach Sturniolo (@zachstur) May 12, 2024

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Within the 104th lap, Kyle Busch brushed the wall however was fortunate to proceed. The incident came about in Flip 2 whereas Busch ran P24. Whereas this occasion didn’t increase any eyeballs, the one on the one hundred and twentieth lap actually did. John Hunter Nemechek spun on the frontstretch ensuing within the race’s first pure warning.

Sadly for Nemechek, he spun in Flip 4 working P17. Because of the incident, the Legacy Motor Membership driver was towed to the pit highway, opening pits for others. Fortunately for Reddick, he might keep the lead regardless of the pit stops as leaders took 4 tires whereas pitting.

Apparently, simply after the restart, one other warning got here out as Ryan Blaney made vital contact with the wall. Martin Truex Jr and William Byron made contact on the restart, with the #19 automobile clipping Blaney. Sadly, Chris Buescher had nowhere to go and was additionally concerned within the incident.

Surprisingly, the crash left Blaney livid. On his radio, he was discovered saying, “It’s killed and I’m gonna go kill each these mom fu**ers, that’s what I’m gonna do!”. Whereas Martin Truex Jr and Blaney pitted for repairs, the race resumed with Reddick nonetheless the chief within the one hundred and thirty fifth lap.

Because of the incident, Blaney’s day ended citing harm to his automobile’s proper rear toe hyperlink. Clearly, the #12 driver seemed sad with William Byron as he tried to chase down the HMS driver whereas exiting the pit highway. Naturally, the incident left the #12 driver unsettled.

Because the race resumed from the warning, Reddick saved the lead. Nevertheless, one other warning disrupted the movement of the race when Zane Smith spun in entrance of the leaders within the 163rd lap. By the way, Ty Gibbs got here near taking on Reddick simply moments earlier than the warning got here out.

Ultimately, Reddick ended up profitable Stage 2. It was a well-raced win for the 23XI Racing driver with Brad Keselowski respiratory down his neck repeatedly. Apparently, it was his second stage win of the season, profitable seven playoff factors within the marketing campaign till the top of the second stage. Reddick led 129 of the 186 laps.

Because the final stage commenced, the leaders pitted taking all 4 tires. Reddick continued along with his lead as Brad Keselowski battled for the primary spot behind him. Ultimately, the RFK Racing driver discovered success in passing the #45 driver within the 226th lap of the race.

Whereas groups opted to pit ranging from the 229th lap, Keselowski returned to the observe and regained his lead. Previous to that, Kyle Larson hit the wall in Flip 2 as he ran P3 then. Fortunately, the incident didn’t hamper Larson considerably regardless of his automobile’s toe hyperlink breaking as he hit the wall.

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However, the race continued to be a nightmare for Kyle Busch. Within the 248th lap, he as soon as once more crashed into the wall into Flip 2 whereas he raced P11. Simply moments later, even Larson ended up spinning in Flip 4 with a flat left rear tire backing the automobile into the wall.

Whereas Larson’s crash introduced out one other warning, it helped Reddick regain the lead courtesy of some wonderful work within the pits. Sadly for the #5 crew, the crash ended their race. Nevertheless, issues solely obtained extra wild with Reddick and Keselowski battling intensely after the restart.

In actual fact, it obtained amazingly fascinating when Chris Buescher handed each Reddick and Keselowski with 28 laps remaining. After the picture end at Kansas Speedway, it seemed like the right platform for redemption for Buescher. Nevertheless, after making contact with Reddick in Flip 4, each Buescher and Reddick slowed down.

This not solely prompted each drivers to pit but in addition allowed Keselowski to take the lead. Regardless of Ty Gibbs chasing the #6 driver, it wasn’t sufficient to cease the RFK Racing co-owner. Undoubtedly, it was a surprising win for Keselowski and his crew.

The win meant Keselowski returned to victory lane for the primary time since April 2021 at Talladega. Not solely that, his victory at Darlington Raceway resulted in Ford’s first win of the 2024 Cup Collection marketing campaign. Clearly, the 40-year-old seemed so much relieved after ending his 110-race winless streak.

By the way, it additionally ends Ford’s 33-race winless streak, their longest winless streak in over a decade. Having mentioned that, all of it might have ended up in another way had Reddick not made contact with Buescher. In actual fact, it left the #17 driver terribly livid after the race.

Tyler Reddick takes duty for his position within the incident with Chris Buescher at Darlington

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Within the 265th lap, Chris Buescher made a surprising transfer to cross each Tyler Reddick and Brad Keselowski. Whereas each the drivers had been battling for the lead, the #17 driver capitalized on a chance in Flip 1. As he took the lead, Reddick adopted him intensely to regain the main spot.

Nevertheless, within the course of, the 23XI Racing dove on Buescher in Flip 3 and ultimately ended up making contact in Flip 4. Ultimately, each vehicles slowed down because it supplied Brad Keselowski the right alternative to take the lead. Whereas this occurred with simply seven laps to go, it actually ended any probability Buescher needed to win the race.

Naturally, he seemed sad after the race and confronted Reddick about it. In his protection, the #45 driver mentioned, “The very last thing I need to do is wreck your automobile. I might care much less about mine. I’m sorry. I f**ked up.” Understandably, Buescher was in no temper to simply accept that apology.

He mentioned, “That doesn’t work for me. We don’t have a sticker on our door proper now. You want to be higher. I don’t have that sticker on my door. This implies extra. I would like you to do higher. We’ve raced one another simply high-quality for therefore lengthy.”

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Buescher was proper to level out how Reddick has already secured a spot within the playoff spot with a win. With the frustration of Kansas and now the incident in Darlington, it was comprehensible for the RFK Racing driver to lose his cool there.

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However, he shall be ultimately completely satisfied to see his teammate and co-owner Brad Keselowski register a win after so lengthy. In spite of everything, it was a large victory for Ford, particularly with the Toyota vehicles failing to capitalize on their alternatives and Reddick not profitable regardless of a dominant efficiency.

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