AVONDALE, ARIZ. — It was a ‘show and go’ Sunday for Brad Keselowski, flying in just in time to take part in the NASCAR Cup Series Championship race at Phoenix.
Keselowski did not take part in qualifying Saturday. While he flew home to be present for the birth of his third child, Cole Custer preceded his Xfinity championship win by qualifying Keselowski’s No. 6 car.
Keselowski flew back Sunday morning. He started in the rear but still ran in the top ten for much of the day. The 2012 Cup Series champion placed ninth in stage two before finishing 15th.
Hopping in a racecar just hours after an emotional moment with the birth could be challenging, especially in a race of this magnitude. When we asked him about it, though, he kept it short and sweet.
“It’s good. It’s peaceful in there,” Keselowski said.
Keselowski reinforced he was all in to win Sunday, even with Ford teammate Ryan Blaney engulfed in a tight championship battle up front.
“We’re always trying to win,” Keselowski said. “I thought our car was really good to start the race. We just kinda faded and lost some balance at the end and lost some turn.”
Phoenix has treated Keselowski well throughout his career. While he’s still looking for a win in the desert, he has eight top-fives and 13 top-10s at the 1-mile-oval.
It was a much improved year for Keselowski and the No. 6 team. After just one top-five finish and six top-10s in 2022, Keselowski wrapped up 2023 with seven top-fives and 16 top-10s.
In both the driver and owner’s points, Keselowski the No. 6 team finished eighth – a much-needed step forward in year two of the RFK racing partnership.