Brad Keselowski started Saturday night’s All-Star Race in the 12th position — but the defending Sprint Cup champion didn’t survive beyond the first two laps.
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Keselowski radioed to his crew that the transmission broke as he brought the No. 2 Ford to the garage.
“Something just broke in the back half of the drive train, either the transmission or drive shaft gear — I’m not sure which one — but it’s one of those deals, unfortunately,” Keselowski said. “We’ll try to learn from it and move on . . . it did a lot of damage and we can’t get it fixed, so it’s just one of those deals.”
Keselowski questioned whether the new qualifying procedure — with no speed limit on pit road — damaged his car on Friday.
“With the qualifying deal the way it is here,” Keselowski said. “It’s way too hard on the cars.”
Yet with only cash on the line and no points to be gained, the greatest loss for Keselowski in running just two of the 90 laps in the All-Star Race is the lack of seat time. Many crews use the event as a glorified test session to experiment with the cars for next Sunday’s points-paying Coca-Cola 600.
“You’d like to learn a little bit more about the track and the race, but I’ve got a teammate out there in Joey Logano and hopefully he can learn something," Keselowski said.