Keselowski locks up brakes, hits jackman and tire carrier on pit road
A strange start to Sunday’s Windows 10 400 at Pocono Raceway continued as green flag pit stops cycled through at Lap 58 of 160.
Team Penske’s Brad Keselowski brought his No. 2 Ford to pit road from the lead, but the stop went terribly wrong for the 2012 Sprint Cup champion.
Keselowski locked up the brakes and slid through his pit stall just as crew members jumped off the pit wall and approached his car. The front tire changer jumped over the right-front corner of the car, while the tire carrier jumped onto the hood, losing the tire in the process.
Jackman Braxton Brannon got the worst of it, as he jumped to avoid the car, but was clipped by the left side of Keselowski’s Ford. Brannon was turned in the air, landing hard on his back as the jack went flying and narrowly missed landing on top of him.
None of the crew members involved were injured in the incident.
"I’m sorry about that guys. Everybody OK?" Keselowski radioed to the crew after the stop. Crew chief Paul Wolfe simply said, "We’ll get through it."
Keselowski was black-flagged for an uncontrolled tire, which was sent rolling down pit road. The tire stopped in the middle of pit lane, forcing NASCAR to throw the caution flag.
When the race restarted on Lap 66 of 160, Keselowski was 37th, one lap down to the leaders.
Undeterred, Keselowski was able to get the free pass on Lap 65 under the seventh caution of the day, putting him back on the lead lap. With a fast Paul Wolfe-prepared car under him, Keselowski went to work charging back up through the field and moving into the top 10 by Lap 104 of 160.
While it appeared the race was securely in the hands of his Team Penske teammate Joey Logano, fuel mileage came into play in the final laps of the race as the leaders ran out of gas one by one.
As Matt Kenseth took the checkered flag to score his second win of the 2015 season, Keselowski crossed the line second, some nine seconds behind.
"Unfortunately just another race where I kind of feel like it didn’t all come together for us, and this one certainly on my end with having problems on pit road and kind of sliding through the box," Keselowski said after his fifth top five of the season. "That dug a hole, got us a lap down with the penalty and so forth. I think the last restart with ‑‑ had to be somewhere around 60 or 70 to go, we restarted 12th and we were able to drive up to sixth and looked like we were going to be able to get to fifth and then the fuel play came in there at the end. We were able to take care of it to bring home second, which is a very respectable day."