Former Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series champion Brad Keselowski finished 7th, ending his season fourth in the final standings. Keselowski was also critical on Toyota’s performance as Ford will be the oldest car next season.
Coming into Sunday’s Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida, 2012 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series champion Brad Keselowski was considered by many as a long shot among the Championship 4 drivers.
Keselowski kept up with his rivals, but after struggling to find pace and leading a lap, he brought his No. 2 Miller Lite Ford home in seventh, the lowest finisher of the title contenders.
Keselowski said he ran as hard as he could to put a challenge on champion Martin Truex, Jr., Kyle Busch and Kevin Harvick, but didn’t have enough speed to amount a threat.
“We ran as hard as we could and put it all out there and just basically didn’t have enough speed. On the mile-and-a-halves we weren’t as good as the Martin and Kyle and those guys. This last race coming down to a mile-and-a-half didn’t particularly bode well for us, but my team ran as hard as they could run,” Keselowski said. “They made some great calls – (crew chief) Paul Wolfe and everybody and put ourselves in position every chance we could to make the most out of the opportunities that existed without just being lightning fast, but it wasn’t there.”
Keselowski criticized NASCAR on allowing Toyota to have a strong advantage after winning its second constructive Manufacturer’s championship, scoring 16 wins this season. Half coming from Truex including Sunday’s race win that got him his first title.
“When that car rolled out at Daytona, and I think we all got to see it for the first time, I think there was two reactions,” Keselowski said. “One, we couldn’t believe NASCAR approved it; and two, we were impressed by the design team over there.
“You know, with that said, I don’t think anyone ever had a shot this year the second that thing got put on the racetrack and approved. It kind of felt like Formula 1 where you had one car that made it through the gates, heads and tails above everyone and your hands are tied because you’re not allowed to do anything to the cars in those categories that NASCAR approves to really catch up.”
With the Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 debuting at Daytona next season, the Ford Fusion becomes the oldest car on the field. Keselowski said he’ll be skeptical on the “Blue Oval” performance next season.
“As to what will happen for 2018, you know, I don’t know,” Keselowski said. “I would assume that Chevrolet will be allowed to design a car the same way that Toyota was for this one, but Ford doesn’t have any current plans for that. If that’s the case, we’re going to take a drubbing next year, so we’ll have to see.”
Keselowski wrapped up his eighth full-season with wins at Atlanta, Martinsville and Talladega. He led 788 laps and scored 15 top-5s and 21-top 10 finishes.