FONTANA, Calif — Brad Keselowski only has one career NASCAR Cup Series victory in 12 Auto Club Speedway starts now. Combine that with two NASCAR Truck Series races and 13 NASCAR Xfinity Series tries, then he’s 1-for-27 at the Southern California oval.
Despite that, he’s actually been quite good on the 2-mile track lately. Keselowski started his Cup career with five finishes of 20th or worse in his first six tries in Fontana. His best finish was 18th in 2012. But, he hasn’t finished worse than ninth (2016) since.
On Sunday, Keselowski charged his No. 2 Ford forward early on in scoring a sixth place finish in the first stage and fourth in Stage 2 as he brought his Team Penske car home fifth in the Auto Club 400.
“We had a good run today with the Discount Tire Ford,” Keselowski said following his fifth top five finish in his last six Fontana tries. “We ran fifth, which isn’t bad. There were some highlights. We were able to drive through the field there a couple times. The car had a lot of long run speed.
“We never had the speed (Bowman) had through the whole weekend but we fought really hard and scored a lot of points today to dig us out of a hole we had from early on in the season. There were a lot of positives. I think we executed really well today. I probably could have done a little better on one of the early restarts, but other than that the team did really good.”
Keselowski, needed this finish too. He crashed out and finished 36th in the season opening Daytona 500. He was seventh last week in Vegas but never was a factor like his Penske teammates of Ryan Blaney and Joey Logano.
Now, he heads to Phoenix with two top seven finishes in three races in 2020.