Brad Keselowski Flubs NASCAR Cup Sponsorship After Race Win In Atlanta

Ruben Hill
March 18, 2017

The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series rolled into Atlanta Motor Speedway for the second round of the 2017 season.

"They put a great auto under me and we did everything I thought we needed to do". "But it's my own doing".

Harvick started from the pole and relinquished the lead only when pitting - first on a green flag stop on Lap 37 and for a second time on Lap 267 under yellow when Keselowski had to return to the pits for loose lug nuts on his left rear wheel.

"I'm just snake-bit here", Harvick said. "I guess I wasn't". Despite serving a pass-through for the infraction, Elliott stayed on the lead lap and was running faster lap times than Harvick when a debris caution on Lap 240 slowed the field and gave Elliott a chance to regain track position.

"We know the deal; we know that this isn't going to be easy", Keselowski said. "When you win one that way, you take it and move on".

"Could we have caught the 4, probably not", Penske said. He swept the first two stages of the event easily.

Instead, it was another bitter disappointment.

Thanks to the boost of those extra stage points, Harvick leads the points standings by four over Daytona 500 victor Kurt Busch and six over Atlanta victor Brad Keselowski.

I still believe this format could work and I still believe it lends itself more to non-restrictor plate tracks, where pit strategies aren't contingent upon having drafting help from others.

1 Moments such as Sunday are why Kevin Harvick should cut his team some slack - at least publicly - when mistakes happen.

He clearly had the fastest auto all weekend. The bickering and questioning of decisions commonly heard on the radio by so many drivers and crew chiefs during races is absent on the No. 2 team's channel.

"Would we have caught the 4?" said Roger Penske, Keselowski's vehicle owner.

Kevin Harvick will start on the pole today at Atlanta Motor Speedway for NASCAR's Folds of Honor Quiktrip 500. He dropped to the back of the field and finished ninth. "I think we made a big shot in the right direction, me being able to keep up with him". He called Keselowski back to pit road before the race resumed, forfeiting the lead and placing Keselowski 14th on the subsequent restart.

Elliott had a fast Chevrolet, as he proved conclusively after incurring a pit road speeding penalty on Lap 212. "But I have a pretty good reasoning, and I think why it was, but I really don't want everybody else to know". Either way, he's got just one win in his Cup career and that's not enough for the victory-charged Ganassi.

As for the speeding penalties, in a system that measures speed from point to point, there were shorter pit road segments with timing lines at AMS than in the past.

Johnson wound up a lap down in 18th place.

But drivers have embraced the challenge at Atlanta, so they aren't necessarily looking forward to the repaving. Johnson has won the last two races in Georgia.

"I expect it to drive good". As a result, five drivers-Jeffrey Earnhardt, Michael McDowell, Cole Whitt, Derrike Cope and Cody Ware-failed to make qualifying attempts, but they made the race because only 39 cars entered.

It was a tough outing for the 21-year-old driver. Busch led just one lap, but it was the last one. Not bad for a driver who finally broke into the win column a year ago and made the Chase, er, playoffs, for the first time.

Like Ware, Cope didn't have the funding to run a competitive auto but at least made it all the way to the end. Newman returned to the track on Lap 304 but finished 35th, 16 laps down.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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