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Brad Keselowski’s Latest Daytona 500 Bid Ends in Big One While Battling for Lead

Brad Keselowski Daytona 500 big one 2024 NASCAR Cup Series

Another year, another missed opportunity for Brad Keselowski in the Daytona 500. While the driver of the No. 6 RFK Racing Castrol Edge Ford Mustang Dark Horse wasn’t the dominant driver in the race, he was set to make his move for his first Harley J. Earl trophy in the closing laps.

Then, as had been the case for Keselowski over his previous 14 attempts in The Great American Race, Lady Fortune dealt him a bad hand.

The 40-year-old racer pulled out from behind Ross Chastain’s No. 1 Chevrolet Camaro in a bid to take the lead, but as Keselowski made his move with eight laps remaining, all hell was about to break loose behind him.

“I saw the [Chastain] and I was making a move on him and I couldn’t tell what happened from there,” Keselowski explained.

Eventual race winner William Byron received a massive shove from Alex Bowman, his Hendrick Motorsports teammate, which sent the No. 24 Chevrolet Camaro sideways. As Byron attempted to collect his car, he instead collected the right rear of Keselowski’s.

Keselowski went for a spin, and by the time the No. 6 Ford Mustang came to a stop, 23 cars had piled into ‘The Big One’.

Video: Big Shove Sends William Byron Sideways, Triggers 23-Car Pileup Late at Daytona

“…it’s unfortunate,” Keselowski said about the crash that ended his night. “We were making the pass for the lead with just eight laps to go and now I’m here talking to you guys. It’s not exactly where I want to be, no offense, but that’s just part of how this deal goes sometimes.”

Keselowski’s 33rd-place finish in Monday night’s Daytona 500 was another frustrating end to what has been a confusing tale of Keselowski not finding victory lane in the sport’s biggest race despite his uncanny ability at superspeedway tracks.

It’s what makes the Daytona 500 so frustrating, yet so prestigious. No matter how many times you put yourself in a position to win the grueling event, you have to hope that the other 39 drivers around you don’t make a mistake at any point in the 200 laps around the 2.5-mile superspeedway.

For Keselowski, the wait for that Daytona 500 breakthrough will have to wait at least one more year.

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