Keselowski Paces RFK with Top-10 in Iowa
No. 6 King’s Hawaiian Ford Finishes P10, Chris Buescher 18th in Fastenal Ford

NEWTON, Iowa (June 16, 2024) – Brad Keselowski paced RFK Sunday night at Iowa Speedway with a top-10 finish while Chris Buescher overcame a cut tire and finished 18th in the inaugural Cup race at the 7/8-mile track.

Both RFK Fords led laps at three different points, Keselowski earned stage points in both stages, and Buescher picked up stage points in stage two in the 350-lap race as varying strategy proved to be critical.

“Not bad,” Keselowski said following the race. “We just kind of ran in that eighth to 10th place spot for pretty much the whole race and sometimes a little worse. That’s kind of what we had and we just executed around it. Our car was really good on the long runs. I liked that long run, but the short runs we just didn’t have enough speed.”

Tire wear proved to be the storyline of the weekend as the track recently underwent a repave, one that provided plenty of drama beginning in Friday’s full practice session. Saturday’s qualifying was condensed to a single round due to rain, with both RFK drivers taking advantage of a late run in the session as Keselowski put the King’s Hawaiian Ford fifth, and Buescher 15th in the Fastenal Mustang.

6 Recap
Rolling off the grid fifth, Keselowski and the No. 6 team quickly used opposite strategy to advance into the top-10. After the second yellow in the opening 51 laps, Keselowski stayed on track while the field pitted, putting him P2 on the ensuing restart. He went on to finish eighth in the opening stage of 70 laps, earning three stage points.

He fired off 17th for stage two following his first stop of the day under the stage break, then ran nearly 100 laps in a long green flag run to inherit the lead. Crew chief Matt McCall kept the No. 6 on track for the duration of a pit cycle before a yellow flew in the team’s favor with Keselowski in the lead.

Keselowski pitted for service in the caution and restarted 10th, before going on to finish ninth in the stage. Then, McCall elected to put right side tires on in the stage break, improving his track position to P3 on the restart. Keselowski held onto the top five position for the next several laps, eventually pitting for the final time at lap 263 for four fresh tires.

From there on the final restart at lap 266, Keselowski restarted 12th before going on to finish 10th, his ninth top-10 of the season.

17 Recap
Buescher fired off from 15th Sunday afternoon in the scorching Midwest heat as one of a handful of drivers in the race with a previous Iowa win. He pitted early at lap 53 for the first time of the day and went on to finish 29th in the opening stage.

As the team went to work early on the handling of the Fastenal Ford, Buescher restarted 26th for stage two, and finally gained track position just a pair of cautions later. He restarted 22nd at lap 86, which preceded a green flag run of 96 laps where he advanced all the way to sixth. After pitting from that spot, he restarted 11th with 28 laps remaining in the stage.

He went on to finish seventh in stage two before staying out in the stage break, putting the No. 17 to the point on the stage three start. He led 13 laps in that sequence (and later led three more laps) as he and the No. 4 car had a healthy battle for the lead.

Unfortunately, some 33 laps later, the No. 17 had a right front tire go down – one of many on the day – as he ran fifth at the time. The team quickly managed any damage though, putting Buescher back on track but lacking track position.

From there he began his march forward on the race’s final restart at lap 266, and went on to pick off multiple positions to finish 18th.

Up Next
New Hampshire Motor Speedway hosts the 18th race of the season next weekend. Race coverage Sunday is set for 2:30 p.m. ET on USA, with radio coverage on PRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio (Channel 90).

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