Keselowski watched race winner Wallace use a block to guard his lead, and felt he had a approach to get across the 23XI driver earlier than operating out of time.
As a substitute, a four-car wreck on Lap 117 of the scheduled 188 laps at Talladega introduced out a warning, locking Keselowski into second place.
Quickly after the warning was displayed, the rain returned, and NASCAR halted the race. With not sufficient time to dry the monitor earlier than darkness, the race was declared official because it had already handed the half-time level.
Wallace duly claimed his first profession Cup Sequence win, leaving Keselowski as runner-up and lamenting his resolution to delay an try to round Wallace for the lead.
“Gosh, if I might have identified it was going to rain proper then, I had a transfer I may have made and I used to be like, ‘No we’ve obtained 5 laps within the stage left, I don’t wish to burn that transfer but,’ ” Keselowski mentioned.
“Then it rains and I form of really feel like I let one slip away right here.
“We have been actually shut to creating a transfer on Bubba to win the stage and the race, however I didn’t want that rain. I wanted one other two or three laps.”
Keselowski had run nicely all through the shortened race, main 13 laps – second-most within the race to Kevin Harvick’s 16 – and regularly put himself in place to contend for the lead.
Wallace had deftly blocked a Keselowski advance proper earlier than the ultimate warning got here out.
Bubba Wallace, 23XI Racing, Toyota Camry McDonald’s and Kurt Busch, Chip Ganassi Racing, Chevrolet Camaro Monster Power
Photograph by: Nigel Kinrade / NKP / Motorsport Images
“You by no means depend out the Penske vehicles,” Wallace mentioned. “We discuss them in our Monday and Tuesday conferences. These guys make it work and there’s a cause why they win the races.
“Realizing we needed to defend them. Freddie (Kraft, Wallace’s spotter) did a hell of a job on prime of the roof. So happy with him. We simply made the precise strikes and it labored out.”
Keselowski’s second-place end could have stung but it surely nonetheless left him in a powerful place heading into the ultimate race of the second spherical of the playoffs subsequent Sunday on the Charlotte Roval.
Keselowski is presently ranked fourth out of 12 drivers within the standings and 20 factors above the cutoff line. The underside 4 within the standings with no win will likely be eradicated from additional playoff competition following the race on the Roval.
“All in all, it’s nonetheless a fantastic day,” he mentioned. “We scored a whole lot of stage factors, which is basically optimistic and put ourselves in a very good place subsequent week to go to the Roval.
“We put ourselves in place to not need to go to the Roval and have a ‘hero’ day. We are able to have only a strong day.”
Requested his preliminary ideas on heading to the Roval subsequent week – the one highway course within the Cup playoffs – Keselowski mentioned: “A troublesome race for us. Street programs have been actually robust, however fortunately, we don’t need to go there and win.”