Sunday night, Brad Keselowski and several other drivers missed out on the opportunity to win the Daytona 500 after an explosive crash on the final lap. Michael McDowell went on to win his first Cup Series race as the caution flag came out. Keselowski put his frustration on full display by smashing his helmet against his car.
Cameras captured Keselowski in his moment of anger. He climbed out of his destroyed No. 2 Ford Mustang and unbuckled his helmet. He then turned and slammed his helmet into the side of the car. Keselowski then walked away with his head in his hands, anguish clearly visible as the announcers discussed the massive wreck that completely changed the Daytona 500's outcome.
The crash was set off when McDowell tapped Keselowski's No. 2 Team Penske Ford Mustang from behind, starting a chain reaction and sending Keselowski into the back of teammate Joey Logano's No. 22 Ford Mustang. The two men spun in opposite directions with Logano heading into the grass and Keselowski into the wall. Kyle Busch hit the No. 2 Ford at full speed and sparked a massive fireball while other drivers crashed.
"I had a big run down the backstretch and went to make the pass to win the Daytona 500, and it ended up really bad," Keselowski told reporters after the race. "I don't feel like I made a mistake, but I can't drive everybody else's car. Frustrating." He also talked about how the race was a "heartbreaker."
Keselowski has not won the Daytona 500 during his career, but he has found immense success in other areas. He has won the other Crown Jewel races — the Southern 500, the Brickyard 400, and the Coca-Cola 600 — but the final event has eluded him. Though Keselowski has won the Cup Series championship.
Another look at the big wreck on the last lap of the #DAYTONA500.
All drivers have climbed out of their cars. pic.twitter.com/UmRtWoJ5YA— FOX: NASCAR (@NASCARONFOX) February 15, 2021
The Daytona 500 did not pan out as Keselowski hoped, and he will now have to wait until the 2022 season in order to try again. For now, he will push forward and try to achieve victory on Sunday at the Daytona Road Course. Last season, he finished the GoBowling 235, which took place on the Road Course, in 17th place.