Keselowski Does It Again At Kentucky
SPARTA, Ky. — Brad Keselowski did it again Saturday night at Kentucky Speedway.
NASCAR’s master of saving fuel, made his gasoline last during the final laps of the Quaker State 400 and he grabbed his series-leading third victory of the season, virtually clinching at least a wild card spot for the Chase to the Sprint Cup.
Driving the No. 2 Penske Racing Dodge, Keselowski led the final 58 laps of the 1.5-mile superspeedway and won despite driving a back up car after crashing during the first practice session on Friday.
“What a weekend. We hit the wall on lap one of practice and brought out a backup car,” Keselowski said. “This is my Martinsville car from the Chase last year, so this isn’t a new car, but it sure runs. It was a fast race car. We fought back from adversity all weekend long. They got this backup car out and that hard work is what got us to victory lane.
“My car owner, Roger Penske, will tell you that hard work equals results and this team works hard.
“Three wins feels pretty dang good. There is never a guarantee, but three wins is about as close as you can come. I’m proud of everyone with the Miller Lite Dodge. It was a hell of a day — a long hot day, but a helluva day.
Keselowski led 68 of the 267 laps in beating Kasey Kahne’s Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet to the checkered flag by 4.399 seconds for his seventh career victory.
Kahne lost two laps because of an unscheduled pit stop early in the race, but fought back all night long. His Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet was the fastest car on the track at the end of the race.
“We passed a ton of cars, but we came up a little bit short,” Kahne said. “Kenny Francis (crew chief) called a heck of a race. My pit crew is really good, but we just had a couple of little mistakes that cost us track position tonight.”
Denny Hamlin finished third in his Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota, bouncing back after a pair of subpar finishes.
The other three Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolets of Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson took positions four through sixth, respectively.
There were 19 lead changes among six drivers and four yellow flags for only 23 laps in a race that took only two hours, 46 minutes and 44 seconds to complete.
Matt Kenseth finished seventh and was the top finishing Ford driver. He still leads the points, by 11 markers over Earnhardt.
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