A long weekend for Keselowski ended in triumph. Keselowski dominated the second-half of the race and took the checkers at Kentucky Speedway Saturday Night. Keselowski had a bunch of issues throughout the weekend like a backup car and a broken steering wheel but the Miller Lite team did not give up, they persevered and hard work paid off. Overall, the race wasn’t too exciting but it did include some action.
The passing stared early when Kyle Busch passed pole-sitter Jimmie Johnson on the first lap for the lead. Tony Stewart started experiencing ignition issues in lap 26. He would be in and out of the garage for most of the night, he ended up finishing 32nd. Brad Keselowski took the lead for the first time on lap 35 when he got around Kyle Busch. The first caution of the night came out on lap 42 when debris was spotted in turns one and two. Kyle Bush would win the race off it road and re-gain the lead.
On the restart, Kyle Busch lead followed by; Johnson, Hamlin, Keselowski and Earnhardt Jr. On lap 96, the first round of green-flag pit stops began. After the stops cycled through, Kyle Busch was the leader. The next yellow-flag came out on lap 124 for debris. Kyle Busch would once again be the leader coming to the restart. On lap 130, Hamlin scooted around Busch for the lead.
On lap 149, Dave Blaney’s engine expired and the caution came out once again. On lap 160, Ryan Newman ran up into the slowing Logano on the front-stretch and tapped Logano down into Bowyer, no cars would spin and no caution came out. The result of this scuffle was Logano slowing even more on the track and Bowyer having to pit to repair the damage. On lap 189, Jimmie Johnson became the new leader. The top five on lap 190 included; Johnson, Hamlin, Keselowski, Gordon and Earnhardt Jr.
The next cycle of green-flag stops began on lap 201. Fuel was tight on this stop and Keselowski and Kyle Busch both ran out before making their way onto pit road. The next caution flew on lap 210 when Ryan Newman blew an engine and spun up into the wall. Newman left behind some oil which Regan Smith slipped in and he also tagged the wall.
The dominant car from the first part of the race was Kyle Busch and now the No.18 crew had struck trouble once again. Busch was complaining of a shock issue, the team just told him to keep running. During this caution, the team pitted to evaluate the issue. Nothing seemed severely wrong so Busch continued the race. Coming to the restart, Keselowski was the leader followed by Hamlin, Kenseth, Edwards and Johnson. Just after the restart, Hamlin would get around Edwards for second and he began to chase down Keselowski. Hamlin never reached Keselowski but Kahne reached Hamlin for second with three to go. Kahne got around Hamlin for second with three to go but time had run out for Kahne.
Keselowski would pick up his third win of the season and his first Cup win at Kentucky. In victory lane, Keselowski said that his team had “fought through adversary all weekend.” This win essentially put a lock on a Chase bid for Keselowski. With three wins before the official halfway mark of the season, Keselowski is looking pretty good. Kahne said after the race that he “wish(ed) we could of caught Keselowski, we need these wins.”
After the highs and lows for Kyle Busch during this race, he ended up finishing tenth which isn’t too shabby of a run considering all the trouble that occurred for him throughout the race. The Hendrick organization had a great night with all four of their cars placing finishes in the top six. Keselowski is likely the first of many drivers to essentially clinch chase births throughout the summer. Perseverance was the name of the game for Keselowski this weekend and he ended up in victory lane. Next week we go down to Daytona to celebrate a Fourth of July tradition, NASCAR action at Daytona. The fireworks will definitely be going off next Saturday Night.
Results via Nascar.com
|1||8||2||Brad Keselowski||Dodge||Miller Lite||47/1||267||Running|
|2||19||5||Kasey Kahne||Chevrolet||Quaker State||42/0||267||Running|
|3||3||11||Denny Hamlin||Toyota||FedEx Express||42/1||267||Running|
|4||7||88||Dale Earnhardt Jr.||Chevrolet||Diet Mountain Dew / National Guard||40/0||267||Running|
|5||9||24||Jeff Gordon||Chevrolet||Drive to End Hunger||39/0||267||Running|
|6||1||48||Jimmie Johnson||Chevrolet||Lowe’s Dover White||39/1||267||Running|
|7||20||17||Matt Kenseth||Ford||Fifth Third Bank||37/0||267||Running|
|8||10||56||Martin Truex Jr.||Toyota||NAPA Auto Parts||36/0||267||Running|
|9||16||22||AJ Allmendinger||Dodge||Shell / Pennzoil||35/0||267||Running|
|10||2||18||Kyle Busch||Toyota||M&M’s Red, White & Blue||36/2||267||Running|
|11||4||29||Kevin Harvick||Chevrolet||Budweiser Folds of Honor||33/0||267||Running|
|12||15||27||Paul Menard||Chevrolet||Menards / Sylvania||32/0||267||Running|
|13||12||9||Marcos Ambrose||Ford||Mac Tools||31/0||267||Running|
|16||6||15||Clint Bowyer||Toyota||5-hour Energy||28/0||267||Running|
|17||34||93||Travis Kvapil||Toyota||Burger King||28/1||267||Running|
|18||21||13||Casey Mears||Ford||Valvoline NextGen||27/1||267||Running|
|19||14||51||Kurt Busch||Chevrolet||Phoenix Construction Services||25/0||267||Running|
|21||11||16||Greg Biffle||Ford||American Red Cross||23/0||266||Running|
|22||18||20||Joey Logano||Toyota||Dollar General||22/0||266||Running|
|23||38||10||David Reutimann||Chevrolet||Outsourcing in the USA@TMone||21/0||266||Running|
|25||23||83||Landon Cassill||Toyota||Burger King||19/0||266||Running|
|27||28||47||Bobby Labonte||Toyota||Scott Products||17/0||265||Running|
|28||40||38||David Gilliland||Ford||Taco Bell||16/0||265||Running|
|29||33||34||David Ragan||Ford||Front Row Motorsports||15/0||263||Running|
|30||39||55||Michael Waltrip||Toyota||Aaron’s Dream Machine||14/0||262||Running|
|31||41||32||Ken Schrader||Ford||Federated Auto Parts||13/0||262||Running|
|32||22||14||Tony Stewart||Chevrolet||Office Depot / Mobil 1||12/0||231||Running|
|33||26||78||Regan Smith||Chevrolet||Furniture Row||11/0||209||Accident|
|36||32||30||David Stremme||Toyota||Inception Motorsports||8/0||71||Vibration|
|37||30||26||Josh Wise *||Ford||MDS Transport||7/0||60||Vibration|
|38||35||98||Michael McDowell||Ford||Presbyterian Healthcare System||6/0||58||Brakes|
|39||24||195||Scott Speed||Ford||Leavine Family Racing||5/0||55||Brakes|
|40||27||87||Joe Nemechek||Toyota||AM / FM Energy Wood & Pellet Stoves||0||52||Overheating|
|41||43||33||Stephen Leicht *||Chevrolet||Little Joes A
|42||37||119||Mike Bliss||Toyota||Humphrey Smith Racing||0||18||Overheating|
|43||36||23||Scott Riggs||Chevrolet||North Texas Pipe||1/0||12||Electrical|