Keselowski Uses Late Pass To Win Chicagoland
Brad Keselowski opened the Chase with a victory on Sunday. (RacinToday/HHP file photo by Garry Eller)
By Jim Pedley | Managing Editor
Brad Keselowski cruised between Kyle Larson and Kevin Harvick as they fought side-by-side for the lead with 16 laps to go, survived a restart with six laps to go and then sprinted away to win the Chase-opening Sprint Cup Series race at Chicagoland Speedway on Sunday afternoon.
The victory was the fifth of the season for Keselowski, who started the race and the playoffs as the points leader.
The victory assures that the Team Penske driver will advance to the second round of the Chase.
The victory came two years after he won the 2012 Chase-opener at Chicagoland and then went on to win the championship.
“Man, crazy day,” Keselowski said in Victory Lane. “I’m not sure that I know everything that happened.”
What happened was one incredible pass when Larson and Harvick appeared to be battling for the victory.
“I saw Kyle and Kevin racing each other really hard and they were aggressively side drafting,” Keselowski said. “I was just waiting for an opportunity to strike and it came and the car stuck.”
Jeff Gordon of Hendrick Motorsports finished second while rookie Larson of Chip Ganassi Racing – a non-Chaser – was third. Two finish in those spots, Gordon and Larson fought each other like brothers.
Joey Logano of Team Penske and Harvick rounded out the top five.
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