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Keselowski Sprints To Win, Care Center In Sparta

Info Manager | , RacinToday.com Saturday, June 28 2014

Brad Keselowski had a big night in Kentucky. So big, it had him in stitches. (RacinToday/HHP photo by Christa L Thomas)

By Jim Pedley | Managing Editor
RacinToday.com

The only bumps that slowed down Brad Keselowski at Kentucky Speedway on Saturday night occurred in Victory Lane after the race when a broken champagne bottle sent him to the care center for stitches.

“Yeah, welcome to the party,” he said of the Victory Lane incident. “It’s all good. I’m just glad we won. It’s a lot better story when you win and get hurt.”

And win, Keselowski did. With relative ease as he led 199 laps of 267 in a Team Penske Ford that was so fast that Kyle Busch, who finished second, wasn’t over-the-top upset about not winning.

His No. 2 Ford was, Keselowski said, “Hauling the mail.”

After Joe Gibbs Racing’s Busch, Ryan Newman of Richard Childress Racing was third.

Rounding out the top five were Matt Kenseth of JGR and Dale Earnhardt Jr. of Hendrick Motorsports.

The victory was the second at the Kentucky 1.5-mile oval and the second of the season for Keselowski. It gave him his fourth podium finish in the last five races.

“It feels really good, obviously, to get that second win,” he said. “I think we’ve been so close and kind of haven’t put it together there at the end with Richmond comes to mind, Texas comes to mind, and then Pocono. Kind of had some heartbreakers there. It starts to wonder in your head, is this ever going to work out, but it did, and I think it showcased the strength of our team.

“We have got a really good stretch run going here over the summer, so it’s very exciting for me personally, very rewarding, and I feel like we’re in such a strong spot. A lot of momentum, and this was really a big night for us in so many ways.”

Keselowski and teammate Joey Logano had led all of the laps until the caution flag waved on lap 214. Busch, who had pitted just before the caution, took the lead when the Penske drivers pitted under yellow.

Busch, who used clean air to separate himself from the field after the restart, was asked if he thought he had enough to hold off Keselowski.

“I thought I did and obviously with clean air you have to take advantage of it as much as you can,” Busch said, “and so I tried to hustle as much as I could there early to get a big lead and once we got to traffic I knew I would back up a little bit. I was the loosest I was the whole race and the loosest I was there in the end, especially in traffic too. I was trying to hang onto it as best I could and not wreck – I about did probably 10 times in that last run. ”

But when the race went green on Lap 220 and Keselowski, who restarted eighth, quickly began to move forward. With 20 laps to go, Keselowski blew past Busch and into the lead.

From there, it was a cruise to the checkered flag and Victory Lane for Keselowski.

Then, a cruise to the infield care center for four stitches to the winner’s hand.

“We were playing around with some champagne bottles ,” Keselowski said, “and as I told my good friend, ‘We should have stuck with beer.’ We were having too much fun with champagne and one of the bottles broke and I cut my hand open. It’s no big deal.”

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Race – Quaker State 400 presented by Advance Auto Parts

Kentucky Speedway

Sparta, Kentucky

Saturday, June 28, 2014

1. (1) Brad Keselowski, Ford, 267, $251183.

2. (18) Kyle Busch, Toyota, 267, $184901.

3. (7) Ryan Newman, Chevrolet, 267, $122035.

4. (14) Matt Kenseth, Toyota, 267, $152531.

5. (29) Dale Earnhardt Jr., Chevrolet, 267, $113575.

6. (3) Jeff Gordon, Chevrolet, 267, $134951.

7. (5) Kevin Harvick, Chevrolet, 267, $127073.

8. (20) Kasey Kahne, Chevrolet, 267, $104115.

9. (2) Joey Logano, Ford, 267, $124106.

10. (25) Jimmie Johnson, Chevrolet, 267, $138851.

11. (13) Tony Stewart, Chevrolet, 267, $122548.

12. (9) Kurt Busch, Chevrolet, 267, $87065.

13. (27) Marcos Ambrose, Ford, 267, $112910.

14. (24) Greg Biffle, Ford, 267, $126490.

15. (12) Paul Menard, Chevrolet, 267, $113979.

16. (16) Austin Dillon #, Chevrolet, 267, $131176.

17. (23) Carl Edwards, Ford, 267, $100240.

18. (32) Michael Annett #, Chevrolet, 267, $102773.

19. (19) Martin Truex Jr, Chevrolet, 267, $112223.

20. (26) Casey Mears, Chevrolet, 267, $109323.

21. (10) Danica Patrick, Chevrolet, 267, $91715.

22. (15) AJ Allmendinger, Chevrolet, 266, $97623.

23. (11) Clint Bowyer, Toyota, 266, $118231.

24. (28) Justin Allgaier #, Chevrolet, 266, $102648.

25. (21) Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Ford, 266, $119165.

26. (17) Brian Vickers, Toyota, 266, $114590.

27. (31) Reed Sorenson, Chevrolet, 265, $91812.

28. (30) Cole Whitt #, Toyota, 264, $82040.

29. (34) Josh Wise, Chevrolet, 263, $81940.

30. (41) David Gilliland, Ford, 263, $90865.

31. (36) David Ragan, Ford, 262, $86800.

32. (37) Landon Cassill(i), Chevrolet, 262, $78690.

33. (39) Ryan Truex #, Toyota, 261, $78640.

34. (35) Travis Kvapil, Ford, 259, $78590.

35. (38) David Stremme, Chevrolet, 257, $78540.

36. (33) Alex Bowman #, Toyota, 255, $78490.

37. (8) Jamie McMurray, Chevrolet, 250, $115646.

38. (40) Joe Nemechek(i), Toyota, 239, $81680.

39. (22) Aric Almirola, Ford, Accident, 175, $106616.

40. (6) Kyle Larson #, Chevrolet, Accident, 75, $92025.

41. (42) Mike Bliss(i), Toyota, Transmission, 30, $61680.

42. (4) Denny Hamlin, Toyota, Accident, 27, $71580.

Average Speed of Race Winner: 139.723 mph.

Time of Race: 2 Hrs, 51 Mins, 59 Secs. Margin of Victory: 1.014 Seconds.

Caution Flags: 6 for 34 laps.

Lead Changes: 12 among 3 drivers.

Lap Leaders: B. Keselowski 1-78; J. Logano 79-83; B. Keselowski 84; J. Logano 85-86; B. Keselowski 87-127; J. Logano 128-147; B. Keselowski 148-155; J. Logano 156-162; B. Keselowski 163-180; J. Logano 181-183; B. Keselowski 184-216; Kyle Busch 217-247; B. Keselowski 248-267.

Leaders Summary (Driver, Times Lead, Laps Led): B. Keselowski 7 times for 199 laps; J. Logano 5 times for 37 laps; Kyle Busch 1 time for 31 laps.

Top 16 in Points: J. Gordon – 618; J. Johnson – 594; D. Earnhardt Jr. – 594; B. Keselowski – 560; M. Kenseth – 555; C. Edwards – 536; J. Logano – 519; R. Newman – 514; K. Harvick – 509; Kyle Busch – 508; P. Menard – 488; K. Larson # – 474; G. Biffle – 474; C. Bowyer – 473; K. Kahne – 465; T. Stewart – 460.

(This story will be updated shortly)

Info Manager | , RacinToday.com Saturday, June 28 2014
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