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Keselowski prevails at Pocono



Long Pond, PA (Sports Network) - Four days after fracturing his left ankle in a crash while testing at Road America, Brad Keselowski overcame pain and rain to win Sunday's Good Sam RV Insurance 500 at Pocono Raceway.

Keselowski charged past Kyle Busch for the lead just after the fifth and final restart with 16 laps remaining. He then held off Busch at the finish by 0.8 seconds for his second win of the season and the third of his Sprint Cup Series career. His first victory this season came in June at Kansas Speedway.

He dedicated his win to the 22 Navy SEALs and eight other U.S. service members who were killed in a helicopter crash Saturday in Afghanistan.

"I'm no hero," Keselowski said. "The heroes are the guys who died in Afghanistan this weekend, and I want to spend time thinking about them. They were my inspiration for this weekend, the things those guys do. I'm glad we could win today, but those are the heroes. I just drive race cars for a living."

The 500-mile race at Pocono was stopped for one hour and 40 minutes after rain fell on the 2.5-mile triangular track on lap 124. That allowed Keselowski to take a break and relieve some of his pain as well as fatigue he experienced from a sore back due to his accident last Wednesday. He slammed into the wall at the Braselton, GA road course at more than 100 mph. Keselowski was medically cleared to race one day later.

Keselowski qualified 13th for this race on Saturday but skipped the Nationwide event later that day at Iowa Speedway. He was attempting the Pocono/Iowa combo this weekend.

Currently siting 18th in points, Keselowski's two wins this year put him in the first wild card position for the championship Chase. Five races remain before the Chase begins next month at Chicagoland Speedway.

"Runs like this are great so we can get into the Chase," he said.

Keselowski's Penske Racing teammate, Kurt Busch, finished third. Busch and Jimmie Johnson battled fiercely during the final laps, with the two making slight contact at one point. Johnson settled for fourth.

After the race concluded, Busch and Johnson had a heated argument on pit road.

"I was racing hard with Jimmie at the end," Busch said. "I was flat out racing him. If you want to race, let's race. I didn't know we were supposed to pull over with five laps to go. I raced him hard, smart and clean, and he wants to come over here and [complain] about it."

Johnson saw things differently.

"He claimed I turned down on him off of turn two, but I don't have a clue," Johnson said. "He ran over me on the corner exit, and that's when it all started. We'll figure it out."

Ryan Newman finished fifth, followed by Jeff Gordon, who won at Pocono for the fifth time in June. Roush Fenway Racing teammates Carl Edwards and Greg Biffle placed seventh and eighth, respectively. Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Paul Menard, last weekend's winner at Indianapolis, completed the top-10.

Joe Gibbs Racing teammates Denny Hamlin and Joey Logano, the pole sitter, dominated the race before the rain came. Hamlin led the most laps with 65 but faded in the late stages to finish 15th. Logano held the top spot when the race was stopped. He was hoping the inclement weather would prevent the race from resuming and therefore give him a second career win in NASCAR's top series. He ended up finishing 26th.

08/07 20:39:56 ET


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