Keselowski wins at Bristol again|
Bristol, TN (Sports Network) - Brad Keselowski is establishing himself as the
new king of Bristol Motor Speedway.
Keselowski claimed his second straight Sprint Cup Series win at Bristol by
taking Sunday's Food City 500. The No. 2 Penske Racing Dodge driver, who won
at this 0.533-mile, high-banked track last August, grabbed the lead from Matt
Kenseth with 111 laps remaining. Kenseth challenged Keselowski for the top
position several times within the final 100 laps but came up 0.7 seconds short
at the finish line.
"What can I say? I love Bristol and Bristol loves me," said Keselowski, who
led a race-high and career-high 232 laps. "It's a great track that really
demands a hundred percent out of a driver and out of a team. Today my team
certainly delivered. You could probably argue whether or not I did. But it was
The fifth and final caution of the race came within the final 25 laps when
defending series champion Tony Stewart made contact with the wall. Keselowski
selected the outside lane for the last restart with 17 laps remaining.
"If I would have been on the top, maybe I could have pinned him down there,
but on old tires, I knew he was going to choose the top," Kenseth said.
Keselowski picked up his fifth career victory in the series. He also became
the fourth different winner in as many races this season. Each of the four
manufacturers (Chevrolet, Dodge, Ford and Toyota) have been to victory lane in
2012 as well.
Kenseth, in a Ford, won last month's season-opening Daytona 500. Denny Hamlin
drove his Toyota into victory lane at Phoenix two weeks ago, and Tony Stewart
and Chevrolet won last weekend's race at Las Vegas.
Michael Waltrip Racing had a huge day at Bristol, with drivers Martin Truex
Jr., Clint Bowyer and Brian Vickers finishing third through fifth,
respectively. Vickers made his first of six starts in the No. 55 Toyota for
Michael Waltrip Racing this season. He led the second most laps with 125.
"This was pretty good, and it felt really good when we were out there
leading," Vickers said. "It would have been awesome to hold onto that, but
it's the first time back, so I can't complain about that."
Vickers will also drive the car at Bristol again in August, as well as
upcoming events at Martinsville and New Hampshire. Vickers drove for Red Bull
Racing from 2007-11, but Red Bull ended its participation in NASCAR at the end
of last season, putting him out of a ride.
Mark Martin was behind the wheel of the No. 55 for the first four races this
season, but Martin, who is running a partial schedule this year, did not
compete in this event.
Jeff Burton, Jamie McMurray, Juan Pablo Montoya, Jimmie Johnson and Paul
Menard completed the top-10.
Stewart managed to stay on the lead lap after his incident to finish 14th.
A seven-car crash occurred early in the race when Regan Smith made contact
with Kasey Kahne and spun him around, triggering the pileup. Carl Edwards and
five-time Bristol race winner Kyle Busch sustained heavy damage to their cars.
Busch finished 32nd after spending more than 70 laps in the garage for
repairs. Edwards was behind the wall for almost half of the 500-lap race. He
"It's frustrating to see this happen," Edwards said. "All the guys, myself
included, that ran into [Kahne], we all saw it, and we were all on the brakes.
Kasey's car just slid down the bottom and came up across the racetrack. It's
too bad it ruined our day."
Kahne has endured a tough start to his first season as driver of the No. 5
Chevrolet for Hendrick Motorsports. He has finished no better than 19th in the
first four races.
"I knew when my spotter cleared me in the center [of the track], I would be
clear on exit, because he said, 'All clear, good to go'," Kahne said. "So I
get to the exit, and I knew Regan was slow. I just listen to much to my
spotter I guess."
Jeff Gordon, also a five-time race winner at this track, crashed in the late
going when he cut his left-rear tire after making contact with his Hendrick
teammate Dale Earnhardt Jr. Gordon eventually returned to the track but wound
up placing 35th.
"We were racing hard, and I know it wasn't intentional, but it certainly
ruined our day," Gordon said.
Earnhardt Jr. received a late-race speeding penalty, which led to his 15th-
Greg Biffle finished 13th after starting on the pole and leading the first 41
laps. Biffle remained atop the standings, as he holds a nine-point advantage
over Kevin Harvick, who finished 11th. Kenseth is 12 markers behind the
03/18 18:43:20 ET