Keselowski dominates in winning at Bristol

Amanda Vincent, NASCAR correspondent

Brad Keselowski dominated the second half the Food City 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway in the No. 2 Penske Racing Dodge on Sunday. He led a total of 231 laps in the 500 lap race, including the final 111 to claim the race win. It was his second-consecutive series win at BMS.

"I knew we had a shot to win one, running like we were," Keselowski said of the No. 2 team's performance to open the 2012 season. "And we finally closed the deal."

"I knew we had a shot to win one, running like we were.

Brad Keselowski

Matt Kenseth ran second to Keselowski in the No. 17 Roush Fenway Racing Ford. in the final 111 laps and held on to finish second.

"I could keep up, and that was about it," Kenseth said.

Keselowski and Kenseth were followed by all three Michael Waltrip Racing Toyotas. Martin Truex Jr. finished third in the No. 56, Clint Bowyer was fourth in the No. 15, and Brian Vickers was fifth in the No. 55 in his first race of the season.

"I'm proud of MWR to get three cars in the top-five," Vickers said.

Greg Biffle started on the pole in the No. 16 Roush Fenway Racing Ford, with A.J. Allmendinger's No. 22 Penske Racing Dodge next to him on the front row. Biffle led the first 23 laps of the race until contact between the No. 5 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet of Kasey Kahne and the No. 78 Furniture Row Racing Chevrolet of Regan Smith on lap 23 resulted in a six-car pileup that also included the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota of Kyle Busch, the No. 9 Richard Petty Motorsports Ford of Marcos Ambrose, the No. 99 Roush Fenway Racing Ford of Carl Edwards and the No. 29 Richard Childress Chevrolet of Kevin Harvick.

"I listen too much to my spotter, I guess," Kahne said of getting caught up in the incident.

Most of the leaders elected to come down pit road, while seven drivers, including Allmendinger, Truex and Vickers opted to stay out for track position.

Vickers was able to get by Allmendinger for the lead on lap 96 when Allmendinger got caught behind lap traffic. He then held the lead through a round of pit stops during a caution that came out on lap 116.

Vickers maintained the top spot until Keselowski got by for the lead on lap 217. After a cycle of green-green flag pit stops that got underway around lap 253, Keselowski cycled back to the lead with Kenseth pursuing him from the second spot.

Matt Kenseth, Roush Fenway Racing Ford
Matt Kenseth, Roush Fenway Racing Ford

Photo by: Action Sports Photography

Kenseth took the lead with 152 laps to go, but Keselowski got back to the front with 111 laps remaining and led the rest of the way. Kenseth was able to pull alongside Keselowski a few times in the final laps as the two drivers navigated lap traffic but he was never able to get back into the lead.

"I could keep up, and that was about it," Kenseth said.

Throughout most of the race, Keselowski chose the bottom lane when restarting in the lead. For the final restart of the race, following a caution that came out with 23 laps to go when Tony Stewart's No. 14 Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet made contact with the wall, though, Keselowski chose the outside line on old tires.

"If I had been on the top, maybe I could've pinned him down there," Kenseth said. But Keselowski didn't give him that option.

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Series NASCAR-CUP
Tags featured, keselowski, penske, vincent