Brad Keselowski snags victory in Kansas thriller

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Brad Keselowski snags victory in Kansas thriller
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May 12, 2019, 3:11 AM

Brad Keselowski emerged from virtually nowhere to win Saturday night’s Digital Ally 400 at Kansas Speedway.

Race Winner Brad Keselowski, Team Penske, Ford Mustang Wurth
Race Winner Brad Keselowski, Team Penske, Ford Mustang Wurth
Race Winner Brad Keselowski, Team Penske, Ford Mustang Wurth
Race Winner Brad Keselowski, Team Penske, Ford Mustang Wurth
Race Winner Brad Keselowski, Team Penske, Ford Mustang Wurth

Keselowski, who at times was not even running in the top 10, gradually clawed his way back to the front and passed Alex Bowman for the lead with six of the originally scheduled 267 laps remaining.

A late-race caution sent the race into overtime but Keselowski was able to clear the cars behind him and hold off Bowman again for the win.

The victory is Keselowski’s third of the season and 30th of his career.

"I just want to dedicate this win to Mike Mittler," Keselowski said after the race. "You know, he helped a lot of guys in their career and I was one of them. He passed away yesterday. It's just a huge loss to the NASCAR community.

"He was one of those unsung heroes that works in the garage. He gave his whole life to this sport and there's so many of those guys and so many of those fans. It hurts to see those guys go away.

"What a great day. On the (last) restart, I just got a great launch and Alex Bowman, he's going to win a race. He did a great job today. We had a little bit of fresher tires than he did and we were able to make the move on the outside there and caught everything perfect.

"I'm just so thankful."

Asked about the racing the new aero package produced at Kansas, Keselowski said, "I'm a little biased because I'm parked in Victory Lane, but this was an awesome race today. This rule package is really made for tracks like Kansas Speedway and I think the fans saw a great one today." 

Erik Jones finished third, Chase Elliott was fourth and Clint Bowyer completed the top-five.

Rounding out the Top 10 were Jimmie Johnson, Kurt Busch, Kyle Larson, Tyler Reddick and Chris Buescher.

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Stage 3

Following the break between Stages 2 and 3, all of the lead-lap cars elected to pit with Kevin Harvick the first off pit road.

 

On the restart on Lap 168, Harvick was filed by Ryan Blaney (who took two tires), Jones, Bowman and Kyle Busch.

Martin Truex Jr. was penalized during his stop for too many crew members over the wall and had to restart from the rear of the field.

On Lap 174, Bowman and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. split Blaney with Bowman taking over the second position and Stenhouse to third.

With 88 laps to go, Bowman moved into the lead as Harvick dropped back with a potential flat tire and eventually went to pit road.

With 85 laps remaining, Bowman held a small lead over Stenhouse while Kyle Busch moved into third. Harvick returned to the track in 27th and one lap down.

Bowman expanded his lead to 2 seconds over Kyle Busch with 60 laps to go in the race. Stenhouse ran third, Elliott fourth and Jones fifth.

With under 55 laps remaining, drivers began a round of green-flag pit stops not long after on Lap 217 NASCAR threw a caution for a tire that got loose in the infield grass. It ended up belonging to Ryan Newman’s car and he was penalized and had to restart from the rear of the field.

Once the final lead-lap car pit under the caution, Kyle Busch was the first off pit road but was penalized for driving through too many pit boxes on his stop. He had to restart from the rear of the field.

On the restart with 39 to go, Bowman was back out front, followed by Elliott, Stenhouse, Buscher and Tyler Reddick.

Elliott got around Bowman on the restart reclaimed the lead as Stenhouse ran in third.

With 30 laps to go, Bowman had gotten to the rear bumper of Elliott and was trying to make a pass for the lead. Stenhouse remained in third, Bowyer fourth and Reddick was fifth.

On Lap 239, a caution was thrown for debris off Blaney’s No. 12 Ford, who had blown a tire and was limping around the track trying to return to pit road.

Only a handful of lead-lap cars elected to pit, including Jones, Kesleowski, Aric Almirola, Kyle Busch and Johnson.

On the restart with 23 laps remaining, Elliott led the way followed by Bowman, Stenhouse, Bowyer and Reddick. Harvick received the free pass and returned to the lead lap.

Stenhouse went three-wide with Elliott and Bowman and came away with the lead for the first time with 21 laps to go.

With 20 to go, Bowman powered around Stenhouse to retake the lead.

Bowman and Keselowski battled nose-to-tail for the lead with 10 laps remaining in the race. Jones had moved into third.

With six laps to go, Keselowski got around Bowman for the lead with the help of some lapped traffic.

Matt DiBennedetto blew an engine and appeared to drop fluid on the track, which brought out a caution with four laps remaining. A handful of cars elected to pit including Larson, Jones, Harvick, Bowyer and Stenhouse.

The race went to overtime with Keselowski in the lead, followed by Jones, Bowman, Johnson and Elliott.

Cla # Driver Manufacturer Laps Time Laps Led
1 2 United States Brad Keselowski  Ford 271   12
2 88 United States Alex Bowman  Chevrolet 271 0.205 63
3 20 United States Erik Jones  Toyota 271 0.381  
4 9 United States Chase Elliott  Chevrolet 271 0.497 45
5 14 United States Clint Bowyer  Ford 271 0.840 12
6 48 United States Jimmie Johnson  Chevrolet 271 0.873  
7 1 United States Kurt Busch  Chevrolet 271 1.027 7
8 42 United States Kyle Larson  Chevrolet 271 1.089  
9 31 United States Tyler Reddick  Chevrolet 271 1.113  
10 37 United States Chris Buescher  Chevrolet 271 1.446 10
11 17 United States Ricky Stenhouse Jr.  Ford 271 1.452 11
12 10 United States Aric Almirola  Ford 271 1.455  
13 4 United States Kevin Harvick  Ford 271 1.697 105
14 41 Mexico Daniel Suarez  Ford 271 3.154  
15 22 United States Joey Logano  Ford 270 1 lap  
16 11 United States Denny Hamlin  Toyota 270 1 lap  
17 3 United States Austin Dillon  Chevrolet 270 1 lap  
18 8 United States Daniel Hemric  Chevrolet 270 1 lap  
19 19 United States Martin Truex Jr.  Toyota 270 1 lap  
20 24 United States William Byron  Chevrolet 270 1 lap 4
21 36 United States Matt Tifft  Ford 270 1 lap 1
22 32 United States Corey Lajoie  Ford 270 1 lap  
23 6 United States Ryan Newman  Ford 269 2 laps  
24 21 United States Paul Menard  Ford 269 2 laps  
25 47 United States Ryan Preece  Chevrolet 269 2 laps  
26 34 United States Michael McDowell  Ford 269 2 laps  
27 38 United States David Ragan  Ford 269 2 laps  
28 13 United States Ty Dillon  Chevrolet 269 2 laps  
29 43 United States Darrell Wallace Jr.  Chevrolet 269 2 laps  
30 18 United States Kyle Busch  Toyota 268 3 laps 1
31 15 United States Ross Chastain  Chevrolet 268 3 laps 1
32 12 United States Ryan Blaney  Ford 264 7 laps  
33 52 Bayley Currey  Ford 263 8 laps  
34 77 United States Quin Houff  Chevrolet 263 8 laps  
35 27 United States Reed Sorenson  Chevrolet 262 9 laps  
36 95 United States Matt DiBenedetto  Toyota 261 9 laps  
37 00 United States Landon Cassill  Chevrolet 261 10 laps  
38 46 United States Joey Gase  Toyota 258 13 laps  
39 66 United States Timmy Hill  Toyota 257 14 laps  
40 51 Cody Ware  Chevrolet 245 26 laps  

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About this article

Series NASCAR Cup
Event Kansas
Drivers Brad Keselowski
Teams Team Penske
Author Jim Utter
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