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Race report
NASCAR Cup Darlington

Darlington NASCAR Cup: Keselowski snaps 110-race winless streak

Brad Keselowski ended a frustratingly long 110-race winless streak and a year-long drought in NASCAR competition by Ford with a stunning victory Sunday at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway.

Chris Buescher, Keselowski's teammate at RFK Racing, was working feverishly to hold off Reddick in the final laps of Sunday’s race when Reddick got into him as he attempted a slide job off Turn 4 and the two collided.

 

That collision – which sent both drivers to pit road with flat tires – opened the door for Keselowski to inherit the lead with eight of 293 laps remaining and he then held off Ty Gibbs by 1.214 seconds to clinch the victory.

The win is the first for Keselowski since he became co-owner of RFK Racing in 2022 and 36th of his career. Until Sunday, no Ford driver had won in any of NASCAR’s three national series this season – Cup, Xfinity and Trucks.

“What a heck of a day. It’s Darlington, so whether it’s your first win, your last win, this is a really special track,” Keselowski said. “The history of NASCAR, it’s as tough as it gets, and that battle at the end with my teammate and Tyler Reddick, we just laid it all out on the line, it was freaking awesome.

“I thought it couldn’t get much better than Kansas. It did today. That was awesome. I’m so glad you guys got to see that. That was incredible.”

Asked if he thought his chance at the win was over when he lost the lead to Buescher late in the race, Keselowski said, “I mean, it wasn’t good, but I knew that I’d have another shot at it. My car was really good on the long runs. When Tyler got underneath Chris, I knew I had another shot at it when they made contact.

“Then they must have got a flat tire, I don’t know what happened, and we caught a break. We’ve caught enough bad breaks over the last year or two, it’s nice to catch a good one.”

After the race, an angry Buescher confronted Reddick at his car to complain about the way Reddick raced him. Reddick took responsibility for the incident.

Buescher, who lost last week to Kyle Larson in the closest finish in NASCAR history, ended up 30th in the running order and Reddick 32nd.

Josh Berry ended up third, Denny Hamlin was fourth and Chase Briscoe rounded out the top five.

Completing the top 10 were William Byron, Bubba Wallace, Alex Bowman, Justin Hailey and Michael McDowell.

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Stage 1

Larson passed Gibbs with 11 of 90 laps remaining and cruised to the Stage 1 win by 4.752 seconds. Keselowski was third, Reddick fourth and Martin Truex Jr. ended up fifth.

Stage 2

After dueling for the lead on a late restart, Reddick held off Keselowski by 0.677 seconds to win Stage 2. Gibbs was third, Joey Logano fourth and Larson rounded out the top five.

On a restart following a caution, reigning series champion Ryan Blaney slammed into the Turn 1 wall after contact from Truex on lap 129. Truex and Buescher also tagged the wall in the aftermath. Blaney was knocked out of the race.

Stage 3

Following the break between Stages 2 and 3, all the lead lap cars elected to pit with Reddick first off pit road. He led Keselowski and Byron when the race resumed with 100 laps remaining.

Keselowski slowly began to reel in Reddick and with 67 laps to go, he got around Reddick for the lead.

With about 65 laps remaining, several drivers – likely splitting the final stage into thirds – hit pit road under green for fuel and new tires.

Reddick and Keselowski hit pit road for their respective stops with 58 laps to go, which turned the lead over to Byron. Keselowski cycled back to the lead on lap 243 with Reddick close behind.

While running sixth, Larson’s No. 5 Chevrolet got loose in the middle of Turns 3 and 4 from a tire going down. He spun and slammed into the wall to bring out a caution, but the damage was extensive enough to knock him out of the race.

 

The lead lap cars all pit for new tires and fuel to make it to the end of the race. Logano had to restart from the rear of the field after speeding during his stop. Reddick was first off pit road and led the way over Keselowski with 33 laps to go.

Reddick and Keselowski then spent the next few laps racing side by side until Buescher dove below them on the frontstretch in a three-wide move to take the lead with 29 laps remaining.

Buescher built a solid lead only to see Reddick close the margin to under a second with 10 laps to go.

CLA DRIVER # MANUFACTURER LAPS TIME INTERVAL PITS POINTS
1 B. KeselowskiRFK RACING 6 Ford 293

3:12'29.287

  9 57
2 54 Toyota 293

+1.214

3:12'30.501

1.214 14 52
3 J. BerrySTEWART-HAAS RACING 4 Ford 293

+1.477

3:12'30.764

0.263 10 34
4 D. HamlinJOE GIBBS RACING 11 Toyota 293

+3.059

3:12'32.346

1.582 10 36
5 C. BriscoeSTEWART-HAAS RACING 14 Ford 293

+4.245

3:12'33.532

1.186 10 32
6 W. ByronHENDRICK MOTORSPORTS 24 Chevrolet 293

+6.137

3:12'35.424

1.892 10 38
7 B. Wallace23XI RACING 23 Toyota 293

+8.554

3:12'37.841

2.417 10 33
8 A. BowmanHENDRICK MOTORSPORTS 48 Chevrolet 293

+9.479

3:12'38.766

0.925 10 29
9 J. HaleyRICK WARE RACING 51 Ford 293

+10.682

3:12'39.969

1.203 12 28
10 M. McDowellFRONT ROW MOTORSPORTS 34 Ford 293

+11.702

3:12'40.989

1.020 10 27
11 R. ChastainTRACKHOUSE RACING 1 Chevrolet 293

+15.004

3:12'44.291

3.302 10 27
12 C. ElliottHENDRICK MOTORSPORTS 9 Chevrolet 293

+15.322

3:12'44.609

0.318 10 25
13 C. BellJOE GIBBS RACING 20 Toyota 293

+15.859

3:12'45.146

0.537 10 24
14 N. GragsonSTEWART-HAAS RACING 10 Ford 293

+16.242

3:12'45.529

0.383 10  
15 T. GillilandFRONT ROW MOTORSPORTS 38 Ford 293

+16.728

3:12'46.015

0.486 10 27
16 C. LajoieSPIRE MOTORSPORTS 7 Chevrolet 293

+17.248

3:12'46.535

0.520 11 21
17 R. PreeceSTEWART-HAAS RACING 41 Ford 293

+17.668

3:12'46.955

0.420 11 20
18 K. GralaRICK WARE RACING 15 Ford 293

+17.946

3:12'47.233

0.278 9 19
19 E. JonesLEGACY MOTOR CLUB 43 Toyota 293

+20.084

3:12'49.371

2.138 10 18
20 A. CindricTEAM PENSKE 2 Ford 293

+20.419

3:12'49.706

0.335 10 17
21 J. LoganoTEAM PENSKE 22 Ford 293

+20.906

3:12'50.193

0.487 10 23
22 H. BurtonWOOD BROTHERS RACING 21 Ford 293

+21.190

3:12'50.477

0.284 10 15
23 R. Stenhouse JrJTG DAUGHERTY RACING 47 Chevrolet 293

+21.351

3:12'50.638

0.161 9 14
24 D. SuarezTRACKHOUSE RACING 99 Chevrolet 293

+22.463

3:12'51.750

1.112 8 13
25 M. Truex JrJOE GIBBS RACING 19 Toyota 293

+22.675

3:12'51.962

0.212 12 18
26
C. HocevarSPIRE MOTORSPORTS
77 Chevrolet 293

+24.434

3:12'53.721

1.759 9 11
27 K. BuschRICHARD CHILDRESS RACING 8 Chevrolet 293

+24.552

3:12'53.839

0.118 10 10
28 A. DillonRICHARD CHILDRESS RACING 3 Chevrolet 293

+28.445

3:12'57.732

3.893 9 9
29 D. KrausKAULIG RACING 16 Chevrolet 292

+1 Lap

3:12'53.544

1 Lap 10 8
30 C. BuescherRFK RACING 17 Ford 291

+2 Laps

3:12'31.219

1 Lap 11 15
31 J. NemechekLEGACY MOTOR CLUB 42 Toyota 291

+2 Laps

3:12'35.286

4.067 10 6
32 T. Reddick23XI RACING 45 Toyota 291

+2 Laps

3:12'37.916

2.630 12 22
33 D. HemricKAULIG RACING 31 Chevrolet 290

+3 Laps

3:11'51.598

1 Lap 11 4
34 K. LarsonHENDRICK MOTORSPORTS 5 Chevrolet 252

+41 Laps

2:44'58.839

38 Laps 9 19
35
Z. SmithSPIRE MOTORSPORTS
71 Chevrolet 161

+132 Laps

1:45'23.353

91 Laps 7 2
36 R. BlaneyTEAM PENSKE 12 Ford 129

+164 Laps

1:29'01.602

32 Laps 7 4

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