Brad Keselowski grabs Bristol win after Elliott, Logano wreck
For Brad Keselowski, being lucky is almost better than being good.
Chase Elliott and Joey Logano wrecked battling for the lead in Turns 3 and 4 with one of 500 laps remaining and with no caution, Keselowski inherited the lead and grabbed the victory in Sunday’s Supermarket Heroes 500 at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway.
Clint Bowyer ended up finishing second, Jimmie Johnson was third, Kyle Busch fourth and Erik Jones rounded out the top-five.
The win is Keselowski’s second of the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series season and second in the last three races. It’s his 32nd career victory and third at Bristol.
"Oh my goodness, I think everyone on this Discount Tire Ford Mustang team is going to go to (Las) Vegas, is open yet?" Keselowski said after the win. "Things have been going out way, from the luck of the draw in the qualifying to the last few laps there. We couldn't get anything to go our way in the beginning of race from cars staying out, and we couldn't get the bottom (lane) on the restarts.
"Nothing was working out. We put two tires on the last stop and drove up to fourth or sixth and put ourselves in position. I could see Joey and Chase they were getting really racy there. I didn't know what was going to happen but I just kept my eye open hoping something good might happen and sure enough it did.
"It was an incredible effort by the team. This was a never-give-up effort and that's what we're becoming as a team."
Rounding out the top-10 were Austin Dillon, Kurt Busch, William Byron, Christopher Bell and Bubba Wallace.
Following the break between Stages 2 and 3, most lead-lap cars pit but Hamlin stayed out and inherited the lead. On the restart on Lap 262, Denny Hamlin was followed by Kyle Busch and Johnson.
On Lap 269, Chris Buescher got into the wall off Turn 2 which brought out another caution. The leaders did not pit and Hamlin led the way on the restart on Lap 273.
Kyle Busch went to the inside of Hamlin off Turn 4 on Lap 278 to take the lead for the first time in the race.
With 200 laps to go, Kyle Busch had built up a 1.8-second lead over Hamlin, with Aric Almirola close behind and challenging for the runner-up position.
On Lap 321, Johnson moved around Hamlin to take the runner-up position, about 3 seconds behind Kyle Busch.
Austin Dillon hit the Turn 2 wall on Lap 329 to bring out a caution. He was running seventh at the time. All the lead-lap cars pit with Kyle Busch first off pit road.
Wallace, Keselowski, Austin Dillon and Logano all were penalized for speeding on pit road and had to restart from the rear of the field.
On the restart on Lap 335, Kyle Busch was followed by Hamlin, Almirola and Elliott.
Ryan Newman looped it off Turn 2 on Lap 355 to bring out a caution. Kyle Busch remained on the track and in the lead on Lap 361.
Hamlin went to the outside of Busch and grabbed the lead off Turn 4 at the start of Lap 362.
On Lap 417, Kyle Busch finally got around Hamlin to reclaim the lead. Johnson ran third and Elliott fourth.
With 78 laps to go, Johnson had moved into the runner-up position and began running down Kyle Busch to attempt a pass for the lead.
Harvick and Jones got together on Lap 434 to bring out a caution. All the lead-lap cars pit with Hamlin the first off pit road. Bell had to restart from the rear of the field due to an uncontrolled tire penalty during his stop.
On the restart on Lap 440, Hamlin was followed by Johnson, Kyle Busch and Elliott.
Gray Gaulding tagged the outside wall coming off Turn 2 on Lap 458 to force another caution. Several lead-lap cars pit but Hamlin remained on the track.
On the restart on Lap 464, Hamlin was followed by Elliott, Johnson and Logano. Keselowski was the first car to pit and restart in 12th.
On Lap 465, Martin Truex Jr. and Almirola and a few others got collected in a wreck in Turns 1 and 2 to bring the caution back out.
Several cars pit but Hamlin stayed out continued to lead the way on the restart on Lap 472 followed by Logano.
On Lap 489, Logano and Elliott got by Hamlin in Turn 3 as they all navigated lapped traffic. Hamlin got into Logano and ended up wrecking on the frontstretch while Elliott moved into the lead as the caution came out.
Elliott led the way on the restart on Lap 496 followed by Logano, Kyle Busch, Keselowski (on two fresher tires) and Bowyer fifth.
Elliott held off a fast-approaching Hamlin to take the Stage 2 victory – the 10th of the season for Hendrick Motorsports, two more than the organization had all of last season.
Kevin Harvick was third, Logano fourth and Kyle Busch rounded out the top-five.
Following the stage break between Stages 1 and 2, all the lead-lap cars pit with Blaney the first off pit road. On the restart on Lap 137, Blaney was followed by Elliott, Logano and Keselowski.
Bowman made a second pit stop for loose lug nuts and restarted from near the rear of the field.
With 100 laps remaining in the second stage, Blaney maintained a less than a second lead over Keselowski while Elliott remained in third.
Keselowski powered around Blaney to retake the lead on Lap 170.
With 50 laps to go in the second stage, Keselowski maintained a small but steady lead over Ryan Blaney. Elliott ran third, Almirola fourth and Logano fifth.
On Lap 199, Blaney spun off Turn 2 and came to a stop and then Ty Dillon clipped the front of Blaney’s No. 12 Ford, doing damage to both cars.
“We knocked the radiator out,” Blaney said his he took his No. 12 to the garage, bringing an early end to his race.
All the lead-lap cars pit, with Elliott the first off pit road. On the restart on Lap 208, Elliott was followed by Keselowski, Hamlin and Harvick.
On Lap 211, Joey Gase spun on the backstretch to bring out a caution. Elliott led the way on the restart on Lap 217 followed by Keselowski and Logano.
The race immediately went back under caution as Bayley Currey stalled his No. 53 Chevrolet on the backstretch as the race went green. The race returned to green on Lap 222 with Elliott stay out front.
With 25 laps remaining in the second stage, Elliott held a small advantage over Logano with Harvick up to third.
On Lap 229, Johnson got into the back of Ricky Stenhouse Jr. which sent Stenhouse into the inside wall and triggered a multi-car accident that also collected Alex Bowman, Cole Custer, Tyler Reddick, Matt DiBenedetto and Ryan Preece.
The race was immediately red flagged to clean the track of debris. After a nearly 12-minute delay, the race returned to yellow
“I don’t really know who crashed who, I just saw (Stenhouse) wrecking there and everybody came up to the top and I couldn’t get stopped in time,” Bowman said. “It’s a bummer, but that’s Bristol.”
Most of the lead-lap cars stayed on the track and when the race returned to green on Lap 236, Elliott remained out front followed by Logano and Harvick.
Ryan Preece hit wall two laps later to bring out another caution. On the restart on Lap 244, Elliott led the way followed by Hamlin and Logano.
Elliott, who won his first race of the season Thursday night at Charlotte, got around Blaney and held on for the Stage 1 victory.
Keselowski finished third, Almirola fourth and Logano rounded out the top-five.
Keselowski, who started on the pole as the result of a random, led the way until Newman spun off Turn 2 on Lap 8 to bring out the first caution.
The race returned on green on Lap 12 with Keselowski still out front followed by Blaney and Logano.
On Lap 21, NASCAR threw the first of two competition cautions to allow teams to check on tire wear. A handful of cars elected to pit but Keselowski stayed out and remained in the lead.
Buescher had to drop to pit road during the caution to swap out a transponder but was given his position back after the change. On the restart on Lap 30, Keselowski was followed by Truex and Blaney.
On Lap 61, NASCAR put out the second of two planned competition cautions. Most of the lead-lap cars elected to pit with Keselowski the first off pit road.
On the restart on Lap 68, DiBenedetto stayed out and led the way followed by Keselowski, Almirola and Blaney. Kyle Busch and Daniel Suarez were penalized for speeding and had to restart from the rear of the field.
Keselowski quickly returned to the lead on Lap 69 as Blaney moved into second.
Blaney got around Keselowski off Turn 4 on Lap 84 to grab the lead for the first time in the race. Elliott took over second on Lap 88.
With 25 laps to go in the stage, Blaney was working hard to keep Elliott at bay while Keselowski continued to run third.
Elliott got around Blaney on Lap 105 to take the lead for the first time.
With 20 laps to go in the stage, Kyle Busch had worked his way back up to 18th as Elliott continued to lead the way.
Both Preece and Gaulding had to start the race from the rear of the field as both of their cars failed pre-race inspection twice.
|10||43||Darrell Wallace Jr.||Chevrolet||500||3.072|
|13||38||John Hunter Nemechek||Ford||500||3.657|
|20||19||Martin Truex Jr.||Toyota||500||6.299|
|23||17||Chris Buescher||Ford||496||4 laps|
|24||15||Brennan Poole||Chevrolet||494||6 laps|
|25||7||J.J. Yeley||Chevrolet||492||8 laps|
|26||77||Garrett Smithley||Chevrolet||489||11 laps|
|27||00||Quin Houff||Chevrolet||483||17 laps|
|28||78||B.J. McLeod||Chevrolet||477||23 laps|
|29||10||Aric Almirola||Ford||470||30 laps|
|30||27||Gray Gaulding||Ford||456||44 laps|
|31||21||Matt DiBenedetto||Ford||456||44 laps||4|
|32||32||Corey Lajoie||Ford||375||125 laps|
|33||51||Joey Gase||Chevrolet||302||198 laps|
|34||47||Ricky Stenhouse Jr.||Chevrolet||228||272 laps|
|35||41||Cole Custer||Ford||228||272 laps|
|36||8||Tyler Reddick||Chevrolet||228||272 laps|
|37||88||Alex Bowman||Chevrolet||228||272 laps|
|38||53||Bayley Currey||Chevrolet||203||297 laps|
|39||13||Ty Dillon||Chevrolet||201||299 laps|
|40||12||Ryan Blaney||Ford||199||301 laps||60|
Stenhouse: "We just got crashed" as pileup stops Bristol race
Chase Elliott: "I'll certainly take the blame" on Logano wreck