No one could challenge Team Penske at Kentucky Speedway.
For the second time this year, Brad Keselowski emerges victorious in a NASCAR Sprint Cup race. The Team Penske duo was unstoppable at Kentucky, and if it weren't for some late-race engine woes, Joey Logano would have most likely made it a 1-2 finish for the legendary race team.
"Our car was awesome; our team did a great job," Keselowski said. "I'm just really fortunate to have such a good car." Keselowski also mentioned his desire to win a second championship and with how strong that team is on 1.5 mile tracks, that goal could definitely become a reality in 2014.
The Penske duo of Keselowski and Joey Logano combined to lead almost the entire race distance. Logano led 37 while Keselowski ran in command for an astonishing 199 circuits.
Logano was the only driver able to actually pass Keselowski on the race track and under green flag conditions, taking the lead from him on a restart with 86 laps to go. Keselowski did lose the lead several times on pit road, usually coming out of the pits second to Logano. Joey had a strong car on the restarts, but Brad K. would always reassert his position as the leader a few laps into each run.
The field began a cycle of green flag pit stops just before the yellow flag waved for the final time when Aric Almirola tagged the wall with 55 laps remaining. (Kyle) Busch, Ryan Newman, and Dale Earnhardt Jr. were on pit road when the caution came out, but were still on the lead lap. Therefore, they restarted up in first, second, and third. Keselowski and Logano were pushed back to sixth and tenth after making their final pit stops under caution.
I knew it was going to be really, really tough," Keselowski said. "I knew we would be able to get to him, but I didn't think we'd be able to pass him."
Keselowski was able to take the lead for good, easily overtaking Busch in lap traffic with just 20 laps to go.
"We certainly wanted to win," Busch revealed. "When we got up to traffic, I had to back it up. We finished second to the best car."
Kyle Busch was the only driver other than the Penske duo to lead during the race, finishing second after leading as late as 20 laps to go. Ryan Newman earned his first top five result this year with a strong run in third.
For Keselowski, this marks his 12th career victory at the Cup level and the first time he's done it from pole position. He also becomes the first driver to win multiple Cup races at this speedway, doing so in both 2012 and 2014. Between he and his teammate, Team Penske has won four races this year, second only to Hendrick Motorsports with six.
Behind the top three, it was Matt Kenseth, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jeff Gordon, Kevin Harvick, Kasey Kahne, Joey Logano, and Jimmie Johnson rounding out the top ten. Austin Dillon was the highest finishing rookie in 16th place. There were a total of six cautions periods, the most this race has seen since 2011.
During the post-race celebration, Brad actually cut his right hand open on the champagne bottle and needed to go to the infield care center to get stitched up. Specifically, the injury required four stitches between his pinky and ring finger. The bottle apparently broke in his hands while he was shaking it. According to Jim Noble, he also needed a blood-free fire suit delivered to the car center.
And guess where Brad put the sticker for winning the race? Take a look...
Story contributed to by Nick DeGroot