Keselowski Stays Cool With Fuel at Kansas

Brad Keselowski

Brad Keselowski scored his second career win. (Photo: Getty Images)

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Brad Keselowski outran Dale Earnhardt Jr. with fuel strategy to survive a hot day and win Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series STP 400 at Kansas Speedway.

Keselowski kept his Miller Lite Dodge out front for the final nine laps and was able to conserve enough fuel to go the distance and score his second career Sprint Cup Series win.

"It's been a while, but we've been so close lately," Keselowski said. "We just never could catch the good breaks. We caught a break today.

“It’s because of the hard work; it’s because of the bad finishes and the struggle it’s been to get here that I really appreciate this win and I really appreciate what this means.”

The win was the first for Dodge in 2011 and Keselowski’s first in 75 races since his upset victory at Talladega Superspeedway in April of 2009.

“I think we’ve made a lot of progress the last several weeks,” said team owner Roger Penske. “People haven’t really noticed it, but bad break there when the 4 car (Kasey Kahne) stalled at Charlotte with the 2 car there and the 22 has run well. This is a real step-up for us. These are the tracks that were tough for us, the one-and-a-half miles. It looks like we have a handle on these now. We’ll see what happens.”

Earnhardt Jr. was forced to settle for the runner-up spot and was kept out of a potential trip to Victory Lane for a second straight week because of fuel mileage.

But the Hendrick Motorsports driver was still satisfied with the day which included his comeback from an earlier race spin.

“I had a good car, you know,” Earnhardt Jr. said. “I spun out up there tryin' to find a little more speed on the top. We had a fast car though. Just started way back there in the back, man. We ain't qualified no better than 22nd besides Daytona and Talladega. We need to fix that somehow. It was a fast car."

Denny Hamlin, Jeff Gordon and Carl Edwards rounded out the top five.

Matt Kenseth, Jimmie Johnson, Tony Stewart, Kurt Busch and Greg Biffle completed the first ten finishers.

Kurt Busch started from the pole and led 152 laps, but was forced to pit for fuel and give up the lead inside of 10 laps to go.

“I was all smiles,” Busch said of his strong day. “I felt the groove again, to lead the race. It was great, it was solid. There was always something in the back of my mind that we weren’t going to win, but I am proud Brad Keselowski did.”

The race was run in extremely hot conditions with temperatures in the mid-90s.

Seventeen lead changes took place between nine drivers. Five cautions slowed the race for 22 laps.

Edwards leads Johnson by 40 on the series point standings with Earnhardt Jr., Kevin Harvick and Kyle Busch the first five.

The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series now heads to Pocono Raceway for next Sunday’s Pocono 500.

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