Keselowski Sweeps New Hampshire
By: Pete Pistone - @PPistone | MRN.com on July 13, 2014 | 4:17 P.M. EST
Keselowski celebrates his third win of the season. (Photo: Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski became the first driver to sweep the Sprint Cup and Nationwide races in one weekend at New Hampshire Motor Speedway when he won Sunday's Camping World RV Sales 301.
Keselowski led 135 laps and picked up his third win of the season.
The Team Penske driver looked like he would cruise to the win until Justin Allgaier’s late crash that set up a green-white-checkered finish.
But when the green flag flew so did Keselowski who easily got a jump on the field and drove away for the victory.
“We've been really good here at Loudon the last few years but were unable to close out,” said Keselowski, who also scored a dominating win in Saturday’s Nationwide Series race. “Today, we were able to do that.”
Keselowski became the 13th different driver to win in the last 13 New Hampshire races.
Keselowski’s last two wins at New Hampshire and Kentucky have come in dominating fashion and the 2012 champion is hopeful his Sunday run will pay dividends during the Loudon Chase race in the fall.
“I think it is definitely good for when we come back here in September but past success doesn’t guarantee future success,” he said. “We have to keep working and plugging away. I am sure a lot of guys will be stronger and hopefully we will be too.”
Rookie Kyle Larson finished third, with Matt Kenseth fourth and Ryan Newman fifth.
Rounding out the top 10 were Clint Bowyer, Tony Stewart, Denny Hamlin, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Dale Earnhardt Jr.
The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series takes off next weekend before returning to action at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sunday, July 27.
How Keselowski won: The Team Penske driver was in a class by himself all race long and his only real challenge came in the overtime finish but he easily drove away from Kyle Busch at the drop of the green flag and went on to take the checkered flag.
What else happened: Track position was key as it usually is when the Sprint Cup Series competes at New Hampshire. Fuel mileage and strategy were huge factors in determining several finishing positions with some drivers and teams coming up short while others left Loudon with decent finishes.
Who else had a good day: Kyle Busch had a fast car much of the weekend and although disappointed had a solid second-place finish…..An earlier call for two tires by crew chief Chris Heroy gave Kyle Larson valuable track position and the rookie driver responded with a stellar third place performance….Matt Kenseth is still winless in 2014, but he turned in a fifth-place effort on Sunday to help solidify his spot in the point standings and a run for a Chase berth.
Who had a bad day: Jimmie Johnson was the early victim of two flat tires with the second sending him hard into the wall and out of the race with a 42nd place finish. Johnson insisted it wasn’t a choice of low air pressure by the team that caused the issue but rather a Goodyear problem….Joey Logano rebounded from an earlier crash in the weekend to drive toward the front of the field in a backup car but was wrecked by Morgan Shepherd, who was more than 10 laps down at the time…Jeff Gordon had troubles early in the race but battled back to battle for the lead until he ran out of gas during the overtime finish.
Quote of the day: “I got taken out by the slowest car out there,” Joey Logano, after contact with Morgan Shepherd sent him into the wall and out of the race.
Other notables: Ryan Newman scored his second top-five finish of the season after coming home third in Kentucky two weeks ago….Ninth-place finisher Ricky Stenhouse Jr. had his best finish since second at Bristol in March…..Eddie MacDonald made his Sprint Cup Series debut in 35th place.