Keselowski Wins at Daytona
By: Pete Pistone - @PPistone | MRN.com on July 2, 2016 | 10:55 P.M. EST
Keselowski's win was the 20th of his career and the 100th for Team Penske. (Photo: Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski scored his first win at Daytona International Speedway in his 15th try on Saturday night in the Coke Zero 400.
Keselowski led 115 of 161 laps to score his 20th career Sprint Cup Series win and first Sprint Cup Series triumph at “The World Center of Racing.”
“We had two great cars here with Team Penske and worked together really well,” Keselowski said. “Joey (Logano) has won here and he’s really a pro, especially on that restart. He gave me that push I need to get to the front and here we are at Daytona in Victory Lane. I don’t care if it’s not the 500. It’s Daytona. This is huge. I love this place and here we are in Victory Lane with the Detroit Ford.”
Kyle Busch, Trevor Bayne, Joey Logano and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. rounded out the top five.
“Really it took a lot of guys ganging up and getting together in order to make a move on him,” said Kyle Busch on getting past Keselowski. “He was pretty smart about where he positioned his car on the racetrack, and I could see that, and I tried to do some of those same things, but man, it just never really worked for me as good as he could handle it.
Kyle Larson, Austin Dillon, Greg Biffle, Clint Bowyer and Michael McDowell completed the first 10 finishers.
The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series now heads to Kentucky Speedway for next Saturday night’s Quaker State 400.
How Keselowski Won: He was dominant throughout the night but the move of the race came when Keselowski dove low to pass Kyle Busch for the top spot with 15 laps to go. From there he was able to hold off the charge from both Busch brothers as the race went into overtime as well as the rest of the field to take his first Daytona Sprint Cup Series points paying checkered flag.
Who Else Had a Good Day: Bayne had his best finish since he won the 2011 Daytona 500 and three of his nine career top-10 finishes have come at Daytona...Stenhouse Jr. had his best finish at Daytona and ties his best finish this season...Biffle had his first top-10 finish since New Hampshire last September.
Who Had a Bad Day: There were many thanks to several accidents the biggest involving 22 cars on lap 90. Those caught in the massive crash included Jamie McMurray, Jimmie Johnson, Brian Scott, Chase Elliott, Matt Kenseth, Kevin Harvick and Dale Earnhardt Jr...Tony Stewart was running inside the top five looking to follow his Sonoma win a week ago with another good finish. But Stewart lost control of his car and slammed the wall in an incident that also saw Carl Edwards and Ryan Blaney become involved…Kurt Busch got clipped by Joey Logano charging to the finish line and slid through the infield ending a shot a trying to run down Keselowski for the win.
What Else Happened: The first half of the race was relatively calm with two and three wide the norm. However, the second half was much different after the 22-car melee thinned the field some. In typical restrictor-plate racing fashion, the intensity level ramped up as the race wound down.
Quote of the Day: “We’re all dealing with a matter of inches,” Jimmie Johnson after an accident that involved nearly half the field.
Notables: Kyle Busch has finished in the top three at all three restrictor-plate races this season...It was the first time Roush Fenway had three cars finish in the top 10 since Bristol in August 2014...Stewart is now 30th in points and Chase eligible.
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