KANSAS CITY, Kan. – Brad Keselowski captured his third win of the season in Saturday night’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Digital Ally 400 at Kansas Speedway.
Keselowski got by Alex Bowman on Lap 261 and then had to hold him off in an overtime finish to score his 30th career win.
“That restart, we just got a great launch,” Keselowski said. “Alex Bowman, I tell you he’s going to win a race. He did a great job today. We just a had a little bit fresher tires than he did.”
After climbing out of his car, Keselowski was quick to dedicate the win in memory of Mike Mittler, a longtime team owner in the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series, who passed away on Friday.
“He helped a lot of guys in their career and I was one of them,” Keselowski said. “He was local to here and he passed away yesterday. Just such a huge loss for the NASCAR community. He’s one of those unsung heroes that works in the garage, gave his whole to this sport. Hurts to see those guys go away.”
Bowman, Erik Jones, Chase Elliott and Clint Bower rounded out the top-five finishers.
Kevin Harvick and Chase Elliott won the first two stages. Stage Points
Next up is next Saturday night’s Monster Energy Open/All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
How Keselowski Won: Matt DiBenedetto had a blown engine to set up the overtime finish and on the final restart Keselowski took the inside line. When the green flag flew Jones did not get a good start and Keselowski got the jump on the field. That proved to be the winning move as he was able to extend the lead on the last lap and took the checkered flag in comfortable fashion.
Who Had a Good Day: Bowman has finished second in the last three races and is the first driver to finish runner-up in three straight races prior to his first win (Read More)…Bowyer had his first top-five finish at Kansas since he finished fifth there in April 2014…Jimmie Johnson’s sixth-place run was his second best finish of 2019…Kyle Larson (8th) finished in the top-10 two straight races for the first time this season.
Who Had a Bad Day: Kevin Harvick started from the pole and was dominating the race until he had a tire issue in the final stage. He was only able to race back to a 13th-place finish…Ryan Blaney struggled all night long and finished a disappointing 32nd…Ryan Newman was running in the top 10 when he lost a wheel during a pit stop and fell back to finish 23rd…Kyle Busch was among the leaders but was penalized for driving through too many stalls during a late pit stop and then had a tire rub after contact…He finished 30th and broke a streak of 11 straight top-10 finishes to start a season, a record he shares with Morgan Shepherd.
What Else Happened: There was a great deal of anticipation for the race and the potential of the new Cup Series rules package impacting the competition in a positive manner. Those expectations were met with some of the most exciting competition of the year that included three and four wide racing. The closing laps battle between Keselowski and Bowman in particular stood out as the duo diced for the lead while making their way through traffic.
Quotable: “This was an awesome race,” Keselowski in Victory Lane.
Notables: This was Team Penske’s 118th series win…Elliott has finished top five in the last three races, tied with teammate Bowman for the longest active top-five streak…Ford has won eight Cup races at Kansas…Tyler Reddick’s ninth-place finish was his first career top 10 in his second Cup Series race.