[media-credit name=”CIA Stock Photo” align=”alignright” width=”277″][/media-credit]Brad Keselowksi conserved just enough fuel and held off Dale Earnhardt Jr. on Sunday to win the STP 400 at Kansas Speedway.
“We finally caught a break. Awesome call, Paul.” Keselowski radioed to crew chief Paul Wolfe.
Keselowksi snapped 75-race winless streak for his first win of the season and the second of his Sprint Cup career. This was also the first win for Penske Racing since Kurt Busch won last year’s Coca Cola 600.
“We’ve been so close. We’ve been plugging away. We had a car that I thought was capable of winning. I had a car last week that sat on the pole and had a shot at it and just caught the wrong line on the restart. The same thing at Dover and Darlington, we could just never catch that good break. You can only put yourself in that position so many times before you’re going to catch the right break. We caught a great break today because of all the hard work by the Miller Lite team that works on these Dodge Chargers. We got great gas mileage and that doesn’t hurt either.” Keselowksi said.
Both Keselowksi and Earnhardt were driving a fuel mileage race. Earnhardt Jr. appeared to be looking a late charge on Keselowksi for the win, but he was also advised to back down to insure he would make it to the finish. Earnhardt just came one position short again this week, just one spot short from snapping his 106-race winless streak.
“I had a good car, you know. 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.” Earnhardt said.
“We shouldn’t have run second again. We’ve got to fix some things. We’ve got fast cars so we can be fast.” Earnhardt added.
Denny Hamlin finished third, Jeff Gordon fourth and Carl Edwards finished fifth.
“It was a good run for our FedEx team. We had a good car at the beginning, the middle and just at the end I think something gave out in the front end and it just went real bad tight. Luckily, we came in to make an adjustment and coming in and getting fuel obviously worked out for our advantage.” Hamlin said of his third place finish.
“Well it is an awesome run for our Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet. That is for sure.” Gordon said. “They did an awesome job. We had a great race car all weekend long. We unloaded great and it showed up in the race all day long today. We got a little bit loose, it seemed like the track freed up a little bit on that last run and Kurt (Busch) got out there on me. But, all-in-all a great top-five, a great day in the points for us.”
Polesitter Kurt Busch led for 152 laps. Whole leading he had to stop for fuel with 10 laps remaining. He finished ninth.
“I’m proud of the way that this team has run. To have a car to lead laps today and be very competitive, I was all smiles. I felt coming into the weekend that if we could pace ourselves, have good team communication, we would be competitive. It was great. There was always something in the back of my mind today that we weren’t going to win, but I’m glad that Brad Keselowski got this win for those Miller Lite guys, for Dodge.” Kurt Busch said.