[media-credit id=66 align=”alignright” width=”200″][/media-credit]Brad Keselowski was hot, and so was everyone else in attendance at Kentucky Speedway. Keseloswki, in the #2 Miller Lite Dodge, started 8th and won the 267 lap Quaker State 400 on the 1.5 mile track for his third win of the year.
The second NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Kentucky Speedway went off without a hitch after last year’s traffic problems. This year traffic flowed smoothly and no major backups were reported. The race was not a sell out like last year, but there was a good crowd and 100 degree temperatures.
Jimmie Johnson won the pole, his first since 2010, with a lap of 181.818 mph. Kyle Busch, who started 2nd, lead the race early before having yet another issue in his #18 M&M’s Toyota for the 4th week in a row after thinking that the car had a broken shock. Busch would recover and finished the race in the 10th position.
Kasey Kahne finished in 2nd after losing a lap early in the race with a loose right front wheel. After getting his lap back, Kasey was one of the fastest cars on the track and made his way back through the field passing Denny Hamlin for 2nd with less than 10 laps to go. Hamlin finished in 3rd, followed by Dale Earnhardt Jr., who scored his 13th top 10 of the season and now trails point leader, Matt Kenseth, by 11 in the championship point standings. Jeff Gordon finished 5th followed by Jimmie Johnson, points leader Matt Kenseth, Martin Truex Jr., AJ Allmendinger, and Kyle Busch in 10th.
There were four cautions in the race and only one for an accident involving #39 Ryan Newman, and the #78 of Regan Smith. Newman spun and hit the wall and Smith was caught up in the accident. Newman finished in 34th and Regan Smith finished in 33rd.
Tony Stewart also had early problems when he pitted under green on lap 29 and the car would not re-start, forcing the teem to the garage to change the throttle body. Stewart’s #14 Office Depot/Mobil 1 Chevrolet would finish in 32nd position 36 laps down to the leaders.
Brad won the race in a back up car after an on track confrontation with Juan Pablo Montoya in the first practice on Friday forced the Penske team to a back up car. That event was not the only headache for Keselowski. He was the last car to leave pit road at the beginning of the race after his steering wheel broke in his hand sitting on pit road. The team was able to replace the wheel and Brad was able to start in his 8th starting position.
When asked about what it will take to make the chase and win a championship, Keselowski, who currently sits 10th in points said “I wanna be the guy with the most wins and in the top 10. That’s all that matters.”
Runner-up Kahne, when asked about his championship hopes said, “We need to win a race or two to make the Chase, but to see how well the Hendrick cars are right now, I mean, it’s great to see. Great to be a part of that.”
The race had 17 lead changes among 6 drivers, 4 cautions for 24 laps. Brad Keselowski’s margin of victory was 4.399 seconds over Kasey Kahne. The race was ran at an average speed of 145.607 mph.
|Unofficial Race Results|
|Quaker State 400, Kentucky Speedway|
|4||7||88||Dale Earnhardt Jr.||Chevrolet||40|
|8||10||56||Martin Truex Jr.||Toyota||36|
|37||30||26||Josh Wise *||Ford||7|
|41||43||33||Stephen Leicht *||Chevrolet||3|