Sunday, October 13, 2013

Keselowski Out-Duels Kahne for the Win

Originally written for CLNS Radio

Brad Keselowski outran Kasey Kahne late in the Bank of America 500 on Saturday night to win his first race since October of last year.

John Harrelson/Getty Images
Keselowski had trouble early in the race.  He dragged his jack out of the pits and around the track on lap 88, and he had to go to the end of the field.

Keselowski said he knew they were going to have to come from behind after that, but that he had faith that his team could get it done.

"It was a never-give-up night," Keselowski told ESPN in victory lane.  "We kept working our way forward.  I knew we had a good car."

Jeff Gordon started the race on pole, and he cleared Kevin Harvick for the lead when the green flag fell.  He led until the first caution came out on lap 25 when J.J. Yeley hit the wall.

On the restart on lap 30, Kasey Kahne was able to get around Gordon for the lead.  Going through Turn 2, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kahne's teammate, took the lead.  Kahne took the lead back on lap 44.  Earnhardt and Kahne swapped spots because Earnhardt had debris on his grille that was causing his car to overheat.

On lap 68, the first round of green flag pit stops began.  Kahne gave up the lead on lap 75 to make his stop, and he cycled around as the leader.  

The second caution of the night came out on lap 84 when Mark Martin blew his engine.  

The race restarted on lap 90, and Earnhardt was able to get around Kahne for the lead.  On lap 96, Kahne was able to get back around Earnhardt for the lead.  

On lap 129, Kahne gave up the lead to make another green-flag pit stop.  Kahne re-took the lead on lap 134 when the pit stops had cycled around.  

The third caution of the night came out on lap 172 for debris.  Kahne brought the field down to make pit stops, and he led the field off pit road.

The race restarted on lap 178, and Jimmie Johnson took the lead away from his teammate.  

On lap 229 Johnson pitted under green, but he cycled back to the lead on lap 230.  He gave up the lead on the next set of green flag pit stops on lap 284, but he was back in the lead again by lap 286.

The fourth caution of the night came out on lap 307 for debris, and the field came down pit road.  Kahne led the field off pit road, and he was the leader when the race restarted on lap 312.  

On the restart, Kahne held off a hard charge from Gordon for the lead.  Keselowski quickly caught up to Kahne, and the two raced side-by-side for a few laps before Keselowski completed the pass with nine laps to go to win the race.

Here are the unofficial results:

1. Brad Keselowski
2. Kasey Kahne
3. Matt Kenseth
4. Jimmie Johnson
5. Kyle Busch
6. Kevin Harvick
7. Jeff Gordon
8. Ryan Newman
9. Denny Hamlin
10. Carl Edwards
11. Clint Bowyer
12. Juan Pablo Montoya
13. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
14. Kurt Busch
15. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
16. Greg Biffle
17. Marcos Ambrose
18. Joey Logano
19. Jamie McMurray
20. Danica Patrick
21. Jeff Burton
22. Martin Truex Jr.
23. Aric Almirola
24. Paul Menard
25. Brian Vickers
26. David Reutimann
27. Brian Scott
28. Bobby Labonte
29. David Gilliland
30. David Ragan
31. Casey Mears
32. Dave Blaney
33. Landon Cassill
34. Cole Whitt
35. Travis Kvapil
36. Timmy Hill
37. Kyle Larson
38. Blake Koch
39. Joe Nemechek
40. Michael McDowell
41. Josh Wise
42. Mark Martin
43. J.J. Yeley

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