Sunday, July 13, 2014

Keselowski Wins at New Hampshire

Originally written for CLNS Radio.

Brad Keselowski won the Camping World RV Sales 301 from New Hampshire Motor Speedway on Sunday afternoon.
Photo courtesy Matt Sullivan/Getty Images

Keselowski dominated the race, leading 138 of the 301 laps run.  But after a late caution came out with just four laps to go, Keselowski had to hold off a challenge from Kyle Busch while some of the other leaders ran out of fuel.

“I think Kyle had four there at the end and he was going to give us all he had,” Keselowski said.  “Kyle made me earn it there at the end.”

With his victory, Keselowski swept the weekend at New Hampshire after winning the Nationwide Series race on Saturday.

“I can’t believe it, to win both races.  We’ve been good here the past few years, just haven’t been able to close it out and today we were able to do that.”

“The car was hauling today, and it’s a privilege to have cars like this and a team that’s just clicking.”
Busch won the pole for the race, and he led throughout the beginning of the race.  Jimmie Johnson had a flat tire on lap eight, and he had to pit.  Johnson didn’t last much longer on the new set of tires, however, and hit the wall on lap 14 after blowing another tire to bring out the caution.

Busch led the field back to the green flag on lap 21, and he held the lead until his teammate Denny Hamlin passed him on lap 63.  

On lap 73, green flag pit stops began when Brian Vickers brought his car to pit road.  Hamlin gave up the lead on lap 74, and that allowed Keselowski to take the lead for the first time.  He pitted on lap 78, and that allowed Hamlin to cycle back around as the leader.

Keselowski ran Hamlin down for the lead on lap 90.  He led until the caution came out on lap 112 for debris.  Under the caution, a group of drivers took two tires while Keselowski took four, and that allowed Busch to win the race off pit road.

Kyle Larson stayed out under the caution, and he led the field back to the green flag on lap 119.  He held off Busch for the lead after the restart, but Matt Kenseth was able to get around him on lap 127.

On lap 139, Keselowski finally worked his way back to the lead, and he led until debris brought out the caution on lap 153.

Joey Logano won the race off pit road, and he led the field back to the green flag on lap 158.  Going through turns 1 and 2, Logano and Jamie McMurray got together fighting for the lead, and that allowed Clint Bowyer to take the lead.

On lap 176, debris on the track brought out the caution once again.

Bowyer led the field back to the green flag on lap 182, but Keselowski was able to get around him on the restart.

On lap 212, Morgan Shepherd got into Logano, sending Logano’s car hard into the wall to bring out the caution.

Bowyer took the lead during pit stops, and he restarted as the leader on lap 219.  Keselowski ran him down on lap 231 and took the lead.

On lap 249, debris brought out the caution again.  While most of the leaders pitted, a handful of drivers stayed out to try and make it on fuel.  

Jeff Gordon led the field back to the green flag on lap 254.  Keselowski chased him down, and took the lead on lap 270.  

With the laps winding down, Justin Allgaier spun into the outside wall just four laps from the end of the race.  That set up a green-white-checkered finish, and Keselowski was able to hold off a challenge from Busch to win the race.

Unofficial results

1. Brad Keselowski
2. Kyle Busch
3. Kyle Larson
4. Matt Kenseth
5. Ryan Newman
6. Clint Bowyer
7. Tony Stewart
8. Denny Hamlin
9. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
10. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
11. Kasey Kahne
12. Martin Truex Jr.
13. Carl Edwards
14. Austin Dillon
15. Greg Biffle
16. Jamie McMurray
17. Kurt Busch
18. AJ Allmendinger
19. Paul Menard
20. Jeff Burton
21. Brian Vickers
22. Danica Patrick
23. Aric Almirola
24. David Gilliland
25. David Ragan
26. Jeff Gordon
27. Marcos Ambrose
28. Cole Whitt
29. Josh Wise
30. Kevin Harvick
31. Alex Bowman
32. Michael Annett
33. Reed Sorenson
34. Landon Cassill
35. Eddie MacDonald
36. Ryan Truex
37. Justin Allgaier
38. Casey Mears
39. Morgan Shepherd
40. Joey Logano
41. Timmy Hill
42. Jimmie Johnson
43. Mike Bliss

The Sprint Cup Series heads to Indianapolis Motor Speedway in two weeks, following the final off-week of the season.  ESPN begins their NASCAR coverage with the Brickyard 400 on Sunday, July 27 at 1:00 p.m. EST.

Photo courtesy Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images

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