Sunday, March 22, 2015

Keselowski Wins in California, Stewart-Haas Dominant

Originally written for CLNS Radio. 

Brad Keselowski made a last lap pass to steal a win in the Auto Club 400 on Sunday.

Keselowski was able to get the surprise victory on a weekend that saw Stewart-Haas Racing teammates Kurt Busch and Kevin Harvick dominate.  Busch led every practice and won the pole for the race, while Harvick qualified second.
Photo courtesy Todd Warshaw/Getty Images
“I knew the 4 [of Harvick] and 41 [of Busch] had kind of been the class of the weekend, and those cars…definitely deserved to win,” Keselowski said in victory lane.  “We kind of stole one today.”

Debris brought out a caution with just two laps to go, setting up a green-white-checkered finish.  While many of the leaders took two tires, Keselowski and his team took four.  When a caution came back out during the first attempt at a GWC, Keselowski was able to put his four tires to good use, outrunning Harvick and Busch for the victory.  

Busch said he understood the outcome was just a product of the racing at Auto Club Speedway.

“We just got hung out on the yellows at the end,” Busch said.  “On that last restart I just didn’t get the job done.  Brad outmuscled us with four tires.”

Harvick, who got his eighth-straight top 2 finish, said it all came down to the amount of cautions at the end of the race.

“The second restart doesn’t come about and two tires was the right call,” Harvick said.  “You never know how the strategy’s going to work out, and you’re kind of on both sides of the fence there as to what you should or shouldn’t do.”

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

Photo courtesy Robert Laberge/Getty Images

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