Brad Keselowski wins Sprint Cup race in Kansas
Dale Earnhardt Jr. was charging again, hoping that this time
he’d come out on top in a frantic late fuel-mileage battle.
But leader Brad Keselowski stretched his tank perfectly Sunday
to win the Sprint Cup race at Kansas Speedway – and extend
Earnhardt’s winless streak to 106 races.
Keselowski led the final nine laps for his second Sprint Cup
victory in 66 races, and the first for Penske Racing since Kurt
Busch last year in the Coca-Cola 600. Keselowski also had a
surprise 2009 victory at Talladega in only his fifth career Cup
”There are some secrets to it and I just maximized them all. I
had plenty (of fuel) left,” Keselowski said.
Earnhardt appeared set to make a late charge on Keselowski. That
push never came – though Earnhardt did move up to third in the
standings and is just one point behind Jimmie Johnson.
For the second week in a row in a fuel-mileage race, Earnhardt
came up just short. He ran out of gas near the finish in Charlotte
and wound up seventh.
”Anytime you win a fuel mileage race you’ve done something as a
driver,” Earnhardt said. ”We don’t know what we’re doing really
trying to save gas or how much we’re saving. But (Keselowski) had a
hand in it.”
Denny Hamlin was third, followed by Jeff Gordon and Carl
Edwards, who holds a 40-point lead over Johnson.
Johnson fought from 31st position and finished seventh.
Polesitter Busch led 152 laps and finished ninth. He had to stop
for gas as the leader with 10 laps left.
”I was all smiles. I felt the groove again, to lead the race.
It was great. It was solid,” Busch said. ”There was always
something in the back of my mind that we weren’t going to win, but
I am proud Brad Keselowski did.”
Keselowski won the pole last week at Charlotte and has been on a
monthlong upswing for Penske.
He seemed to come to life just as teammate Kurt Busch reached
his wits end, with his displeasure culminating in an
expletive-laden rant against team management.
That led to behind-the-scenes personnel changes at Penske,
including the announcement that technical Tom German was leaving
the team to attend a graduate program at MIT.
But Keselowski also took exception to a comment Busch made that
it had been several years since he’d had a teammate capable of
running the same pace as him.
Since then, Keselowski logged a third-place finish, raced his
way into the All-Star race and, on Sunday, earned a win that could
help him nab a wild-card spot in the Chase to the Sprint Cup
”It’s because of the bad finishes and the struggles that we had
to get here that I really appreciate this win,” Keselowski said.
”We’re in good shape. A few more wins like this and we can make
The buzz before the Sprint Cup race was about the altercation
between team owner Richard Childless and Kyle Busch that followed
Saturday’s Trucks Series race.
NASCAR said Kyle Busch did nothing to violate his probation,
clearing the driver of any fault in the incident President Mike
Helton deemed ”unacceptable.” Childless, though, had his track
access restricted and will be subject to further penalty this
Kyle Busch, who led 11 laps, wound up 12th after his eventful
”It was a solid day,” he said. ”Qualified up front and ran
decent much of the race. We probably had a seventh or eighth-place
car (Sunday) and just kind of got off fuel mileage there at the