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Thursday July 30th, 2015 8:07AM

Keselowski wins for second time at Kentucky Speedway

By Gary B. Graves, AP Sports Writer
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SPARTA, KY - Brad Keselowski won't soon forget an eventful Saturday night in which the same right hand that held the winner's trophy was soon bloodied and bandaged after he broke a champagne bottle celebrating.<br /> <br /> "We were playing around with some champagne and I told my good friend I should have stuck with beer," Keselowski joked after receiving four stitches in the infield care center. "We had too much fun with champagne and one of the bottles broke and I cut my hand open. It's no big deal."<br /> <br /> He'll certainly remember the masterful performance that set those wild series of events in motion.<br /> <br /> Keselowski showed early and often that his No. 2 Ford was the best car at Kentucky Speedway, dominating the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race to become the track's first repeat winner.<br /> <br /> The Penske Racing driver and 2012 race winner and Cup champion followed his record-breaking pole effort to lead 199 of 267 laps en route to his second victory of the season and 12th of his career.<br /> <br /> Keselowski won from the pole for the first time, pulling away after rallying from sixth on a restart to chase down and pass leader Kyle Busch on lap 248.<br /> <br /> "I knew it was going to be a dogfight to get back to Kyle and then race him," Keselowski said. "We got there with a really fast car and I hit the perfect run on him with traffic. Next thing I knew, we were there. It feels really good to get that second win."<br /> <br /> Busch was second, followed by Ryan Newman, Matt Kenseth and Dale Earnhardt, Jr., who rallied from a 29th-place start.<br /> <br /> A night after dominating the Nationwide Series race before finishing second to Kevin Harvick, partly because of a pit-road speeding penalty, Keselowski saved his heavy foot for the bumpy, rough track. The 2012 Cup champion went on to win by 1.014 seconds and post his ninth top-10 this season in moving one spot to fourth in the standings.<br /> <br /> Teammate Joey Logano started second and led 37 laps before a dropped cylinder left him ninth. Busch led 31 in a race that featured 12 lead changes - all but one featuring Penske drivers.<br /> <br /> "I felt like we were better than (Newman), but nowhere near as good as (Keselowski) or (Logano)," Busch said. "Those guys were really stout."<br /> <br /> Keselowski, also the winner in Las Vegas, became the first driver this season with multiple victories on 1.5-mile tracks that make up much of the Chase for the Sprint Cup. The circuit won't see another such track until late August at Atlanta, and Keselowski made a case for being a favorite with arguably the most impressive run of his career.<br /> <br /> It followed his track-record qualifying speed of 188.791 mph and 138 laps led in the Nationwide race, which also featured a furious late run before settling for second to Harvick, who was seventh in the 400-mile race. This time he had enough laps to pass Busch.<br /> <br /> But the tone was set from the start, as Keselowski and Logano justified their front-row qualifying sweep with a vengeance. Keselowski wasted no time with that agenda, taking charge at the green flag and leading the first 78 laps before Logano took over for five laps.<br /> <br /> The two traded leads from there with nobody else to challenge them until Aric Almirola's wreck brought the sixth caution on lap 213.<br /> <br /> That sent the leaders down pit road and scramble off produced the race's first non-Penske leader in Busch, whose No. 18 took over on Lap 217 and led the restart with Newman second.<br /> <br /> The Penske duo needed just seven laps to draw a bead on both drivers and Keselowski was soon second and making a furious effort trying to chase down Busch, who had a 2-second lead at one point. Once Keselowski caught him in the backstretch, he again showed his Ford's superiority.<br /> <br /> "Our car was awesome," said Keselowski, who has led a series-high 346 laps in four starts at Kentucky.<br /> <br /> Earnhardt, Jimmie Johnson and Tony Stewart meanwhile overcame bad starting spots to finish in the top 11. Johnson was 10th after starting 25th and Stewart recovered from a 42nd-place start because of a transmission change for 11th. He had qualified 13th.<br /> <br /> "I would have liked to have been a little better than what we were there at the end," Stewart said, "but I think we definitely had to fight our way up through the day. .. All in all I thought we had a pretty honest day there; can't complain about that."<br /> <br /> Points leader Jeff Gordon finished sixth and leads Johnson and Earnhardt by 24.<br /> <br /> <b>NASCAR Sprint Cup Series<br /> Kentucky Speedway - Sparta, KY<br /> Quaker State 400 - June 28, 2014</b><br /> <br /> <b>(Start position in parentheses)</b><br /> <br /> 1. (1) Brad Keselowski, Ford, 267 laps, 150 rating, 48 points, $251,183.<br /> 2. (18) Kyle Busch, Toyota, 267, 121.5, 43, $184,901.<br /> 3. (7) Ryan Newman, Chevrolet, 267, 116.7, 41, $122,035.<br /> 4. (14) Matt Kenseth, Toyota, 267, 100.8, 40, $152,531.<br /> 5. (29) Dale Earnhardt Jr., Chevrolet, 267, 104.6, 39, $113,575.<br /> 6. (3) Jeff Gordon, Chevrolet, 267, 106.2, 38, $134,951.<br /> 7. (5) Kevin Harvick, Chevrolet, 267, 109.2, 37, $127,073.<br /> 8. (20) Kasey Kahne, Chevrolet, 267, 101.1, 36, $104,115.<br /> 9. (2) Joey Logano, Ford, 267, 117.2, 36, $124,106.<br /> 10. (25) Jimmie Johnson, Chevrolet, 267, 88.6, 34, $138,851.<br /> 11. (13) Tony Stewart, Chevrolet, 267, 78.6, 33, $122,548.<br /> 12. (9) Kurt Busch, Chevrolet, 267, 85.8, 32, $87,065.<br /> 13. (27) Marcos Ambrose, Ford, 267, 73.8, 31, $112,910.<br /> 14. (24) Greg Biffle, Ford, 267, 72.8, 30, $126,490.<br /> 15. (12) Paul Menard, Chevrolet, 267, 89.6, 29, $113,979.<br /> 16. (16) Austin Dillon, Chevrolet, 267, 84.7, 28, $131,176.<br /> 7. (23) Carl Edwards, Ford, 267, 65, 27, $100,240.<br /> 18. (32) Michael Annett, Chevrolet, 267, 66.7, 26, $102,773.<br /> 19. (19) Martin Truex Jr., Chevrolet, 267, 63.6, 25, $112,223.<br /> 20. (26) Casey Mears, Chevrolet, 267, 57.4, 24, $109,323.<br /> 21. (10) Danica Patrick, Chevrolet, 267, 71.8, 23, $91,715.<br /> 22. (15) AJ Allmendinger, Chevrolet, 266, 72.2, 22, $97,623.<br /> 23. (11) Clint Bowyer, Toyota, 266, 74.9, 21, $118,231.<br /> 24. (28) Justin Allgaier, Chevrolet, 266, 51.4, 20, $102,648.<br /> 25. (21) Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Ford, 266, 56.3, 19, $119,165.<br /> 26. (17) Brian Vickers, Toyota, 266, 55.7, 18, $114,590.<br /> 27. (31) Reed Sorenson, Chevrolet, 265, 46.7, 17, $91,812.<br /> 28. (30) Cole Whitt, Toyota, 264, 48.2, 16, $82,040.<br /> 29. (34) Josh Wise, Chevrolet, 263, 43.5, 15, $81,940.<br /> 30. (41) David Gilliland, Ford, 263, 41.7, 14, $90,865.<br /> 31. (36) David Ragan, Ford, 262, 38.7, 13, $86,800.<br /> 32. (37) Landon Cassill, Chevrolet, 262, 35.9, 0, $78,690.<br /> 33. (39) Ryan Truex, Toyota, 261, 33.7, 11, $78,640.<br /> 34. (35) Travis Kvapil, Ford, 259, 36.9, 10, $78,590.<br /> 35. (38) David Stremme, Chevrolet, 257, 32.7, 9, $78,540.<br /> 36. (33) Alex Bowman, Toyota, 255, 27.5, 8, $78,490.<br /> 37. (8) Jamie McMurray, Chevrolet, 250, 69.5, 7, $115,646.<br /> 38. (40) Joe Nemechek, Toyota, 239, 27.9, 0, $81,680.<br /> 39. (22) Aric Almirola, Ford, accident, 175, 67.8, 5, $106,616.<br /> 40. (6) Kyle Larson, Chevrolet, accident, 75, 66.1, 4, $92,025.<br /> 41. (42) Mike Bliss, Toyota, transmission, 30, 27.4, 0, $61,680.<br /> 42. (4) Denny Hamlin, Toyota, accident, 27, 46.6, 2, $71,580.<br /> <br /> <b>Race Statistics</b><br /> <br /> <b>Average Speed of Race Winner:</b> 139.723 mph.<br /> <br /> <b>Time of Race:</b> 2 hours, 51 minutes, 59 seconds.<br /> <br /> <b>Margin of Victory:</b> 1.014 seconds.<br /> <br /> <b>Caution Flags:</b> 6 for 34 laps.<br /> <br /> <b>Lead Changes:</b> 12 among 3 drivers.<br /> <br /> <b>Lap Leaders:</b> B.Keselowski 1-78; J.Logano 79-83; B.Keselowski 84; J.Logano 85-86; B.Keselowski 87-127; J.Logano 128-147; B.Keselowski 148-155; J.Logano 156-162; B.Keselowski 163-180; J.Logano 181-183; B.Keselowski 184-216; Ky.Busch 217-247; B.Keselowski 248-267.<br /> <br /> <b>Leaders Summary (Driver, Times Led, Laps Led):</b> B.Keselowski, 7 times for 199 laps; J.Logano, 5 times for 37 laps; Ky.Busch, 1 time for 31 laps.<br /> <br /> <b>Wins:</b> J.Johnson, 3; D.Earnhardt Jr., 2; C.Edwards, 2; K.Harvick, 2; Bra.Keselowski, 2; J.Logano, 2; Ku.Busch, 1; Ky.Busch, 1; J.Gordon, 1; D.Hamlin, 1.<br /> <br /> <b>Top 12 in Points:</b> 1. J.Gordon, 618; 2. J.Johnson, 594; 3. D.Earnhardt Jr., 594; 4. Bra.Keselowski, 560; 5. M.Kenseth, 555; 6. C.Edwards, 536; 7. J.Logano, 519; 8. R.Newman, 514; 9. K.Harvick, 509; 10. Ky.Busch, 508; 11. P.Menard, 488; 12. K.Larson, 474.
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