Bristol, TN (Sports Network) - Brad Keselowski continued his hot streak in the
Sprint Cup Series during the month of August with a win in Saturday's IRWIN
Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway.
Keselowski took the lead from Martin Truex Jr. just after a restart with 80
laps remaining. He then held off Truex at the finish by 0.95 seconds for his
third win of the season and the fourth of Sprint Cup career.
"This is an awesome car and an awesome team, Penske Racing," Keselowski said.
"Tony Stewart, Jeff Gordon and Dale Earnhardt won this race. It's a race of
champions. There's races that pay more, and there's races that might have a
little more prestige, but this is the coolest damn one of them all."
Since suffering a broken left ankle and a sore back from a crash while testing
August 3 at Road Atlanta, Keselowski has been on a roll in NASCAR's premier
series, finishing no worse than third in the last four races, including two
wins. He has climbed from 21st to 11th in points since then.
"We've been a team that's clicking and starting to believe in each other," he
Keselowski has yet to secure a spot in the 12-driver Chase for the Sprint Cup
championship. He does hold the first wild card position with just two races to
go before the Chase cutoff -- Atlanta (next Sunday) and Richmond (September
Truex ran among the top-10 for most of the race, but during the last round of
pit stops under caution, he took two tires only and came out of the pits
"That two-tire stop got us up there, but once again, I was too tight on the
restarts," he said. "[Keselowski] checked out, and we just kind of maintained
Jeff Gordon and Matt Kenseth swapped the lead for a majority of the 500-lap
race, with Gordon leading the most with 206, followed by Kenseth's 110 laps
led. Both drivers took four tires during their last stops and lost track
position. Gordon battled Truex for position in the closing laps but wound up
"I wasn't too worried about the guys on two tires, but I was a little bit
surprised that I couldn't get by Martin," Gordon said.
Jimmie Johnson finished fourth, followed by Jamie McMurray and Kenseth. Denny
Hamlin, Ryan Newman, the pole sitter, Carl Edwards and Marcos Ambrose
completed the top-10.
Johnson, Kenseth and Edwards joined Busch as those drivers who have now
clinched a spot in the Chase.
Busch, who punched his ticket with his win last Sunday at Michigan, finished
14th. He cut a tire and made contact with the wall late in the race, which
prompted the sixth caution and set up the final round of pit stops.
Busch captured his record 50th Nationwide Series win on Friday at Bristol.
Clint Bowyer and Tony Stewart struggled throughout the race, with Bowyer
finishing two laps behind in 26th and Stewart three laps down in 28th.
Stewart, who has yet to win a race this season, maintained his 10th-place
ranking in points. Bowyer dropped one position to 12th in points.
Hamlin continued to hold the second wild card spot, as he moved up to 13th in
Dale Earnhardt Jr. remained ninth in points, despite his 16th-place finish.