Keselowski prevails at Pocono|
Long Pond, PA (Sports Network) - Four days after fracturing his left ankle in
a crash while testing at Road America, Brad Keselowski overcame pain and rain
to win Sunday's Good Sam RV Insurance 500 at Pocono Raceway.
Keselowski charged past Kyle Busch for the lead just after the fifth and final
restart with 16 laps remaining. He then held off Busch at the finish by 0.8
seconds for his second win of the season and the third of his Sprint Cup
Series career. His first victory this season came in June at Kansas Speedway.
He dedicated his win to the 22 Navy SEALs and eight other U.S. service members
who were killed in a helicopter crash Saturday in Afghanistan.
"I'm no hero," Keselowski said. "The heroes are the guys who died in
Afghanistan this weekend, and I want to spend time thinking about them. They
were my inspiration for this weekend, the things those guys do. I'm glad we
could win today, but those are the heroes. I just drive race cars for a
The 500-mile race at Pocono was stopped for one hour and 40 minutes after rain
fell on the 2.5-mile triangular track on lap 124. That allowed Keselowski to
take a break and relieve some of his pain as well as fatigue he experienced
from a sore back due to his accident last Wednesday. He slammed into the wall
at the Braselton, GA road course at more than 100 mph. Keselowski was
medically cleared to race one day later.
Keselowski qualified 13th for this race on Saturday but skipped the Nationwide
event later that day at Iowa Speedway. He was attempting the Pocono/Iowa combo
Currently siting 18th in points, Keselowski's two wins this year put him in
the first wild card position for the championship Chase. Five races remain
before the Chase begins next month at Chicagoland Speedway.
"Runs like this are great so we can get into the Chase," he said.
Keselowski's Penske Racing teammate, Kurt Busch, finished third. Busch and
Jimmie Johnson battled fiercely during the final laps, with the two making
slight contact at one point. Johnson settled for fourth.
After the race concluded, Busch and Johnson had a heated argument on pit road.
"I was racing hard with Jimmie at the end," Busch said. "I was flat out racing
him. If you want to race, let's race. I didn't know we were supposed to pull
over with five laps to go. I raced him hard, smart and clean, and he wants to
come over here and [complain] about it."
Johnson saw things differently.
"He claimed I turned down on him off of turn two, but I don't have a clue,"
Johnson said. "He ran over me on the corner exit, and that's when it all
started. We'll figure it out."
Ryan Newman finished fifth, followed by Jeff Gordon, who won at Pocono for the
fifth time in June. Roush Fenway Racing teammates Carl Edwards and Greg Biffle
placed seventh and eighth, respectively. Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Paul Menard,
last weekend's winner at Indianapolis, completed the top-10.
Joe Gibbs Racing teammates Denny Hamlin and Joey Logano, the pole sitter,
dominated the race before the rain came. Hamlin led the most laps with 65 but
faded in the late stages to finish 15th. Logano held the top spot when the
race was stopped. He was hoping the inclement weather would prevent the race
from resuming and therefore give him a second career win in NASCAR's top
series. He ended up finishing 26th.
08/07 20:39:56 ET