NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
 
          === Keselowski reclaims Chase points lead with Dover win ===
 
 Dover, DE (Sports Network) - Brad Keselowski made a monstrous statement in the
 battle  for the  Sprint Cup Series championship after winning Sunday's AAA 400
 at Dover International Speedway.
 
 Keselowski  conserved  enough fuel late in  the race and grabbed the lead when
 Joe  Gibbs Racing  drivers Kyle Busch and  Denny Hamlin were forced to pit for
 fuel after running in the top-two positions with 10 laps remaining. Keselowski
 then held off Jeff Gordon at the finish by one second for his fifth win of the
 season and the ninth of his Sprint Cup Series career.
 
 With  the  win, Keselowski moved back  into the points lead. The Penske Racing
 driver entered this 400-mile race only one point behind Jimmie Johnson. He now
 holds a five-point advantage over the five-time series champion.
 
 Keselowski had considered Dover, which is nicknamed "The Monster Mile," as one
 of  his toughest  racetracks on the Sprint  Cup schedule. Prior to his win, he
 had finished no better than 12th in five races here.
 
 "This  has been  one of  our weakest  tracks, but  we ran  up front  all day,"
 Keselowski  said. "We might not have been lead, but we hung around in the top-
 five.  And we just kept creeping around and creeping around. When you do that,
 you put yourself in position for good things to happen. That's what this No. 2
 team  had  done for the  last few months.  If we keep  doing this for the next
 seven weeks, it's going to be an awesome seven weeks."
 
 Keselowski  and almost all  the other drivers on the lead lap made their final
 pit stops during a caution with 89 laps left on this tricky one-mile track.
 
 "We knew it was going to be close," Keselowski's crew chief, Paul Wolfe, said.
 "We  knew everybody was  kind of in the same boat. We were monitoring them all
 day,  and we were  a little better than they were on (fuel) mileage. We pushed
 as  hard as we could  until we got in front of them, and then we went into 100
 percent save."
 
 Winning  two  of the first  three Chase races,  Keselowski is following in the
 same  footsteps  as Tony Stewart  did last year.  Stewart had two victories in
 three races and went on to claim his third Sprint Cup championship.
 
 "I  feel like I've got a great team for the Chase, and I'm just so thankful to
 win here at Dover," Keselowski added.
 
 Gordon  and  his Hendrick  Motorsports teammate, Kasey  Kahne, pitted for fuel
 after  Matt Kenseth forced the fifth and final caution on lap 317 for a broken
 track bar.
 
 "When that caution came out, we decided to top it off, so it kind of played to
 our favor since we didn't have to save fuel," Gordon said. "The car was pretty
 good on that (last) run."
 
 Mark  Martin finished  third, while  Johnson  placed fourth  and Carl  Edwards
 fifth.  Johnson led  in the  late  going, in  hopes  of winning  at Dover  for
 a  record eighth time, but had to give up the top spot in order to save enough
 fuel to finish the race.
 
 "We're  not very good at fuel mileage," Johnson said. "It's tough, but we have
 a  handful  of races that come  down to it each  year, and we've worked to get
 better  at  it. I  wished we  could have raced  for (the  win). We finally got
 control of the race late, but it just didn't unfold like a normal race here."
 
 Chase  driver  Martin Truex Jr.  finished sixth.  Busch, who dominated most of
 this  race by  leading 302 laps, ended up finishing seventh, while Hamlin, the
 pole  sitter,  settled for  eighth. Earlier this  month in the regular-season-
 ending event at Richmond, Busch fell three points short of making the Chase.
 
 Clint Bowyer and Joey Logano completed the top-10.
 
 Hamlin is currently 16 points behind Keselowski, while Bowyer trails by 25.
 
 "It's  a good  day to run the way  we did, but it was frustrating at the end,"
 Hamlin said.
 
 Kahne  and Stewart are both 32 points out of the lead. Kahne finished 15th and
 Stewart  20th. Dale Earnhardt Jr. is 39 points behind following his 11th-place
 run.
 
 Eighth through 11th in points right now are: Truex (-42), Kevin Harvick (-46),
 Gordon (-48) and Greg Biffle (-51). Harvick finished 13th and Biffle 16th.
 
 Kenseth  took the biggest hit in points. His 35th-place finish put him last in
 the 12-member Chase field. He trails Keselowski by 72 points.
 
 The fourth round in the Chase takes place next Sunday at Talladega. Keselowski
 won the spring race there in May.
 
 
 09/30 22:08:15 ET

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