NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
 
            === Keselowski finally gets first win of 2013 season ===
 
 Concord,  NC (SportsNetwork.com)  - Having not qualified for this year's Chase
 for the Sprint Cup championship, Brad Keselowski put an end to his frustrating
 season  by  winning Saturday  night's Bank  of America  500 at Charlotte Motor
 Speedway.
 
 Keselowski,  who  claimed his first  Sprint Cup Series championship last year,
 snapped  a  37-race winless streak after  he rebounded from a pit-road mistake
 early  in  the event and then  passed Kasey Kahne  for the lead in the closing
 laps.  It was  Keselowski's 10th career victory in NASCAR's top series but his
 first  since September  2012 at  Dover.  He won  five races  during his  title
 season.
 
 During  a round of pit stops under caution in the early going, Keselowski left
 his  pit stall with  the tire jack still attached to his Penske Racing car. He
 had  to  pit again, which dropped  him deep in the field. Keselowski patiently
 made his way through the field before the last caution came for debris with 27
 laps to go. His team made a four-tire change during his final stop.
 
 Kahne and Jeff Gordon, his Hendrick Motorsports teammate, came out of the pits
 first  and  second, respectively,  after taking  two tires  only on their last
 stops. Jimmie Johnson held the lead before pitting, but Johnson came out third
 with four new tires.
 
 Kahne  and Johnson  dominated throughout the race, with Kahne leading the most
 laps with 138 and Johnson running in front for 130 laps.
 
 After  the final restart with 23 laps to go, Kahne pulled away from the field,
 while  Johnson got  shuffled back to seventh. Keselowski chased down Kahne and
 then  grabbed the  lead from  him with  nine laps  remaining. Keselowski,  who
 started  23rd,  became the first non-Chase  driver to win a playoff race since
 Kahne last did it in November 2011 at Phoenix.
 
 "I  never  give up,"  Keselowski said. "We  had a lot  of struggles tonight. I
 didn't qualify well (on Thursday). But we kept working our way forward. I knew
 we  had a good car. I'm not sure if we were as good as the 48 (Johnson) or the
 5 (Kahne)."
 
 Kahne tried to reclaim the top spot but finished one second behind Keselowski.
 
 "I  love hard racing,  and there are a handful of guys who you can't race hard
 with  because they freak  out, but Kasey is not one of them," Keselowski said.
 "He's an excellent driver, and he ran me hard but clean. That's great racing."
 
 Kahne's  second-place run  at Charlotte came after he had finished 12th, 13th,
 15th  and  37th in the previous  four races, which  dropped him to last in the
 Chase point standings.
 
 "We  had a  really good  (car)  throughout the  whole  race from  the time  it
 started,"  Kahne said. "I wish we could have won, but this was a good race for
 us, considering the last four races."
 
 Matt  Kenseth  finished third  and increased his  championship lead from three
 points  to  four over Johnson,  who ended up  placing fourth. Kenseth had been
 running  behind Johnson  until Johnson  dropped in  the field  after the  last
 restart.
 
 "Certainly glad we're still leading (in points)," Kenseth said. "Tonight was a
 big  positive for us. It was a little bit of a struggle this weekend more than
 we anticipated. I didn't get a good lap in qualifying, and that was really the
 start of us being behind tonight.
 
 "About  our second  or third adjustment, (crew chief) Jason (Ratcliff) and our
 group  really  hit it  and really  found something  that I  liked, and our car
 started  driving really  good. I could pass really good, start working our way
 up through the field."
 
 Johnson  was attempting  to win  at Charlotte  for a  record seventh  time. He
 remains  in a tie with Bobby Allison and Darrell Waltrip for most victories at
 this  1.5-mile racetrack with six each. Johnson has not won here since October
 2009.
 
 "There  was that last caution, which certainly shook things up," Johnson said.
 "I  lost  track position  on that  restart, which was  unfortunate. Once I got
 rolling  and going again,  I was fine. But I already had lost too much at that
 point."
 
 Kyle Busch finished fifth, while Kevin Harvick, who won last weekend's race at
 Kansas,  took the  sixth  spot. Gordon,  Ryan Newman,  Denny  Hamlin and  Carl
 Edwards completed the top-10.
 
 Harvick is now 29 points behind Kenseth, and Gordon trails by 36 points. Busch
 is  37  behind. The  second-half of  the 10-race Chase  begins next weekend at
 Talladega.
 
 10/13 01:23:02 ET

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