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Keselowski blitzes Kentucky for third victory

NASCAR Sprint Cup
Saturday, June 30, 2012

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Keselowski celebrates
Getty Images for NASCAR
Building a big lead during the final green-flag run and saving enough fuel to get to the end of the race, Brad Keselowski won Saturday night's Quaker State 400 Sprint Cup race in a backup car.

Keselowski, who wrecked his primary car after tangling with Juan Montoya in Friday's first practice session, picked up his series-best third victory of the season and the seventh of his career, all but assuring himself of a position in the Chase for the Sprint Cup.

Kasey Kahne rallied from an unscheduled pit stop on Lap 52 to finish second, followed by Denny Hamlin and Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jeff Gordon came home fifth, one spot in front of pole-sitter Jimmie Johnson, as Hendrick Motorsports drivers claimed four of the top six positions.

Ignition troubles ruined defending series champion Tony Stewart's night almost before it started. Stewart's No. 14 Chevrolet fell off the pace on Lap 26. By the time his team diagnosed and fixed the problem in the garage, Stewart was 35 laps down.

A bad night got worse for Stewart-Haas Racing on Lap 210, when Ryan Newman, Stewart's teammate, blew his engine, spun in his own oil and slammed into the outside wall in Turn 2, with Regan Smith hitting the wall behind him.

Clint Bowyer, last week's winner at Sonoma, was the innocent victim of contact that jeopardized his seventh-place position in the standings. Shortly after a restart on Lap 155, Bowyer was racing in close quarters with Newman, on new tires, and Joey Logano, who took fuel only during a pit stop under caution on Lap 150.

With a huge run off Turn 4, Newman clipped the back of Logano's Toyota in the tri-oval, turning him into Bowyer's Camry. On Lap 166, Bowyer brought his car to pit road, fearing he had a tire losing air. Bowyer lost two laps in the process and fell to 32nd in the running order.

But a cycle of green-flag stops and a free pass as the highest-scored lapped car returned Bowyer to the lead lap under the caution for Newman's wreck, and the driver of the No. 15 Toyota salvaged a 16th-place finish.

Results

FIN ST CAR DRIVER MAKE SPONSOR PTS/BNS LAPS STATUS
1 8 2 Brad Keselowski Dodge Miller Lite 47/1 267 Running
2 19 5 Kasey Kahne Chevrolet Quaker State 42/0 267 Running
3 3 11 Denny Hamlin Toyota FedEx Express 42/1 267 Running
4 7 88 Dale Earnhardt Jr. Chevrolet Diet Mountain Dew / National Guard 40/0 267 Running
5 9 24 Jeff Gordon Chevrolet Drive to End Hunger 39/0 267 Running
6 1 48 Jimmie Johnson Chevrolet Lowe's Dover White 39/1 267 Running
7 20 17 Matt Kenseth Ford Fifth Third Bank 37/0 267 Running
8 10 56 Martin Truex Jr. Toyota NAPA Auto Parts 36/0 267 Running
9 16 22 AJ Allmendinger Dodge Shell / Pennzoil 35/0 267 Running
10 2 18 Kyle Busch Toyota M&M's Red, White & Blue 36/2 267 Running
11 4 29 Kevin Harvick Chevrolet Budweiser Folds of Honor 33/0 267 Running
12 15 27 Paul Menard Chevrolet Menards / Sylvania 32/0 267 Running
13 12 9 Marcos Ambrose Ford Mac Tools 31/0 267 Running
14 31 42 Juan Montoya Chevrolet Target 30/0 267 Running
15 17 1 Jamie McMurray Chevrolet McDonald's 29/0 267 Running
16 6 15 Clint Bowyer Toyota 5-hour Energy 28/0 267 Running
17 34 93 Travis Kvapil Toyota Burger King 28/1 267 Running
18 21 13 Casey Mears Ford Valvoline NextGen 27/1 267 Running
19 14 51 Kurt Busch Chevrolet Phoenix Construction Services 25/0 267 Running
20 25 99 Carl Edwards Ford UPS 24/0 266 Running
21 11 16 Greg Biffle Ford American Red Cross 23/0 266 Running
22 18 20 Joey Logano Toyota Dollar General 22/0 266 Running
23 38 10 David Reutimann Chevrolet Outsourcing in the USA@TMone 21/0 266 Running
24 29 31 Jeff Burton Chevrolet Caterpillar 20/0 266 Running
25 23 83 Landon Cassill Toyota Burger King 19/0 266 Running
26 13 43 Aric Almirola Ford Eckrich 18/0 266 Running
27 28 47 Bobby Labonte Toyota Scott Products 17/0 265 Running
28 40 38 David Gilliland Ford Taco Bell 16/0 265 Running
29 33 34 David Ragan Ford Front Row Motorsports 15/0 263 Running
30 39 55 Michael Waltrip Toyota Aaron's Dream Machine 14/0 262 Running
31 41 32 Ken Schrader Ford Federated Auto Parts 13/0 262 Running
32 22 14 Tony Stewart Chevrolet Office Depot / Mobil 1 12/0 231 Running
33 26 78 Regan Smith Chevrolet Furniture Row 11/0 209 Accident
34 5 39 Ryan Newman Chevrolet Tornados 10/0 208 Accident
35 42 36 Dave Blaney Chevrolet SealWrap 9/0 144 Engine
36 32 30 David Stremme Toyota Inception Motorsports 8/0 71 Vibration
37 30 26 Josh Wise * Ford MDS Transport 7/0 60 Vibration
38 35 98 Michael McDowell Ford Presbyterian Healthcare System 6/0 58 Brakes
39 24 195 Scott Speed Ford Leavine Family Racing 5/0 55 Brakes
40 27 87 Joe Nemechek Toyota AM / FM Energy Wood & Pellet Stoves 0 52 Overheating
41 43 33 Stephen Leicht * Chevrolet Little Joes Autos.com 3/0 47 Vibration
42 37 119 Mike Bliss Toyota Humphrey Smith Racing 0 18 Overheating
43 36 23 Scott Riggs Chevrolet North Texas Pipe 1/0 12 Electrical

* Denotes Rookie

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