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Brad Keselowski Wins Kentucky 300 And Earns Team Penske’s 50th NASCAR XFINITY Series Victory

Brad Keselowski Wins Kentucky 300 And Earns Team Penske’s 50th NASCAR XFINITY Series Victory

by July 11, 2015 0 comments

Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images

SPARTA, Ky. – In the closing laps of the Kentucky 300 at Kentucky Speedway on Friday night, Brad Keselowski was able to hold off Joe Gibbs Racing’s Erik Jones and Kyle Busch to claim Team Penske’s 50th win in the NASCAR XFINITY Series.

Kentucky Speedway is always highlighted on Brad Keselowski’s NASCAR XFINITY Series schedule, and Friday night’s performance proved why. Not only was Friday’s win his first of the 2015 season, but it was his third victory and eighth top-10 in eight races at the speedway. Throughout the night, Keselowski led on three different occasions for 72 laps.

“Erik drove a great race and I was able to hang with him just enough to pressure him and he got in a bad spot with a lapped car there, not really of his own fault, just part of racing, and when it happened I was able to just jump all over it,” Keselowski said. “That’s a credit to Greg (Erwin, crew chief) and the team for having a great car to where we could make the most of the opportunity, and I feel very, very humbled and proud to get to drive a car this good year in and year out at the XFINITY Series level.”

The race winning pass came as the field was rounding Turns 3 and 4 to get eight laps to go. Erik Jones was up front with a fairly good lead, but David Starr who was a lap down, blocked the bottom groove in Turn 3 and held up Erik Jones’ forward progress. The hesitation opened the door for Brad Keselowski to catch Jones and make the pass on him as they split David Starr three wide along the frontstretch.

“I had a pretty good idea of how it was going to play out and just trying to be positioned for it,” Keselowski said. “When it hit I wish there was a camera on my eyes because they lit up and I was pumped before I ever made the pass because I knew it was gonna be right there for the taking. Sometimes as a racer you’ve got to be a corner ahead and know what’s gonna happen before it happens and I just had a feeling, and got a corner ahead and that was all it took.”

Erik Jones battled back, but he just wasn’t able to close the deal, and in the end, Brad Keselowski went on to win his 33rd career NASCAR XFINITY Series victory, moving him to fifth on the all-time win list in the series. Out of the 50 wins Team Penske has in the series, Keselowski is responsible for 27 of them.

“It’s been a good ride for sure, and to be a part of Team Penske is everything I ever dreamed of and more,” Keselowski said. “I thought when I went to Roger Penske that we would have a shot at winning a lot of races and certainly a shot at winning championships, but we’ve got three XFINITY championships together and a Sprint Cup championship and I think we’ve got a lot more to go, I really do.  I think the 22 car this year in owner’s points has a really good shot of bringing it home.”

Finishing second, was Erik Jones who earned his 10th top-10 finish this season. Kyle Busch who led 88 laps, most of any diver on Friday night finished third, followed by the highest finishing rookie, Daniel Suarez. Elliott Sadler rounded out the top-five.

Although Chris Buescher finished 11th on Friday night, he increased his points lead and is now 36 ahead of defending series champion, Chase Elliott. Ty Dillon is third, 46 points back, followed by Elliott Sadler who jumped up one spot to fourth, 65 point back. JR Motorsports’ Regan Smith is 66 points back from leader, Chris Buescher.

Up next for the NASCAR XFINITY Series is the Lakes Region 200 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on Saturday, July 18. Coverage for the event will begin at 4 p.m. ET on NBCSN and the Performance Racing Network (PRN).

Kentucky 300 Results:

1.) #22 Brad Keselowski

2.) #20 Erik Jones

3.) #54 Kyle Busch

4.) #18 Daniel Suarez

5.) #1 Elliott Sadler

6.) #33 Paul Menard

7.) #6 Darrell Wallace Jr.

8.) #88 Dale Earnhardt Jr.

9.) #62 Brendan Gaughan

10.) #7 Regan Smith

11.) #60 Chris Buescher

12.) #42 Brennan Poole

13.) #9 Chase Elliott

14.) #16 Ryan Reed

15.) #3 Ty Dillon

16.) #01 Landon Cassill

17.) #43 Dakoda Armstrong

18.) #28 JJ Yeley

19.) #2 Brian Scott

20.) #4 Ross Chastain

21.) #44 David Starr

22.) #8 Blake Koch

23.) #39 Ryan Sieg

24.) #26 Timmy Hill

25.) #52 Joey Gase

26.) #51 Jeremy Clements

27.) #24 Eric McClure

28.) #90 Tyler Young

29.) #14 Cale Conley

30.) #74 Mike Harmon

31.) #97 Peyton Sellers

32.) #25 John Wes Townley

33.) #70 Derrike Cope

34.) #15 BJ McLeod

35.) #0 Harrison Rhodes

36.) #13 Derek White

37.) #40 Josh Reaume

38.) #89 Morgan Shepherd

39.) #79 Ryan Ellis

40.) #19 Jeff Green

 

NASCAR XFINITY Series Top-10 Point Standings:

1.) #60 Chris Buescher

2.) #9 Chase Elliott -36

3.) #3 Ty Dillon -46

4.) #1 Elliott Sadler -65

5.) #7 Regan Smith -66

6.) #6 Darrell Wallace Jr. -83

7.) #2 Brian Scott -115

8.) #18 Daniel Suarez -116

9.) #62 Brendan Gaughan -120

10.) #16 Ryan Reed -122

Hunter Thomas
Hunter Thomas is a journalist who grew up in Darlington, S.C. His first motorsports-based endeavor was working as the Public Relations Director at Dillon Motor Speedway in Dillon, S.C., and his journalism start came while he was freelancing at his hometown newspaper, the News & Press while in college.

Hunter has been working within the NASCAR industry since 2010, and throughout the years, he has done everything from PR/Marketing for drivers and teams in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, NASCAR XFINITY Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, to working at Rockingham Speedway. As a journalist, Hunter has covered everything from regional short tracks to NASCAR, ARCA Racing Series, World of Outlaws, Red Bull Global Rallycross, NHRA and much more.

Follow Hunter Thomas on Twitter by following, @HunterThomas08

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