Brad Keselowski Survives The Elements To Win Kobalt 400 In Las Vegas

Brad Keselowski Survives The Elements To Win Kobalt 400 In Las Vegas

by March 6, 2016 0 comments

LAS VEGAS, Nev. – Despite high winds, rain and a dust storm, Brad Keselowski was able to pass Kyle Busch in the closing laps of Sunday’s Kobalt 400 to claim victory at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Keselowski, driver of the No. 2 Miller Lite Ford Fusion led 24 laps en route to the win on Sunday. The victory is his second at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The last time he won at the speedway was back in 2014. On Sunday, Keselowski was hit with a pit road penalty after speeding while exiting on lap 180. The penalty placed him at the tail end, but Keselowski was able to fight his way back to the front. With only five laps to go, Keselowski chased down and made the winning pass on hometown favorite, Kyle Busch.

“This is really, really great. It seemed like there were plenty of challenges, whether it was pit road or the weather or cautions,” Keselowski said. “They threw everything they had at us today but this Miller Lite Ford team was too strong and we were able to fight them off and get to victory lane.”

After being passed by Keselowski, Kyle Busch fell into the grasp of Joey Logano, who finished second, bringing home a one-two for Team Penske. Throughout the afternoon, Logano led on seven occasions for 75 laps.

“We had a good car,” Logano said. “We led a lot of laps. Brad was just really good on the long run. I tried to hold him off as long as I could but he showed how fast he was getting by me and Kyle and checking out. Congratulations to Team Penske. It is something to be very proud of for our team. We have a lot of second place finishes already this year. I know we are only three races in but I am getting antsy. We have good speed in our cars, we will be alright.”

Jimmie Johnson led 76 laps, most of any other driver on Sunday, but he’d have to settle for ta third place finish. Coming to the checkered flag, he just barely edged Kyle Busch across the finish line for the top-three finish.

“Track position was pretty important,” Johnson said. “The series of events leading up to that last restart kind of had us deeper in track position than we needed to be for the win. We still got a third, which is good, but those top three or four cars were pretty equal. It was just real hard to get there and get inside of somebody. I was impressed the No. 2 was able to sit behind the No. 22 that long and finally get by and not wear his stuff out in the process. But, decent day for us all-in-all.”

Rounding out the top-five was Kyle Busch and Austin Dillon. Rookie, Ryan Blaney had an incredibly strong sixth place finish. Kevin Harvick finished seventh, followed by Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kurt Busch and Kasey Kahne.

The Kobalt 400 saw six cautions, with the most notable one coming out on lap 226. Matt Kenseth lost control and began spinning in Turn 2. With nowhere to go, Chase Elliott plowed into the back of him. Others collected included Kenseth’s Joe Gibbs Racing teammate, Carl Edwards and pole sitter, Kurt Busch. All of the drivers were top contenders, but the crash was very unfortunate for Elliott, who had a solid performance in the works.

“Just disappointed, what a fast race car, I appreciate everybody working hard,” Elliott said. “I feel like we made a lot of gains this weekend. Just a terrible job on my behalf. That is pitiful. We have run three races and finished one. Just a bad job on my end. I ought to know better to miss a wreck like that.”

With the fourth place finish, Kyle Busch now leads Jimmie Johnson in the championship standings by six points. Johnson jumped up three positions with his third place finish. Kevin Harvick drops down a spot to third, seven points back. Joey Logano improves three positions to fourth in the standings, 12 points back from Busch. Kurt Busch, Kyle’s older brother sits fifth, only 14 points back.

The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series will visit Phoenix International Speedway on Sunday, March 13 for the Good Sam 500. Coverage for the event will broadcast live on FOX and the Motor Racing Network (MRN) at 3:30 p.m. ET.

Kobalt 400 Results:

1.) #2 Brad Keselowski

2.) #22 Joey Logano

3.) #48 Jimmie Johnson

4.) #18 Kyle Busch

5.) #3 Austin Dillon

6.) #21 Ryan Blaney

7.) #4 Kevin Harvick

8.) #88 Dale Earnhardt Jr.

9.) #41 Kurt Busch

10.) #5 Kasey Kahne

11.) #78 Martin Truex Jr.

12.) #17 Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

13.) #31 Ryan Newman

14.) #47 AJ Allmendinger

15.) #27 Paul Menard

16.) #1 Jamie McMurray

17.) #6 Trevor Bayne

18.) #19 Carl Edwards

19.) #11 Denny Hamlin

20.) #16 Greg Biffle

21.) #10 Danica Patrick

22.) #15 Clint Bowyer

23.) #13 Casey Mears

24.) #43 Aric Almirola

25.) #7 Regan Smith

26.) #34 Chris Buescher

27.) #44 Brian Scott

28.) #38 Landon Cassill

29.) #95 Michael McDowell

30.) #46 Michael Annett

31.) #83 Matt DiBenedetto

32.) #23 David Ragan

33.) #32 Jeffrey Earnhardt

34.) #42 Kyle Larson

35.) #30 Josh Wise

36.) #14 Brian Vickers

37.) #20 Matt Kenseth

38.) #24 Chase Elliott

39.) #98 Cole Whitt


Photo Credit: Robert Laberge/Getty Images

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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