Brad Keselowski Dominates STP 500 For Second Martinsville Speedway Winby Camille Jones March 24, 2019 1 comment
RIDGEWAY, Va. — Brad Keselowski won Sunday’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series STP 500 after leading 446 of 500 laps in a dominant performance at Martinsville Speedway.
Keselowski, driver of the Team Penske No. 2 Reese/Draw Tite Ford also won each stage of the race on before driving to Victory Lane for the second time in 2019. The victory also marks Keselowski’s second victory at Martinsville Speedway. In the closing laps, the race came down to an exciting battle for the lead between Keselowski, Chase Elliott and Kyle Busch.
“The car was really good – this Ford Mustang,” said Keselowski. “You know, Ford worked really hard in the offseason to build these cars and make them real strong and so far, so good. It’s just a great day for our team, awesome execution on pit road and big credit to Doug Yates and all the engine guys. Those guys work really hard and it’s just one of those days you dream of as a race car driver, where you’ve got a great car.”
Keselowski continued and said, “I don’t know if we were as good as the 9, Chase Elliott. He was really strong, but he passed me there with about 200 to go and I watched him and studied him and kind of broke it down and knew what I had to do to hold him off with that fast of a car and we were able to pull it off that last run with the Reese/Draw Tite Ford.”
Elliott was forced to settle for a second-place finish after leading 49 laps. Elliott appeared to find a new gear in the final few laps as he soared to the bumper of Keselowski, but he couldn’t get close enough to put the nose to his bumper and move him for the win.
On whether or not Elliott thought he could make it for the win, he said, “I don’t know. It was really tough. Our NAPA Camaro was good. I felt like we were about as even with him as we could be. When I did get the lead, I felt like there was a little advantage to being out front and being able to work traffic your way and play off it and whatnot. But, yeah, I tried to move up there at the end and I don’t know if I could have got to him. Maybe if I moved up a little sooner, maybe. But, I tried to get to him there in (turn) 3, but maybe next time.”
Busch was able to keep close to Elliott, but unable to clear him for second. He finished in third on Sunday at Martinsville Speedway.
“We were just kind of off a little bit,” Busch said. “We didn’t qualify good and I didn’t think we were very good in practice. Not as good as we typically are here. Just lacking a little bit of something. From where we ran midway point of the race to where we finished there, that was a really good turnaround.”
Ryan Blaney and Denny Hamlin finished in fourth and fifth, followed by Kevin Harvick, Clint Bowyer, Martin Truex Jr., Aric Almirola and Daniel Suarez rounding out the top-10 finishing order.
In the STP 500, there were seven cautions for 56 Laps under yellow-flag conditions.
After six races so far this season, Busch currently leads the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series standings by 21 points over Hamlin.
The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series will be back on track next weekend at Texas Motor Speedway for the O’Reilly Auto Parts 500. Live coverage will broadcast on FOX and the Performance Racing Network (PRN) on Sunday, March 31 at 3 p.m. ET.
Photo Credit: Hunter Thomas/TheFourthTurn.com