Brad Keselowski Wins At Bristol After Joey Loagno And Chase Elliott Crashby Hunter Thomas May 31, 2020 0 comments
BRISTOL, Tenn. – Brad Keselowski visited Victory Lane for the second weekend in row after Chase Elliott and Joey Logano crashed while battling for the lead in the closing laps at Bristol Motor Speedway.
Team Penske’s Brad Keselowski entered the Supermarket Heroes 500 as the winner of last Sunday’s Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Keselowski began the 500-lap race at Bristol from the pole, and throughout the afternoon, he led on four occasions for a combined 115 laps. In the closing laps, misfortune for the race leaders, Logano and Elliott, allowed Keselowski to pass by and capture his second victory of the season.
Keselowski, driver of the No. 2 Discount Ford said, “We couldn’t get anything to go our way at the start of the race with cars staying out and I kept getting the bottom lane on restarts and nothing was working out and then right at the end we came in and put two tires on the left and drove up to, I guess fourth or sixth, I don’t know, something like that and put ourselves in position. I could see Joey and Chase were getting really racy there and I didn’t know what was gonna happen, but I knew if I kept my eye open something good might happen and, sure enough, it did. An incredible day. I’m so happy for the team. This was a never-give-up effort.”
With just 10 laps to go, Elliott, Logano and Denny Hamlin were battling for the top spot. Hamlin slid up the track coming out of Turn 2, and the door opened for Logano to sneak by with Elliott right on his bumper. As the three drivers entered Turn 3, Elliott made slight contact with Logano who then slid up into the outside wall. Hamlin got into the back of Logano and spun out of Turn 4. Hamlin was then hit by the lapped car of BJ McLeod who had nowhere to go.
On the final restart of the afternoon with only five laps remaining, Elliott got a huge jump and led the field around Bristol Motor Speedway. Logano chased Elliott down and battled side-by-side until finally moving ahead with three laps to go. Elliott moved Logano up the track in Turns 1 and 2 before pulling alongside down the backstretch. Heading into Turn 3, Elliott overdrove the corner, slid up the track and pancaked Logano into the outside wall.
“He wrecked me,” Logano said. “He got loose underneath me. The part that’s frustrating is that afterwards a simple apology — like be a man and come up to someone and say, ‘Hey, my bad.’ But I had to force an apology, which, to me, is childish.”
Following the race, Elliott said, “Oh, just going for the win, you know, trying to get a run underneath and got really loose-in. I don’t know if I had a tire going down or if I just got loose on entry. But, as soon as I turned off the wall, I had zero chance of making it. I’ll certainly take the blame. I don’t think so, I just got loose and got up into him.”
Once Logano and Elliott were out of the way, Keselowski passed by and cruised to victory as no caution was thrown. Finishing in second was Clint Bowyer, followed by Jimmie Johnson and Joe Gibbs Racing’s Kyle Busch and Erik Jones.
Completing the top-10 was Austin Dillon, Kurt Busch, William Byron, Christopher Bell and Bubba Wallace.
Elliott won both, Stages 1 and 2.
Hamlin led a race high of 131 laps.
There were 17 cautions for 102 laps on Sunday at Bristol.
A nine-car crash in Turn 3 brought out the race’s only red flag of the afternoon. The crash ignited, when contact with Jimmie Johnson sent Ricky Stenhouse Jr. hard into the inside wall on the backstretch. Stenhouse ricocheted back up the track and into on-coming traffic, where he was hit hard by Cole Custer, Kurt Busch and Tyler Reddick. Alex Bowman, Ryan Preece, Michael McDowell and Matt DiBenedetto were also involved. The red flag was displayed for 11 minutes and 35 seconds.
Kevin Harvick leads Logano in the standings by 24 points as the NASCAR Cup Series heads to Atlanta Motor Speedway.
The Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 will be run on Sunday, June 7. The event originally scheduled for March until the COVID-19 pandemic brought the season to a halt. Live coverage of the race will broadcast on FOX and the Performance Racing Network (PRN) at 3 p.m. ET.
Photo Credit: Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images