You choose, we deliver
If you are interested in this story, you might be interested in others from The Journal Gazette. Go to www.journalgazette.net/newsletter and pick the subjects you care most about. We'll deliver your customized daily news report at 3 a.m. Fort Wayne time, right to your email.

Motor Racing

  • Streaking Keselowski wins pole, sets record
    Brad Keselowski will start the second race in the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship the way he ended the first one – out front. Keselowski turned a track-record lap of 140.
  • Stewart case to grand jury
    The decision whether to charge three-time NASCAR champion Tony Stewart in the August death of a fellow driver at a sprint car race in upstate New York will be up to a grand jury.
  • Grand jury to weigh case of NASCAR's Tony Stewart
    The decision whether to charge three-time NASCAR champion Tony Stewart in the August death of a fellow driver at a sprint car race in upstate New York will be up to a grand jury.
Advertisement
The Chase
After 5 of 10 races
1. Matt Kenseth … 2,225
2. Jimmie Johnson … -4
3. Kevin Harvick … -29
4. Jeff Gordon … -36
5. Kyle Busch … -37
6. Greg Biffle … -58
7. Kurt Busch … -59
8. Clint Bowyer … -63
9. Dale Earnhardt Jr. … -66
10. Carl Edwards … -67
11. Joey Logano … -75
12. Ryan Newman … -78
Associated Press
Brad Keselowski celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the Sprint Cup race Saturday night.

Keselowski wins first of season

Poor restart by Johnson late opens the door

– Brad Keselowski snapped a 37-race winless streak Saturday night by chasing down Kasey Kahne in the closing laps at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

The defending Sprint Cup Series champion, who failed to qualify for the Chase this year, grabbed his first win of the season and first since Sept. 30, 2012, at Dover, by passing Kahne with nine laps to go in his Penske Racing Ford.

Keselowski became the first non-Chase driver to win a Chase race since Kahne at Phoenix in 2011.

“I never give up. I didn’t qualify well. But I kept working my way forward. I knew we had a good car,” said Keselowski, who started 23rd.

The race changed dramatically with 27 laps remaining and Jimmie Johnson seemingly on his way to an easy victory. But a debris caution sent the leaders to pit road and ended Johnson’s march to a record seventh Charlotte win.

Hendrick teammates Kahne and Jeff Gordon took only two tires and raced off pit road first, while everyone else took four tires and lined up behind them. Johnson came out in third, and should have been in good shape on four fresh tires.

Instead, Johnson had a terrible restart and fell back to seventh.

“There was a caution that shook things up,” Johnson said.

Kahne pulled away with the rest of the leaders. Points leader Matt Kenseth was in the mix, but Keselowski, sixth on the restart, got past him and took over second.

Keselowski then set his sights on Kahne once and for all. He had picked his way through traffic but getting past Kahne wasn’t easy – Keselowski needed several attempts before making it stick.

“I love hard racing and there are a handful of guys who can’t race hard and they freak out – he’s not one of them,” Keselowski said about Kahne. “He’s an excellent driver. He ran me hard but ran me clean and that is great racing. He did a hell of a job and deserves a lot of credit for it.”

Kahne finished second in a Chevrolet and was followed by the Toyota of Kenseth, who takes a four-point lead over Johnson into next week’s race at Talladega.

“I’m happy we finished third,” said Kenseth, who was the lowest qualifying Chase driver at 20th. “I was so far behind because I qualified so poorly and needed all night to get back up there. Then at the very end they gave me a shot to win and I’m slightly disappointed that I didn’t take advantage of that opportunity.”

Johnson wound up fourth and said he had trouble when he tried to push teammate Kahne on the restart.

Advertisement