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Keselowski takes NASCAR Sprint Cup win at Kentucky

SPARTA, Ky. — Brad Keselowski dominated Saturday night's NASCAR Sprint Cup race to become Kentucky Speedway's first repeat winner.

The Penske Racing driver and 2012 race winner followed his record-breaking pole effort to lead 199 of 267 laps in the Quaker State 400 en route to his second victory of the season and 12th of his career.

Keselowski won from the pole for the first time, pulling away after chasing down and passing leader Kyle Busch on Lap 248. On a late restart, Keselowski was sixth, but he quickly moved through the field.

Busch was second, followed by Ryan Newman, Matt Kenseth and Dale Earnhardt Jr., who rallied from a 29th-place start.

"It was one of those races where you knew you had a really fast car," Keselowski said, adding that, in pursuit of his second series title in three years, "it feels good to get back to this form. I think I appreciate it more now than then."

A night after dominating the Nationwide race but finishing second to Kevin Harvick, partly because of a pit-road speeding penalty, Keselowski saved his heavy foot for the bumpy, rough track. The 2012 Cup champion went on to win by 1.014 seconds.

Keselowski's postrace celebration was later marred after he cut his hand on a broken champagne bottle and was taken to the infield care center, where he said he received four stitches. He was well enough to joke about the incident later on ESPN's SportsCenter.

"Always stick with beer," said Keselowski — whose primary sponsor is a brewer. "When you bring out the champagne, that's when bad stuff happens."

Teammate Joey Logano started second and led 37 laps and Busch 31.

Busch said he had trouble with his handling right after the last restart.

"That was the loosest I was the whole race, especially in traffic," Busch said.

Kenseth extension: Joe Gibbs Racing announced a contract extension for driver Matt Kenseth, as well as Dollar General's expanded sponsorship of his No. 20 Toyota Camry. The discount-store chain will sponsor the car for 30 races in 2015, including the opener, the Daytona 500. That's up from 27 events this year and 17 in 2013. JGR president J.D. Gibbs didn't specify the length of the extension, saying only it was for a "number of years." Motorsportstalk.com reported it was at least through 2016.

Gearhead stats

Winner's average speed: 139.723 mph

Time of race: 2 hours, 51 minutes, 59 seconds

Margin of victory: 1.014 seconds

Caution flags: Six for 34 laps

Lead changes: 12 among three drivers

Lap leaders: Keselowski 1-78; Logano 79-83; Keselowski 84; Logano 85-86; Keselowski 87-127; Logano 128-147; Keselowski 148-155; Logano 156-162; Kese­lowski 163-180; Logano 181-183; Keselowski 184-216; Ky.Busch 217-247; Keselowski 248-267

Sprint Cup points

After 17 of 26 races. Sixteen drivers will make the season-ending Chase for the Championship.

Driver Pts. Back

Jeff Gordon* 618—

Jimmie Johnson*** 594 24

Dale Earnhardt Jr.** 594 24

Brad Keselowski** 560 58

Matt Kenseth 555 63

Carl Edwards** 536 82

Joey Logano** 519 99

Ryan Newman 514 104

Kevin Harvick** 509 109

Kyle Busch* 508 110

Paul Menard 488 130

Kyle Larson 474 144

Greg Biffle 474 144

Each asterisk (*) equals one win

Points unofficial; NASCAR posts official results Monday

Up next

Coke Zero 400, 7:30 Saturday, Daytona International Speedway. TV: TNT

Keselowski takes NASCAR Sprint Cup win at Kentucky 06/28/14 [Last modified: Saturday, June 28, 2014 11:56pm]
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