CONCORD, N.C. — On auto racing's biggest weekend, Brad Keselowski got off to a good start Saturday, winning the NASCAR Nationwide race at Charlotte Motor Speedway by leading the final 67 laps.
He'll try to double up tonight in Sprint Cup's longest race of the season, the Coca-Cola 600. In between comes the Indy 500, a race that owner Roger Penske has won 15 times. His driver Ryan Briscoe will start on the pole there.
Penske Racing has "three shots at winning races this weekend," Keselowski said. "We're 1 for 1."
"I'm happy for" Penske, Keselowski said. "One way or another, the checkered flag at Penske Racing is going to fly this week."
Keselowski led the way as Sprint Cup drivers took the top four spots Saturday in the History 300. Denny Hamlin was second, followed by Kyle Busch and Kevin Harvick. Series points leader Ricky Stenhouse had driveshaft problems and finished 26th.
Danica Patrick started third and finished 13th. She'll also race tonight at Charlotte in the Sprint Cup race after spending her past seven Memorial Day weekends in the Indy 500.
Keselowski took gas during a pit stop with 73 laps left, then stayed out during a caution a few laps later instead of pitting like most of the field. That began his fuel mileage countdown.
Was Keselowski worried those final laps? No, he said, because he was confident in the call made by crew chief Jeremy Bullins. "If Jeremy says we're going to make (it), then I believe it," the driver said, smiling.
FORMULA ONE: Veteran Michael Schumacher posted the fastest time in qualifying for today's Monaco Grand Prix but a preexisting penalty means Mark Webber's Red Bull will start on the pole. Schumacher, 43, starts sixth because of a five-spot grid penalty stemming from the last race, the Spanish Grand Prix, in which officials ruled that the seven-time world champion caused avoidable contact.