Brad Keselowski led 199 laps of the 267 that made up the Quaker State 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta on Saturday night on his way to his second win of the season and his second-career victory at Kentucky, making him the track’s first repeat winner in Sprint Cup competition.
“Our car was awesome; our team did a great job,” Keselowski said. “I’m just really fortunate to have such a good car.”
The race was especially dominant for Team Penske, In addition to the 199 laps led by Keselowski, teammate Joey Logano led 37 circuits to give the organization of a total of 236 laps led. The only other race leader was Kyle Busch, leading the other 31 laps on his way to a second-place finish. Logano encountered an engine problem late in the race that relegated him to a ninth-place finish.
Busch became the only non-Penske driver to lead the race during the final caution of the event that came out with 55 laps to go. The field began cycling through green-flag stops just before the yellow flag, and Busch was ambong those who pitted prior to the caution. Keselowski was among the group that pitted under yellow.
Having pitted just before the caution, Busch stayed out and restarted with the lead. Ryan Newman restarted next to him on the front row. After pitting under yellow, Keselowski restarted sixth, but quickly made his way up to third when the race went back to green. With 37 to go, he got by Newman for second.
“I knew it was going to be really, really tough,” Keselowski said. “I knew we would be able to get to him (Busch), but I didn’t think we’d be able to pass him.”
He was able to get by Busch in lap traffic just inside 20 to go.
“We certainly wanted to win,” Busch said. “When we got up to traffic, I had to back it up. We finished second to the best car.”
Keselowski lost the lead to Logano several times on pit road, but only lost a position once on the race track, that loss coming at the hands of Logano on a restart follow a caution that came out with 90 laps remaining.
Newman finished third, Matt Kenseth was fourth and Dale Earnhardt Jr. fifth. Finishing sixth through 10th were Jeff Gordon, Kevin Harvick, Kasey Kahne, Logano and Jimmie Johnson.