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No bad breaks for Keselowski at Pocono

Broken ankle? That's no reason not to go back to the office and win a 500 mile motor race, as Brad Keselowski proved with victory in Sunday's rain-hit Good Sam RV Insurance 500.
Brad Keselowski was lucky simply to be at Pocono Raceway this weekend. Just starting the Good Sam RV Insurance 500 Cup race was a huge triumph.

Keselowski had crashed at 100mph in testing at Road Atlanta just four days earlier and had to be flown to hospital for treatment for an avulsion fracture to his left ankle. It was a small miracle he was able to climb in the car, but to win the race as well? Only in a cheesy Hollywood film, surely.

The early stages of the race had been predominantly led by pole sitter Joey Logano, Keselowski's Penske team mate Kurt Busch, and Logano's Joe Gibbs Racing team mates Denny Hamlin and Kyle Busch. It had run under the ongoing threat of rain in the area that had forced the overnight postponement of the Camping World Truck Series race, and drivers were acutely aware that any trace of drizzle on track could prove to herald the end of the race once half distance had been passed.

That put a premium on being in the lead, and it was Logano who held it when the rain suddenly arrived on lap 123 and forced the red flag to come out minutes later as the heavy downpour meant a resumption looked unlikely. If the race had been called, it would have been the second time in his Cup career that Logano would have won a race because of rain curtailment.

"We knew the rain was coming, and I was trying to hold off the #48," said Logano. "It was pretty exciting there, coming to the end, when my crew chief Zippy [Greg Zipadelli] told me [that] the rain was coming. I just kept on digging, and finally it just started downpouring."

But it was not to be the end of the race after all: one hour, 40 minutes later the cars were ushered back out on track. Organisers feared another, larger downpour was heading in the direction of the 2.5-mile unique "tri-oval" circuit but in fact the rain would now hold off until the end of the race, which would go full distance against all expectations.

Keselowski took the lead for the first time on lap 129 as everyone came in to pit lane for fuel and tyres before the restart, but it was Kurt Busch who quickly took point for most of the next 32 laps. Former leader Logano fell foul to the need for a late pit stop for tyres after a suspected puncture, and Denny Hamlin - who had led for 65 laps, more than anyone else - suffered from lugnut delays during his own earlier stop.

In the closing stages it was Kyle Busch who led, which was an impressive feat in its own right as he had spun out of sixth position on lap 12, then headed to pit road believing he'd beaten the ensuing caution that closed pit lane for business. Race control had disagreed and sent him to the back of the field for the transgression, leaving Busch to work his way back up from last place.

But in the closing phase of the race, Keselowski took the lead at the restart despite a strong challenge from Jimmie Johnson, while Kyle had his hands full with his brother Kurt. That allowed Keselowski to pull out a lead, and although Kyle would subsequently break away from a ferociously duelling Kurt and Jimmie Johnson to give chase and get within a second of the #2, it wasn't enough and Keselowski took the chequered flag. That meant Busch lost out and had to settle for his second second-place of the day, after finishing as runner-up to Kevin Harvick in the delayed Truck race in the morning.




Related Pictures

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Brad Keselowski, driver of the No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Good Sam RV Insurance 500 at Pocono Raceway on Aug. 7 in Long Pond, Pa. [Photo Credit: Tom Pennington/Getty Images for NASCAR]
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Redd`s Wicked Apple Ale Ford, celebrates in victory lane after winning during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on October 19, 2014 in Talladega, Alabama. (Photo Credit: Jonathan Ferrey/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Redd`s Wicked Apple Ale Ford, takes the chequered flag to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on October 19, 2014 in Talladega, Alabama. (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet, talks with the media following the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on October 19, 2014 in Talladega, Alabama. (Photo Credit: Mike Ehrmann/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Aric Almirola, driver of the #43 Smithfield Ford, and Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Halloween Toyota, are involved in an on track incident during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on October 19, 2014 in Talladega, Alabama. (Photo Credit: Matt Sullivan/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, and Jamie McMurray, driver of the #1 Cessna Chevrolet, spin out into the grass during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on October 19, 2014 in Talladega, Alabama. (Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton/NASCAR via Getty Images)
The crew of Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Redd`s Wicked Apple Ale Ford, celebrates after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on October 19, 2014 in Talladega, Alabama. (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Redd`s Wicked Apple Ale Ford, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on October 19, 2014 in Talladega, Alabama. (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Crew members work on the Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Halloween Toyota, in the garage area during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on October 19, 2014 in Talladega, Alabama. (Photo Credit: Jonathan Ferrey/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Redd`s Wicked Apple Ale Ford, leads the field near the end of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on October 19, 2014 in Talladega, Alabama.  (Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Redd`s Wicked Apple Ale Ford, races Ryan Newman, driver of the #31 Caterpillar Chevrolet, during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on October 19, 2014 in Talladega, Alabama. (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Redd`s Wicked Apple Ale Ford, celebrates with an American flag after winning during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on October 19, 2014 in Talladega, Alabama. (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Redd`s Wicked Apple Ale Ford, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on October 19, 2014 in Talladega, Alabama.  (Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch. August 20 2014. (Photo Credit: Rainier Ehrhardt/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet SS qualified for second position Saturday, October 18, 2014 for Sunday`s Contender 12 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Talladega Superspeedway in Talladega, Alabama. Johnson, who is in the Chase, is 11th in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. Sunday is the final round of the Contender 12 phase of the race. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Brian Vickers, driver of the #55 Aaron`s Dream Machine Toyota, celebrates with Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet, after qualifying for the pole position for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on October 18, 2014 in Talladega, Alabama.  (Photo Credit: Tom Pennington/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet, talks to his crew chief, Chad Knaus, during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on October 17, 2014 in Talladega, Alabama.  (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Tyler Reddick in the #19 Brad Keselowski Racing NASCAR Camping World Truck Series entry. (Photo Credit: Getty Images for NASCAR)

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