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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]
Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Express Toyota, practices for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 14, 2014 in Homestead, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, passes Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Express Toyota, to take the lead and win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 16, 2014 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford, pits during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 16, 2014 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images)
Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Express Toyota, Ryan Newman, driver of the #31 Caterpillar Chevrolet, Miss Sprint Cup Kim Coon, Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford, and Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, pose for a photo prior to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 16, 2014 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #22 Hertz Ford, poses with the Coors Light Pole Award after qualifying for pole position for the NASCAR Nationwide Series Ford EcoBoost 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 15, 2014 in Homestead, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Robert Laberge/Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #51 ToyotaCare Toyota, pits during the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Ford EcoBoost 200 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 14, 2014 in Homestead, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images)
Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS, who is not in the Championship Four final phase of the Chase, qualified for 2nd position Friday, November 14, 2014 for Sunday`s final NASCAR Sprint Cup race of the season at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida. He will be joined on the front row by Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet SS who won the Pole position. Photo by Garry Eller/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet SS, who is not in the Championship Four final phase of the Chase, won the pole position Friday, November 14, 2014 for Sunday`s final NASCAR Sprint Cup race of the season at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida. He will be joined by Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS on the front row. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kyle Larson, driver of the #42 ParkerStore Chevrolet, poses with the Keystone Light Pole Award after qualifying for pole position for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Ford EcoBoost 200 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 14, 2014 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Freight Toyota, climbs into his car in the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Goody`s Headache Relief Shot 500 at Martinsville Speedway on October 24, 2014 in Martinsville, Virginia. (Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford, stands in the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Quicken Loans 500 at Phoenix International Raceway on November 8, 2014 in Avondale, Arizona. (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Miller Lite Ford, talks to his crew chief, Paul Wolfe, after failing to advance to the championship round of the Chase for the Spring Cup after the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Quicken Loans Race for Heroes 500 at Phoenix International Raceway on November 9, 2014 in Avondale, Arizona. (Photo Credit: Rainier Ehrhardt/ Getty Images)
Matt Kenseth, driver of the #20 Dollar General Toyota, leads Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Miller Lite Ford, during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Quicken Loans Race for Heroes 500 at Phoenix International Raceway on November 9, 2014 in Avondale, Arizona. (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford, pits during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Quicken Loans Race for Heroes 500 at Phoenix International Raceway on November 9, 2014 in Avondale, Arizona.  (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Ground Toyota, and Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Miller Lite Ford, lead the field through the green flag to start the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Quicken Loans Race for Heroes 500 at Phoenix International Raceway on November 9, 2014 in Avondale, Arizona.  (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #22 Discount Tire Ford, takes the chequered flag to win the NASCAR Nationwide Series DAV 200 at Phoenix International Raceway on November 8, 2014 in Avondale, Arizona. (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #22 Discount Tire Ford, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Nationwide Series DAV 200 at Phoenix International Raceway on November 8, 2014 in Avondale, Arizona. (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/NASCAR via Getty Images)

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