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Keselowski too strong for Kenseth

In an afternoon of few cautions, Brad Keselowski emerged as the dominant leader ahead of Matt Kenseth for the latter third of the Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway.
Brad Keselowski finished on top in the Food City 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway, his second consecutive win at the half-mile concrete oval which is fast becoming his favourite place to race: "What can I say? I love Bristol and Bristol loves me.

"I don't know how anyone can say Bristol racing ain't as good as it was," he beamed in victory lane. "I think they might be right, because it's better than it's ever been: this is one of the best races I've ever been a part of and ever seen from behind the seat!"

It was a race marked by long spells of trouble-free running, an early 45-lap lead for Keselowski's Penske team mate AJ Allmendinger soon eclipsed by Brian Vickers's mighty 125-laps in front midrace that was then itself topped by Keselowski's total of 232 laps in the lead, which included an uninterrupted run of 110 laps to the chequered flag.

Polesitter Greg Biffle had quickly pulled away from fellow front row man Allmendinger at the start of the afternoon's race, which had managed to start only minutes later than originally scheduled despite rain overnight and into the morning that had threatened to delay proceedings. But before the race could even manage to reach the scheduled competition caution organised by NASCAR for lap 50 arranged so that teams could check tyre wear on the now 'green' track washed clean by the rain, there was a multi-car wreck that sucked in a number of the leading contenders.

It started with Kasey Kahne and Regan Smith battling for position on lap 24; Kahne thought he was clear ahead of the #78 and moved up the track accordingly, but it wasn't the case. Smith tried to check up, promptly got tagged from behind by Keselowski, which sent him back into Kahne and after that there was just a chain reaction of collisions. Kahne's #5 was badly damaged, as was Kyle Busch's #18, Marcos Ambrose's #9 and Carl Edwards' #99. Kevin Harvick's #29 also sustained some damage, while Keselowski escaped with only minor scrapes.

"We were going forward, just taking our time," explained Kahne. "Regan Smith was pretty slow. I was under him for a couple of laps. When my spotter cleared me in the centre, I just took off, and he was there on exit. It is disappointing to have that good of a car and be out this early ... I listened too much to my spotter I guess," he added pointedly, referring to his cousin Kole.

“I think Regan was battling with that same thing we all battle with here which is should you let the guy go or keep racing him," said Carl Edwards while waiting for his car to be patched up again. "Kasey probably thought he was clear and that ended up in a wreck. It is hard to put 43 cars on a half-mile going this fast and not wreck. It is too bad it happened this early. We have a really great race car and I was excited to race today. I wanted to drive more."

Edwards did finally get back out, but he would end up 255 laps off the lead. Likewise Kahne was 134 laps down and Ambrose 111 laps down by the time they rejoined; Busch's repairs had been the quickest but even he was 77 laps off the lead and just doing some damage limitation in the points standings in what's proved to have been a bad start to the 2012 season for the Joe Gibbs driver.

“We picked up seven points by getting back out there and finishing the race the way we did,” Busch's crew chief Dave Rogers said. “As you know, every point is important. It's just a shame we were out before the track even got a chance to get rubbered up ... What happened today was really nobody's fault."




Related Pictures

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Matt Kenseth leads Brad Keselowski during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Food City 500 on Sunday at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tenn. (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
Carl Edwards, Marcos Ambrose, Kasey Kahne, Kyle Busch and Kevin Harvick get caught up in a wreck between Turns 1 and 2 to bring out the first caution during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Food City 500 on Sunday at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tenn. (Photo Credit: John Harrelson/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Brad Keselowski claims his second consecutive chequered flag at Bristol Motor Speedway in Sunday`s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tenn. (Photo Credit: Justin Edmonds/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet SS, races to win Sunday, July 27, 2014 the Brickyard 400 Nascar Sprint Cup race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Indiana. Gordon, who leads the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings, has won at the Brickyard a record 5 times, the first one in 1994. (Photo by Christa L. Thomas/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet SS, races to win Sunday, July 27, 2014 the Brickyard 400 Nascar Sprint Cup race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Indiana. Gordon, who leads the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings, has won at the Brickyard a record 5 times, the first one in 1994. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet SS, celebrates his win Sunday, July 27, 2014 of the Brickyard 400 Nascar Sprint Cup race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Indiana. Gordon, who leads the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings, has won at the Brickyard a record 5 times, the first one in 1994. (Photo by Rusty Jarrett/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet SS, kisses the Brick after his win Sunday, July 27, 2014 of the Brickyard 400 Nascar Sprint Cup race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Indiana. Gordon, who leads the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings, has won at the Brickyard a record 5 times, the first one in 1994. (Photo by Rusty Jarrett/HHP for Chevy Racing)
The #24 Axalta Chevrolet crew celebrates in pit lane after driver Jeff Godron`s victory in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Crown Royal Presents The John Wayne Walding 400 at the Brickyard Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 27, 2014 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo Credit: Matt Sullivan/Getty Images)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Crown Royal Presents The John Wayne Walding 400 at the Brickyard Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 27, 2014 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet, celebrates by kissing the bricks after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Crown Royal Presents The John Wayne Walding 400 at the Brickyard Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 27, 2014 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo Credit: Patrick Smith/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet, salutes the fans after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Crown Royal Presents The John Wayne Walding 400 at the Brickyard Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 27, 2014 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo Credit: Matt Sullivan/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet, takes the chequered flag to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Crown Royal Presents The John Wayne Walding 400 at the Brickyard Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 27, 2014 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo Credit: Patrick Smith/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Crown Royal Presents The John Wayne Walding 400 at the Brickyard Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 27, 2014 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo Credit: Patrick Smith/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet, center, celebrates with team owner Rick Hendrick, left, daughter Ella Sophia and wife Ingrid Vandebosch by kissing the bricks after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Crown Royal Presents The John Wayne Walding 400 at the Brickyard Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 27, 2014 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo Credit: Rainier Ehrhardt/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet, races the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Crown Royal Presents The John Wayne Walding 400 at the Brickyard Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 27, 2014 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Photo Credit: Patrick Smith/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 Time Warner Cable Chevrolet, leads during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Crown Royal Presents The John Wayne Walding 400 at the Brickyard Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 27, 2014 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy John`s Chevrolet, and Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet, lead the field to the green flag for the start of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Crown Royal Presents The John Wayne Walding 400 at the Brickyard Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 27, 2014 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo Credit: Patrick Smith/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Ty Dillon, driver of the #3 Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Nationwide Series Lilly Diabetes 250 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 26, 2014 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)

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