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Keselowski turns up the heat with third win

Brad Keselowski looked one of the men to beat from early on during Saturday evening's Quaker State 400, and he cruised to his third win of 2012 as his rivals hit problems.
Brad Keselowski was making himself at home again in victory lane for the third time in 2012 and the first time at Kentucky Speedway, where he brushed aside nationwide heatwaves and hot-headed spats on Friday with Juan Montoya to clinch the win in the Saturday evening Quaker State 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race.

Keselowski praised his Penske Racing team for their work on Friday, after his clash with Montoya early in practice had seen him put his primary race car into the wall.

"They put together a backup car from last year in 100-degree heat in an hour's time," he marvelled. "Got it on the race track and got to run our laps for practice to make the adjustments we needed to be fast today. That's what badasses do, and that's what got us to victory lane today. I'm proud of these guys for it, damn proud of them."

Far from thinking that his driver had won despite Friday's adversity, crew chief Paul Wolfe was of a mind that Keselowski simply seemed able to find a whole new level of racing when as worked up as he had been by the Montoya incident.

"There are definitely a lot of instances where I've seen Brad be able to find speed in the race car when he is ticked off. Whether or not he's doing it, it seems like it happens," said Wolfe. "Bad Brad was back this weekend - and I don't know whether that's good or bad!"

While Jimmie Johnson had won pole position on Friday, it was the man alongside him on the front row - Kyle Busch - who leapt into the lead for the first 33 laps once the green flag came out, but further back Keselowski was quickly seeing off Kevin Harvick for fifth place and then sliding under Ryan Newman for fourth. Then it was past Jimmie Johnson and Denny Hamlin to slide into second place, and his declaration of intent for the evening was well and truly made.

With Busch complaining of his car being loose, it was just a matter of time before Keselowski took the lead for the first time on lap 34. A few minutes later the first caution of the steamy evening came out when Scott Riggs' #23 car came to a halt out on track after having been off the pace for most of the race to that point.

He wasn't the only one having troubles, with the temperatures only now starting to fall away from the 100 degrees Fahrenheit mark. Joey Logano was having the one thing no driver wants in those circumstances, trouble with his cooling unit - "My A/C broke on lap 20, so I didn't have a fan or anything. Just really, really hot," he said - but it was Tony Stewart who was really having a bad start to the night as the #14 limped into pit lane for emergency repairs to the throttle ignition that put him multiple laps down and ultimately left him classified in a dismal 32nd place.

After the first round of pit stops under caution, Kyle Busch and Jimmie Johnson once again lined up at the front, and once again Busch took off in front while Keselowski snatched back second place and gave chase. Further back, Kasey Kahne suddenly dived back into pit lane for new tyres after reporting a vibration, which seemed to have put paid to any chances of success for the Hendrick driver this evening.




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Joey Logano, driver of the #20 Dollar General Toyota, races Clint Bowyer, driver of the #15 5-hour Energy Toyota, and Ryan Newman, driver of the #39 Tornados Chevrolet, during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Quaker State 400 at Kentucky Speedway on Saturday in Sparta, Ky. (Photo Credit: Geoff Burke/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Miller Lite Dodge, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Quaker State 400 at Kentucky Speedway on Saturday in Sparta, Ky. (Credit: Geoff Burke/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Miller Lite Dodge, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Quaker State 400 at Kentucky Speedway on Saturday in Sparta, Ky. (Photo Credit: Rainier Ehrhardt/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 National Guard Chevrolet SS finished 2nd, Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet SS finished 7th Saturday, April 12, 2014 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Darlington Raceway in Darlington South Carolina. Earnhardt Jr. is 4th, Gordon is 1st in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. Teammate Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS won. (Photo Credit: HHP/Alan Marler for Chevrolet)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS finished 1st, Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 Great Clips Chevrolet SS finished 37th Saturday, April 12, 2014 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Darlington Raceway in Darlington South Carolina. Harvick  is 22nd, Kahne is 23rd in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. Teammates Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 National Guard Chevrolet SS finished 2nd and Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Kobalt Tools Chevrolet SS finished 3rd.(Photo Credit: HHP/Christa L. Thomas for Chevrolet)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS celebrates his win Saturday, April 12, 2014 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Darlington Raceway in Darlington South Carolina. Harvick is 22nd in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. Teammates Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 National Guard Chevrolet SS finished 2nd and Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Kobalt Tools Chevrolet SS finished 3rd. (Photo Credit: HHP/Tami Kelly-Pope for Chevrolet)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS celebrates his win Saturday, April 12, 2014 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Darlington Raceway in Darlington South Carolina. Harvick is 22nd in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. Teammates Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 National Guard Chevrolet SS finished 2nd and Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Kobalt Tools Chevrolet SS finished 3rd. (Photo Credit: HHP/Christa L. Thomas for Chevrolet)
Aric Almirola, driver of the #43 Richard Petty Motorsports Ford, and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. in the #17 Roush Fenway Racing Ford tangle during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Bojangles` Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway on April 12, 2014 in Darlington, South Carolina. (Photo Credit: NASCAR Via Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, and Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, lead the field to start the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Bojangles` Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway on April 12, 2014 in Darlington, South Carolina. (Photo Credit: NASCAR Via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #54 Monster Energy Toyota, leads the field to start the NASCAR Nationwide Series VFW Sport Clips Help A Hero 200 at Darlington Raceway on April 11, 2014 in Darlington, South Carolina. (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
Stewart-Haas Racing team co-owner Gene Haas (Photo Credit: Streeter Lecka/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Stewart-Haas Racing team co-owner Gene Haas (Photo Credit: Streeter Lecka/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell-Pennzoil/Hertz Ford, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Duck Commander 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on April 7, 2014 in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell-Pennzoil/Hertz Ford, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Duck Commander 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on April 7, 2014 in Fort Worth, Texas.  (Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images for Texas Motor Speedway)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell-Pennzoil/Hertz Ford, races to the checkered flag to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Duck Commander 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on April 7, 2014 in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell-Pennzoil/Hertz Ford, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Duck Commander 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on April 7, 2014 in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
Damage to the winshield of Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Spring is Calling Chevrolet, is repaired on pit road during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Duck Commander 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on April 7, 2014 in Fort Worth, Texas.  (Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images for Texas Motor Speedway)
Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 National Guard Chevrolet, crashes early in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Duck Commander 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on April 7, 2014 in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo Credit: Nick Laham/Getty Images)

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