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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.




Related Pictures

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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)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Miller Lite Ford, leads the field after a restart during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series MyAFibStory.com 400 at Chicagoland Speedway on September 14, 2014 in Joliet, Illinois. (Photo Credit: Nick Laham/Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Miller Lite Ford, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series MyAFibStory.com 400 at Chicagoland Speedway on September 14, 2014 in Joliet, Illinois. (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Miller Lite Ford, places his name in the top twelve on The Chase Grid after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series MyAFibStory.com 400 at Chicagoland Speedway on September 14, 2014 in Joliet, Illinois. (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Miller Lite Ford, takes the chequered flag to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series MyAFibStory.com 400 at Chicagoland Speedway on September 14, 2014 in Joliet, Illinois.  (Photo Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Miller Lite Ford, puts the winner`s sticker on his car in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series MyAFibStory.com 400 at Chicagoland Speedway on September 14, 2014 in Joliet, Illinois. (Photo Credit: Matt Sullivan/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Toyota, leads Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet, and Kyle Larson, driver of the #42 Target Chevrolet, during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series MyAFibStory.com 400 at Chicagoland Speedway on September 14, 2014 in Joliet, Illinois.  (Photo Credit: Nick Laham/Getty Images)
Aric Almirola, driver of the #43 Eckrich Ford, races Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy John`s Chevrolet, during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series MyAFibStory.com 400 at Chicagoland Speedway on September 14, 2014 in Joliet, Illinois. (Photo Credit: Sarah Glenn/Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Miller Lite Ford, celebrates in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series MyAFibStory.com 400 at Chicagoland Speedway on September 14, 2014 in Joliet, Illinois. (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Toyota, leads the field past the green flag to start the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series MyAFibStory.com 400 at Chicagoland Speedway on September 14, 2014 in Joliet, Illinois. (Photo Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #5 Jimmy John`s Chevrolet, celebrates with his son, Keelan, in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Nationwide Series Jimmy John`s Freaky Fast 300 at Chicagoland Speedway on September 13, 2014 in Joliet, Illinois. (Photo Credit: Nick Laham/Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #51 Dollar General Toyota, crosses the finishline to win the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Lucas Oil 225 at Chicagoland Speedway on September 13, 2014 in Joliet, Illinois. (Photo Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #51 Dollar General Toyota, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Lucas Oil 225 at Chicagoland Speedway on September 13, 2014 in Joliet, Illinois. (Photo Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #51 Dollar General Toyota, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning during the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Lucas Oil 225 at Chicagoland Speedway on September 13, 2014 in Joliet, Illinois. (Photo Credit: Daniel Shirey/Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #51 Dollar General Toyota, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning during the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Lucas Oil 225 at Chicagoland Speedway on September 13, 2014 in Joliet, Illinois. (Photo Credit: Daniel Shirey/Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #5 Jimmy John`s Chevrolet, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Nationwide Series Jimmy John`s Freaky Fast 300 at Chicagoland Speedway on September 13, 2014 in Joliet, Illinois. (Photo Credit: Matt Sullivan/NASCAR via Getty Images)

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