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Keselowski too strong for Johnson at Chicago

Keselowski's lead in the Sprint Cup standings is just 3pts over Johnson, with Tony Stewart a further 5pts back after finishing a solid sixth place in Chicago despite that early problem with having a pit a second time with a vibration.

"We probably passed more cars than anybody today, so not exactly what we were looking for," admitted Stewart of his afternoon. "We were just a little bit off and we'll keep working on it, but if we can be a little bit off and end up with a top ten then we're in good shape."

Denny Hamlin is in fourth place in the Cup standings, despite a problem refuelling problem which left him with too little gas in the tank to make it to the end, causing him to drop out of the top ten all the way to 16th place in the final minutes.

"We ran out of fuel, we didn't get it all the way full on the last stop," he explained. "We made an adjustment instead of putting fuel in the car and you have to have fuel to finish."

After his third place at Chicago, Kasey Kahne is up to fifth place in the standings, 15pts adrift of Keselowski but very much right back in the thick of it: "We had a great run, the team did a really nice job," he said. "The pit stops were perfect throughout the whole race. The car was good.

Even so, it wasn't quite good enough to match the likes of Keselowski and Johnson, and Kahne wasn't happy imply being the "best of the rest".

"We battled for about three laps there through the middle part of the race, and ended up third. I think I ran third most of the race, it was a solid run for us," he said. "I was slipping a little more than I would have liked to off the corners, and we weren't able to get a handle on that. Tried to lead a lap there with Jimmie and just wasn't able to get by him."

Chase contenders Dale Earnhardt Jr., Martin Truex Jr. and Clint Bowyer all finished in the outer regions of the top ten, which keeps their Chase hopes very much alive but wasn't the explosive start to the play-offs that they had been aiming for.

Earnhardt in particular was left ruing the mistake that had forced his overnight engine change and sent him to the back for the start of the race: "I was disappointed with myself in making the mistake with the engine and getting us that far back at the start of the race. We couldn't really overcome the track position

"We had a great car at the start and first half of the race - for the first 100-130 laps we had a really fast car," he said. "We made a couple of adjustments that didn't really help us out how we needed help and we sort of made the car ordinary and just kind of had to maintain track position ... We're still in the fight, so we'll go on to the next one still with a shot."




Related Pictures

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Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s/Kobalt Tools Chevrolet and Aric Almirola, driver of the #43 Farmland Ford, lead the field at the start of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series GEICO 400 at Chicagoland Speedway on September 16, 2012 in Joliet, Illinois. (Photo Credit: Geoff Burke/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Miller Lite Dodge, heads across the star/finish line to take the chequered flag and win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series GEICO 400 at Chicagoland Speedway on September 16, 2012 in Joliet, Illinois. (Photo Credit: Justin Edmonds/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Miller Lite Dodge, celebrates with his crew in victory lane after he won the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series GEICO 400 at Chicagoland Speedway on September 16, 2012 in Joliet, Illinois. (Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
Denny Hamlin, driver of the #20 Hisense Toyota, and Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Discount Tire Ford, lead the field to start during the NASCAR XFINITY Series ToyotaCare 250 at Richmond International Raceway on April 24, 2015 in Richmond, Virginia.  (Photo Credit: Daniel Shirey/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Denny Hamlin, driver of the #20 Hisense Toyota, leads a pack of cars during the NASCAR XFINITY Series ToyotaCare 250 at Richmond International Raceway on April 24, 2015 in Richmond, Virginia.  (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/Getty Images)
Denny Hamlin, driver of the #20 Hisense Toyota, takes the chequered flag to win the NASCAR XFINITY Series ToyotaCare 250 at Richmond International Raceway on April 24, 2015 in Richmond, Virginia.  (Photo Credit: Daniel Shirey/Getty Images)
Denny Hamlin, driver of the #20 Hisense Toyota, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR XFINITY Series ToyotaCare 250 at Richmond International Raceway on April 24, 2015 in Richmond, Virginia. (Photo Credit: Matt Sullivan/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Denny Hamlin, driver of the #20 Hisense Toyota, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR XFINITY Series ToyotaCare 250 at Richmond International Raceway on April 24, 2015 in Richmond, Virginia. (Photo Credit: Matt Sullivan/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Denny Hamlin, driver of the #20 Hisense Toyota, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR XFINITY Series ToyotaCare 250 at Richmond International Raceway on April 24, 2015 in Richmond, Virginia.  (Photo Credit: Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Martin Truex, Jr., driver of the #78 Furniture Row/Visser Precision Chevrolet SS, qualifies for sixth position Friday, April 24, 2015 for Saturday evening`s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Richmond International Raceway in Richmond, Virginia. Truex, Jr. is third in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (Photo by Andrew Coppley/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy John’s/Budweiser Chevrolet SS, qualifies for fifth position Friday, April 24, 2015 for Saturday evening`s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Richmond International Raceway in Richmond, Virginia. Harvick is the points leader in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Matt Kenseth, driver of the #20 Dollar General Toyota, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway on April 19, 2015 in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Matt Kenseth, driver of the #20 Dollar General Toyota, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway on April 19, 2015 in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo Credit: Drew Hallowell/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Matt Kenseth, driver of the #20 Dollar General Toyota, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway on April 19, 2015 in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo Credit: Drew Hallowell/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Tony Stewart, driver of the #14 Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevrolet SS, finishes in sixth place and Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 3M Chevrolet SS, finishes in third place Sunday, April 19, 2015 in the rain delayed NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tennessee.  (Photo by Alan Marler/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 3M Chevrolet SS, finishes in third place Sunday, April 19, 2015 in the rain delayed NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tennessee.  (Photo by Alan Marler/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe’s Chevrolet SS, finishes in second place Sunday, April 19, 2015 in the rain delayed NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tennessee.  (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Matt Kenseth, driver of the #20 Dollar General Toyota, takes the checkered flag to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway on April 19, 2015 in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo Credit: Sarah Glenn/NASCAR via Getty Images)

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