Brad Keselowski shut out the field to take his second Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series win in the STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway.

The driver of the No. 2 Reese Ford Mustang for Team Penske led 446 out of 500 laps which more than doubled his tally in laps led at the .526-mile paper clip-shaped oval.

Keselowski’s dominance started when he took the lead from his pole-sitting teammate Joey Logano on Lap 6. No one knocked him off his perch at the front of the field for the next 324 laps as he claimed wins in Stages 1 and 2 with ease.

A yellow flag for William Byron’s spin in Turn 4 on Lap 313 opened up a shot to unseat Keselowski, and it was Bryon’s Hendrick Motorsports teammate Chase Elliott who rose to the occasion.

Elliott took the lead coming off Turn 2 on Lap 325 and motored away to a safe 1.3 second lead over the next 25 laps. That came to an end on Lap 372 when Matt Tifft’s contact with the Turn 2 wall slowed the action.

The pitstop exchange saw Keselowski emerge as the leader when the field lined up for the restart on Lap 380. He picked up where he left off on the restart with Elliott trailing in second followed by Kyle Busch, Ryan Blaney and Kevin Harvick.

His progress was only slightly hindered when the race’s seventh yellow flag flew on Lap 447 when Ross Chastain stopped on track with a mechanical issue.

All drivers on the lead lap pitted and Keselowski once again was the first driver off pit road. He jetted away on the restart with Kyle Busch in second place and Elliott back in third.

Elliott managed to reclaim second from Busch but had nothing for Keselowski as he took the chequered flag .594 seconds in front.

While he had the dominant car on the day, Keselowski noted that he still had to think his way back to the front when Elliott was leading.

"It was just one of those days you dream of as a race car driver," said Keselowski. "We had a great car. I don't know if we were as good as Chase Elliott. He was really strong and passed me with about 200 (laps) to go and I watched and studied him and broke it down into what I had to do to hold him off.

The win is the 29th of the 2012 series champion’s career and the second of the season, the first coming in February at Atlanta.

Elliott held on for second place while Kyle Busch claimed third ahead of Blaney in fourth and Denny Hamlin rounded out the top five.

Kevin Harvick took sixth and his defending race-winning teammate Clint Bowyer finished in seventh. Martin Truex, Jr. slotted in eighth ahead of the rest of the Stewart Haas Racing squad led by Aric Almirola and Daniel Suarez.

United States MotoGP - COTA advert

CrashTV: 
Video Thumbnail: 
 

Comments

Loading Comments...