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Brad Keselowski Claims His Twentieth Career Victory And Third This Season

Brad Keselowski led a race-high 115 laps on Saturday night at Daytona International Speedway, including the final seventeen, to claim his twentieth career victory and third this season. The final caution period forced the race one lap past its scheduled distance. On the restart, Keselowski darted away from the field and beat runner-up Kyle Busch to the checkered flag by fifteen one-hundredths of a second. Trevor Bayne finished third with Joey Logano fourth and Ricky Stenhouse Junior fifth. Fords claimed four of the five top finishing positions with Busch’s Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota the only “outsider” among them. Pole sitter Greg Biffle led just one lap and finished eighth in the forty-car field.

Keselowski started fifth in his Number-2 Team Penske Ford, took his first lead nine laps into the race and ran steadily in the top five throughout the night. His three wins tie Busch for the series lead as drivers start thinking about seeding for the post-season Chase that begins in two-and-a-half months … Saturday’s race included five cautions, most notably for a massive crash that gobbled up half the field early in the second half of the race.

The twenty-two-car melee was triggered when Jamie McMurray brushed teammate Kyle Larson and then went up the track across the nose of Jimmie Johnson’s Chevrolet. Dale Earnhardt Junior and Kevin Harvick were among those victimized. Earnhardt was able to complete the race and finished twenty-first. Harvick could not and he placed thirty-ninth, watching his regular-season points lead shrink to fourteen over Keselowski – who advanced from fourth to second in the standings with nine races remaining before the Chase opens.

Darlington Raceway Names New President

Kerry Tharp has been named president of Darlington Raceway, replacing Chip Wile – who had accepted the track president’s position at Daytona International Speedway in April. Both facilities are owned by International Speedway Corporation, parent company of MRN. Tharp most recently served as senior director of racing communications for NASCAR.

He is a native of Louisville, Kentucky, and joined NASCAR in 2005 after twenty years as the associate athletic director for media relations at the University of South Carolina in Columbia.

First Stop Of The Season, Daytona International Speedway

First stop of the Season, Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida … a two-point-five-mile oval with thirty-one degrees of banking in the turns, three degrees on the straights and eighteen degrees through the front stretch tri-oval. The length of the front stretch is thirty-eight hundred feet, the backstretch three thousand feet. The race starts at 6:00 pm on Saturday.

The Front-Row Qualifying for the 58th Daytona 500 will be the following day, Sunday, at 12 pm.

Last year, it was an all-Chevrolet front row made up of Hendrick Motorsports teammates Jeff Gordon, who won the pole, and Jimmie Johnson in the unique qualifying format which guarantees only the top two drivers their starting positions in the Daytona 500. On race day last season, Johnson finished fifth while Gordon labored to a thirty-third-place finish. The last pole sitter to win the “five hundred” was Dale Jarrett in 2000. The last driver to win back-to-back Daytona 500 poles was Ken Schrader, who put three in a row together from 1988 to 1990. The remainder of the forty-car starting field will be set in Thursday’s Can-Am Duel twin-qualifying races.


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