By AMANDA VINCENT
After rain sprinkles, high wind, a dust storm plagued Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Sunday, Brad Keselowski also fought back from a pit road speeding penalty to claim his second-career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series win at the track when he took the checkered flag in the Kobalt 400.
“This is really, really great,” Keselowski said. “It seemed like there were plenty of challenges, whether it was pit road or the weather or cautions. They threw everything they had at us today, but this Miller Lite Ford team was too strong and we were able to fight them off and get to victory lane.”
Kyle Busch got to the lead when he went from sixth to first on a restart that followed a yellow flag with 53 laps remaining. Keselowski and his Team Penske teammate, Joey Logano, battled behind him for second. Keselowski finally made the pass with eight laps remaining. With six to go, he took the lead from Busch.
“He (Busch) had a really good short run car, but it fell off on the long run,” Keselowski said. “This is part of this new package; some are good on short run and some are good on long run, and we had a really good long run car today.”
Logano and Jimmie Johnson got by Busch on the final lap to claim second and third in the finishing order, shuffling Busch back to a fourth-place finish.
“Congratulations to Brad and also for Team Penske getting a one-two finish,” Logano said. “That is what we set out to do every week. I am proud of what we did. Gosh, we finished second so many times, Daytona and qualifying. You are so close and want it so bad, but I am so proud of the Pennzoil boys here with everything they did all week. We will go get them next week.”
Keselowski was among several drivers assessed pit road speeding penalties. Austin Dillon overcame a bad pit stop and a pit road speeding penalty early in the race to finish fifth.
The first speeding penalty went to Kurt Busch. After starting on the pole, Busch led the first 32 laps before getting caught speeding entering pit road during a competition caution. Like Keselowski and Dillon, though, Busch recovered to finish in the top-10, taking the ninth spot in the finishing order.
After Busch went to the back after serving his penalty, Logano and Keselowski each led laps before Johnson took two tires and got off pit road first to take his first lead of the race during a lap 99 debris caution.
Logano took the lead from Johnson on lap 177 and ran up front until a decision to take four tires while others took two during a yellow flag with 79 laps to go. Matt Kenseth led the way among drivers who took two and led 10 laps before Johnson retook the lead with 57 laps remaining.
Kenseth’s race came to an end early when he got caught up in a wreck with Chase Elliott. After the incident, Elliott said he saw “Matt spin out, and I just did a bad job missing him. Just locked up the brakes and ran right into the back of him.”
Logano found himself back up front when he, Keselowski and Dillon stayed out during a caution that came with 53 laps to go. Meanwhile, Kyle Busch restarted sixth, but Busch managed to race from sixth to the lead in the first lap after the race returned to green. Busch continued on up front until Keselowski passed him inside the final 10 laps.
Finishing sixth through 10th were Ryan Blaney, Kevin Harvick, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kurt Busch and Kasey Kahne.
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