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NASCAR Cup: Brad Keselowski dominates Richmond

RICHMOND, VIRGINIA – SEPTEMBER 12: Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Western Star/Alliance Parts Ford, and crew celebrate after winning the NASCAR Cup Series Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond Raceway on September 12, 2020 in Richmond, Virginia. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

By AMANDA VINCENT

Brad Keselowski joined Kevin Harvick as drivers with their advancement to round two of the 2020 NASCAR playoffs clinched by first-round wins. Keselowski led nearly half of the Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond (Va.) Raceway on Saturday night en route to his fourth wins of the season.

“It was a great race for us and the 2 team,” Keselowski said. ”This is, I think, my car from Loudon, and I wanted to do a really cool burnout with it, but I want this car for Phoenix. It’s two-for-two, and I’m real pumped. I don’t want to look too far ahead. We’ve got to get there. The next round is gonna be really difficult, but, still, I’m really pumped about this performance and the way we run at short tracks. I felt like coming in here with the Western Star/Alliance Ford Mustang that we would run well, but this thing was awesome.”

Martin Truex Jr. finished second, and Keselowski’s Team Penske teammate Joey Logano finished third. Austin Dillon and Chase Elliott rounded out the top-five.

Denny Hamlin also clinched a second round berth, but on points, Saturday night with a 12th-place race finish. Hamlin won the opening 80-lap stage of the race after taking the lead on lap from Austin Dillon on lap 39.

Harvick started on the pole and led the first 20 laps before Dillon took the lead on lap 21.

Keselowski won the second stage that ended at lap 235.

“Our Mustang was really hauling,” Keselowski said. ”It’s nice that we broke the curse of the black and yellow car. Twice in a row, it’s been in victory lane this year, and we haven’t been able to win with it the last six years, so it’s good to do that for these guys. This car was really strong, and I really got a great rhythm out on the race track. You’ve got to get a really precise rhythm for how you get around here, and I was able to find that very early on, put a lot of thought into what I was gonna do, and it paid off.”

Hamlin and Dillon were nabbed speeding on pit road after the first stage, turning the lead over to Logano. Keselowski took second on the restart for the second stage and, then, took the lead from his teammate on lap 121.

Harvick was among the drivers who pitted early in the second stage, doing so on lap 138. As a result, he had a 12-second lead after the other frontrunners pitted eon lap 163. But Dillon, who pitted 11 laps after Harvick, caught the lead and took the position on lap 182.

Harvick, utilizing a strategy of pitting twice during the second stage, hit pit road again on lap 185, and Dillon lost the lead to Keselowski on 218.

Harvick was penalized for a commitment-line of violation on his second stage-two stop, and the combination of the extra pit stop and the penalty put him two laps down. By the end of the stage, though, Harvick had raced his way back onto the lead lap.

After a lengthy green-flag cycle began on lap 292, the Penske duo of Logano and Keselowski cycled back to the top-two positions on lap 308. Keselowski took the lead from his teammate on lap 317.

A final cycle of green-flag stops began with about 60 laps remaining. Keselowski, then, took his race-winning lead on lap 353.

Finishing sixth through 10th were Kyle Busch, Harvick, Aric Almirola, Alex Bowman and Clint Bowyer.

Below, is the complete finishing order of the Federated Auto Parts 400:

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Posted by on September 13, 2020. Filed under Breaking News,Cup Series,Featured,NASCAR. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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