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NASCAR Cup: Brad Keselowski wins at Kansas

during the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Digital Ally 400 at Kansas Speedway on May 11, 2019 in Kansas City, Kansas.

By AMANDA VINCENT

Brad Keselowski took the checkered flag in overtime at Kansas Speedway near Kansas City on Saturday night to win the Digital Ally 400. It was his third Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series win of 2019 and the 30th of his career.

“I am just thankful to be at this level,” Keselowski said. “I never dreamed I would ever be in the Cup Series. I just dreamed of making a living in racing. I worked with guys like Mike Mittler, who taught me the grit and energy and effort you have to have to be successful in this sport. Mike was local to this area, and he passed away yesterday. It hurts to lose guys like that, because they mean so much to me and the sport. I think this was hopefully something he would be proud of.”

Alex Bowman posted his third-straight runner-up finish.

“It’s absolutely a good day for everyone at Hendrick Motorsports,” Bowman said. “We all had really competitive cars and we really appreciate everyone’s hard work to continue to build our cars and continue to get better like we have. It was a really good day. My family is from here, so it would have been pretty cool. Probably the two closest times I have been to winning was my hometown and my dad’s hometown, so it’s just frustrating. We will get one soon.”

Keselowski took his race-winning lead by passing Bowman on lap 261 and maintained his lead through the final restart after a Matt DiBenedetto blown engine resulted in the seventh caution of the race and extended the race from its scheduled 267-lap distance to 271 laps.

Erik Jones finished third, Chase Elliott was fourth, and Clint Bowyer rounded out the top-five. After the race, Bowyer expressed frustration from being blocked by Jones on the final lap.

“Yeah, that wasn’t very smart,” Bowyer said. “If it had been another scenario where I would have had some room I would have just turned him in front of the whole field, and he would be back there wishing he wouldn’t have done that. Oh well.”

According to Jones, his blocking was just racing and a product of the 2019 aero package.

“I’d be mad if I was him, but it’s just racing,” Jones said. “I’ve been blocked a lot, especially with this package, and I haven’t done a lot of blocking, so you have to get aggressive and fight for every position. That’s all I was doing at the end of the race. We were taking the white flag, and you’re going for it. It’s unfortunate. You don’t want people upset, but feelings are going to get hurt and you’ll move on and we’ll be fine next week.”

Kevin Harvick led a race-high 104 laps, and he and Elliott split the two 80-lap stages with Harvick winning the first after starting on the pole and Elliott the second after starting in the back as a result of his car failing inspection.

Elliott drove part of the way to the front by passing cars on the track. he also used pit strategy during the first two cautions of the race. He was inside the top-10 after a two-tire stop during a lap-30 competition caution. During a lap-59 caution for a Denny Hamlin spin, he stayed out to take the lead from Harvick.

Harvick wound up off the lead lap after an unscheduled pit stop for a perceived flat right-front tire on lap 179. But crew chief Rodney Childers reported later that there wasn’t a problem with the tire. Harvick got back on the lead lap, courtesy of a free-pass during a lap-239 debris caution, and wound up 13th at the checkered flag.

Jimmie Johnson finished sixth, Kurt Busch seventh, Kyle Larson eighth, Tyler Reddick ninth, and Chris Buescher was 10th.

Kyle Busch missed setting a new record for most consecutive top-10 finishes to start a season. He wound up 30th after an unscheduled stop for a tire rub on lap 248.

Below, is the complete finishing order of the Digital Ally 400:

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Posted by on May 12, 2019. Filed under Breaking News,Featured,Monster Energy NASCAR Cup,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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