Sunday, March 18, 2012

Keselowski Leads Final 111 Laps, Wins Bristol Food City 500

NASCAR Wire Services

Brad Keselowski wins at Bristol for second straight time
BRISTOL, Tenn. -- NASCAR racing has a new Ice Man.

As he completed the final lap of his victory in Sunday's Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway, Brad Keselowski needled Paul Wolfe, his crew chief.

"Paul, are you nervous?" Keselowski radioed to Wolfe, his voice exuding of confidence. As he crossed the finish line six car-lengths in front of runner-up Matt Kenseth, Keselowski allowed himself an excited whoop.

The driver of the No. 2 Penske Racing Dodge scored his second consecutive win at the .533-mile short track and the fifth of his Sprint Cup career.

Martin Truex Jr. came home third, followed by Clint Bowyer and Brian Vickers, as Michael Waltrip Racing drivers claimed positions three through five. Vickers scored the top-five in his first Cup action since his contract with Red Bull Racing ended last year.

Jeff Burton, Jamie McMurray, Juan Montoya, Jimmie Johnson and Paul Menard completed the top 10.

Keselowski and Kenseth had run away from the rest of the field and were battling for the lead when Tony Stewart's Chevrolet smacked the Turn 3 wall on Lap 478 to bring out the fifth caution of the race.

Unlike a restart earlier in the race, Keselowski chose the outside lane for a restart on Lap 484 and cleared Kenseth off the second corner. From there on, it was smooth sailing.

Food City 500 Results

Bristol Post Race Notes:
• Brad Keselowski claimed his fifth career Cup Series victory in his 93rd start.
• Brad Keselowski's win finished the third set of back-to-back Bristol victories in six of the past seven races -- Kyle Busch won both in 2009, then 8/2010 and 3/11, and Keselowski won 8/11 and 3/12).
• This was the second top-five of the season for Brad Keselowski. He was fifth at Phoenix.
• Brad Keselowski led four times for 231 laps, including the final 111.
• It was the 72nd Cup victory for Penske Racing, which became the fourth team to win in four races in 2012.
• Matt Kenseth (second) posted his sixth consecutive top-10 finish at Bristol and is one of two drivers to lead in all four races in 2012.
• Martin Truex Jr. (third) scored his second top-10 finish of 2012. In 13 Bristol starts, Truex has just two top-10s; both have come in the past two races.
• Clint Bowyer (fourth) posted his best finish of 2012 and his second top-10 of the year (sixth at Las Vegas).
• Brian Vickers (fifth) earned his first career Bristol top-10 (15 starts) in his first race of 2012.
• Michael Waltrip Racing had three cars in the top five: Martin Truex Jr., Clint Bowyer and Brian Vickers.
• Teammates Jamie McMurray (seventh) and Juan Montoya (eighth) scored their best finishes of the season.
• Jimmie Johnson (ninth) had his third consecutive top-10 finish since ending up 42nd at Daytona.
• Paul Menard (10th) posted his third top-10 in four races in 2012.
• Kevin Harvick (11th) was involved in the first caution but pitted eight times to repair the damage and rallied back to nearly enter the top 10.

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