Posted: Thursday, August 21st 2014 at 1:32pm
Keselowski earns first NASCAR Truck win at Bristol
By Chris Knight - NASCAR Wire Service
Brad Keselowski celebrates in victory lane after winning his first NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race in the rain delayed event Thursday morning at Bristol Motor Speedway. / Photo: Patrick Smith/NASCAR via Getty Images
BRISTOL, TN ó After 62 races ó the last 20 of which were in his own equipment ó Brad Keselowski is finally a NASCAR Camping World Truck Series winner.
"We did it," said Keselowski as he took the checkered flag in Thursday morning's postponed UNOH 200 presented by ZLOOP at Bristol Motor Speedway.
Keselowskiís joy may have been short lived. Following the race, NASCAR announced that his No. 19 truck, as well as the trucks driven by Cole Custer and Ron Hornaday, Jr. measured too high at the rear spoiler during post-race inspection. More on these findings will be determined early next week.
Keselowski took the lead from Keystone Pole Award winner Kyle Busch on lap 124 and never relinquished, despite repeated attempts by Darrell Wallace, Jr.
"It was a good battle and Bristol has always been a special track," Keselowski said. "(Crew chief) Doug Randolph and the team gave me a great truck. This thing took off and it was flying and I knew we had a shot at it right away from lap 1. It's (a) matter of putting it all together and not having any bad luck and we didnít and everything came together and the team did a great job."
Busch, who scored his fourth pole of the season Wednesday afternoon, appeared to be the class of the field and had his sixth win of the season in his sights. But he found himself out of the racing groove 76 laps from the finish, stalling his momentum and allowing the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion to slip by and control the remainder of the race.
After persistent rain forced the 17th annual Bristol race to be rescheduled for the next morning, Busch led the green shortly after 10 a.m. Keselowski took advantage of lap traffic to squeeze by Busch on lap 12 and led through the competition caution on lap 50.
Stout work by Buschís team on pit road gave him the lead back for the restart on lap 53. Keselowski though wouldnít let Busch escape as he retook command briefly on lap 59 before Busch rolled to the point on lap 61 and led until his miscue 63 laps later.
The final caution flag of the morning waived on lap 147 for a four-truck accident on the backstretch, which allowed an attempt by the lead lap trucks to gang up and steal Keselowskiís thunder, but he would have none of it.
On the restart, Busch stalked Keselowski, but in their rearview mirrors, a hard-charging Wallace, Jr. appeared and took second from his boss and set his sights on the leader.
The No. 54 ToyotaCare Tundra closed up to within a truck length of Keselowski's No. 19 Ford F-150 coming to the white flag, but Keselowski was able to fend off the challenge to earn his first triumph in 62 NCWTS races.
With his win, Keselowski and father, Bob Keselowski, became the first father and son duo to win NCWTS races. The senior Keselowski won at Richmond International Raceway in Virginia in 1997.
Furthermore, the 2010 NASCAR Nationwide Series champion became the 25th driver to win a race in all three of NASCARís national series. His first Sprint Cup win came at Talladega Superspeedway on April 26, 2009. His first Nationwide Series victory occurred at Nashville Superspeedway on June 7, 2008.
Wallace, Jr., achieved his third runner-up finish of the season, but noted he respected Keselowski too much to wreck him for potentially his third win of the season.
"We had a very fast ToyotaCare Tundra and itís shown, Iím proud of my guys," said Wallace, Jr. "Bradís good and I really had to wreck him to get by him, so I respect him and weíll build off this and go to Canada, thatís a whole different animal in itself."
Behind Keselowski and Wallace, Jr., Ron Hornaday, Jr. was third followed by Matt Crafton and Johnny Sauter. John Hunter Nemechek, Joey Coulter, Cole Custer, Ben Rhodes and Corey Lajoie comprised the top 10. Busch fell victim to a flat tire and finished 24th.
Sauter continues to lead the series standings by eight points (487 - 479) over ThorSport Racing teammate Crafton.
The Truck Series returns to the track on August 31 for a trip across the border to Canadian Tire Motorsport Park for the running of the Chevrolet Silverado 250 in Bowmanville, Ontario.
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series
Bristol Motor Speedway - Bristol, TN
UNOH 200 - Aug. 21, 2014
1. Brad Keselowski
2. Darrell Wallace, Jr.
3. Ron Hornaday, Jr.
4. Matt Crafton
5. Johnny Sauter
6. John Hunter Nemechek
7. Joey Coulter
8. Cole Custer
9. Ben Rhodes
10. Corey LaJoie
11. Jeb Burton
12. Max Gresham
13. Ryan Blaney
14. German Quiroga
15. Caleb Holman
16. Justin Jennings
17. Brennan Newberry
18. Tyler Young
19. Jimmy Weller III
20. Brandon Jones
21. Ben Kennedy
22. Mason Mingus
23. Gray Gaulding
24. Kyle Busch
25. Norm Benning
26. Timothy Peters
27. Jennifer Jo Cobb
28. T.J. Bell
29. John Wes Townley
30. Justin Boston
31. Jody Knowles
32. Bryan Silas
33. Jake Crum
34. B.J. McLeod
35. Blake Koch
36. Bryan Dauzat
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