Keselowski Banks a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Las Vegas Victory
LAS VEGAS - Team Penske NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) driver and our 2012 Quaker State 400 presented by Advance Auto Parts champion Brad Keselowski banked his first series victory of the season and first at Las Vegas Motor Speedway (LVMS) through six starts by leading 52 of 267 laps before guiding his No. 2 Ford beneath a sun-splashed checkered flag ahead of Dale Earnhardt Jr., whose No. 88 Hendrick Motorsports car ran dry on fuel exiting Turn 2 on the final lap.
Keselowski collected his second straight NSCS top-five LVMS finish. His previous best finish on the facility's 1.5-mile oval was third last season. His average series finish in his first four series starts at the venue was 30.8.
He now owns 11 victories through 164 NSCS starts.
"Heckuva call throughout the race by (Crew Chief Paul Wolfe) to get us out front. Carl Edwards helped me out, he gave me a little break so I could go run down the 88 (Earnhardt Jr.). That's what we needed for a Ford to win. We needed to put pressure on Dale Jr., and not get in the fuel-save mode," Keselowski said.
The 2012 NSCS title winner emphatically noted he's the third to qualify for this season's Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.
"We qualified for the Chase early. I don't have to hear that (talk) all year about not being in the Chase," he added.
Despite his fuel-mileage gamble falling short at a facility near a city known for often rewarding high-risk ventures, Earnhardt Jr., was pleased to haul away his third top-two finish of the season.
"We took a gamble. We didn't win, but it still worked out in our favor.
"We knew we weren't going to run first or second had we not stayed out on that (Lap 222 debris caution) strategy. We knew we were a lap short. We tried to take as much as we could. We got it to a half a lap and it ran out off two," he said.
Richard Childress Racing driver Paul Menard picked up his first top-five finish of the season with a third-place LVMS effort. Keselowski's teammate Joey Logano, a three-time NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) 300-mile race winner at our track, took fourth at LVMS and charted his second top-five finish of the campaign.
Roush Fenway Racing's Carl Edwards, a former NNS and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series winner at our facility, completed the race top five and posted his first top-five along with his third top-10 finish of his 10th full-time series season.
NSCS drivers get their first of two cracks at Bristol Motor Speedway this season March 16. Fox Network television and Performance Racing Network (PRN) radio coverage begins at 12:30 p.m.
The series returns to our speedway June 28 for the fourth Quaker State 400 presented by Advance Auto Parts. Single-race tickets, weekend ticket packages, weekend camping and infield Fan Zone passes can be purchased through the respective pages of this website, by calling (859) 578-2300 or by visiting our ticket office at 1 Speedway Drive in Sparta, Ky., just off Interstate 71 Exit 57 and Ky. Hwy. 35 N.
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