Our Top 10 of 2013: No. 5 - Keselowski Scores a Second NNS, Third All-Time Kentucky Victory
Brad Keselowski generated the fifth-best moment of our 2013 season by charting his second NASCAR Nationwide Series 300-mile and third career victory on our 1.5-mile tri-oval June 28.
The 14th series event in our venue's history was shortened by a rain with 30 of 200 laps remaining, but unfriendly weather may simply have sped the inevitable as Keselowski was well on his way to reserving a spot in Victory Lane when the race fell under a red flag.
The Rochester Hills, Mich., driver and his No. 22 Penske Racing Ford marched through the 40-car field from the 19th starting position, moved to second on Lap 74, then caught and passed Kyle Busch and his 54 Joe Gibbs Racing car for the lead on Lap 99.
Keselowski only relinquished the lead once during a pit stop from that point forward.
He extended his race lead to almost a full second when the fifth and final caution flag of the night flew as rain fell on Lap 164. The field circled the track under yellow until the race went under the red flag six laps later.
With radar indicating stronger storms approaching and with the race already past halfway and official by rule, NASCAR ended the event.
Keselowski celebrated with the first smokeless burnout in track history.
"I didn't want it to end this way, but we had a great car and we were able to drive to the front. We didn't qualify like we wanted to (19th), but (Crew Chief) Jeremy Bullins and his team did a great job.
"We deserve these results. I feel lucky to drive this car. This is the type of car you get once a year, if you are lucky. Driving this car, I feel like Jimmie Johnson. This is a rocket," Keselowski said under the cover of a garage stall during a Victory Lane celebration.
He earned his fifth top-five and sixth top-10 Kentucky NNS finish and owns the all-time series track lead in both categories through six starts. His only finish outside a Kentucky NNS top five was a seventh-place showing in the 2012 June race.
Keselowski scored his remaining Kentucky Speedway victory in the June 30, 2012 Sprint Cup Series Quaker State 400 presented by Advance Auto Parts.
- Kentucky Speedway -