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Brad Keselowski Scores Overtime Victory at Kansas

Digital Ally 400 at Kansas Speedway
Sunday, May 12, 2019

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 Brad Keselowski celebrates at Kansas Speedway
Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images
At the end of a thrilling victory in Saturday night’s Digital Ally 400 at Kansas Speedway, race winner Brad Keselowski’s first thoughts sped to the truck owner who helped further his career. 

"I just want to dedicate this win to Mike Mittler," Keselowski said of the man for whom he drove for two NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series races in 2006. "You know, he helped a lot of guys in their career, and I was one of them. He passed away yesterday. It's just a huge loss to the NASCAR community. 

"He was one of those unsung heroes that works in the garage. He gave his whole life to this sport, and there's so many of those guys and so many of those fans. It hurts to see those guys go away." 

Keselowski’s other emotion was joy. In a two-lap overtime shootout, he beat Alex Bowman to the finish line by .205 seconds, as the race went four laps beyond its scheduled 267. The victory was Keselowski’s third of the season—matching Kyle Busch for most in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series—his second at Kansas and the 30th of his career. 

With fresher tires, thanks to a pit stop under caution on Lap 241, the driver of the No. 2 Team Penske Ford grabbed the lead from Bowman on Lap 261, building momentum down the backstretch and passing the No. 88 Chevrolet to the outside through Turns 3 and 4.  

"What a great day. On the (last) restart, I just got a great launch and Alex Bowman—he's going to win a race. He did a great job today. We had a little bit of fresher tires than he did (to facilitate the lead change before overtime), and we were able to make the move on the outside there and caught everything perfect. 

"I'm just so thankful." 

Saturday’s race was the first under the lights with the new higher-downforce, lower-horsepower competition package NASCAR introduced this year. 

"I'm a little biased because I'm parked in Victory Lane, but this was an awesome race today," Keselowski said. "This rules package is really made for tracks like Kansas Speedway, and I think the fans saw a great one today."  

Alex Bowman notched his third-straight runner-up finish
Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images
The runner-up finish was Bowman’s third straight, following second-place runs at Talladega and Dover. 

"Just made some bad calls there through lapped traffic and got tied off, had to lift, and then the 2 (Keselowski) was able to drive around us," Bowman said. "Wish we were standing here with three wins in a row, and things could have gone differently, and that could be the case, but we’ll keep digging next week and try to go get in the All-Star (Race), go win the All-Star and then go try to win the (Coca-Cola) 600." 

Erik Jones ran third, followed by Stage 2 winner Chase Elliott and Clint Bowyer. Jimmie Johnson, Kurt Busch, Kyle Larson, Tyler Reddick and Chris Buescher completed the top 10. 

Pole winner Kevin Harvick led a race-high 105 laps and won the first stage, but Harvick brought the No. 4 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford to pit road on Lap 180 with what he thought was a flat right front tire. The unscheduled stop cost Harvick a lap, which he didn’t recover until Lap 244 as the highest-scored lapped car under caution for debris in Turn 2. 

Harvick finished 13th behind Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Aric Almirola. 

Kyle Busch was battling with the front-runners after a Lap 245, but contact with Bowyer’s Ford cut a tire on Busch’s No. 18 Toyota, forcing him to pit road and ending his record-tying streak of top-10 finishes to start the season at 11. Busch came home 30th, three laps down.

RACE RESULTS

Finish Start # Driver Sponsor/Make Laps Led Points Status
1 4 2 Brad Keselowski Wurth Ford 271 12 44 Running
2 5 88 Alex Bowman Axalta Chevrolet 271 63 42 Running
3 6 20 Erik Jones DeWalt Toyota 271 0 44 Running
4 32 9 Chase Elliott NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet 271 45 52 Running
5 2 14 Clint Bowyer Rush Truck Centers/Haas Automation Ford 271 12 38 Running
6 12 48 Jimmie Johnson Ally Chevrolet 271 0 31 Running
7 9 1 Kurt Busch Global Poker Chevrolet 271 7 40 Running
8 35 42 Kyle Larson Credit One Bank Chevrolet 271 0 37 Running
9 21 31 * Tyler Reddick(i) TAME the BEAST Chevrolet 271 0 0 Running
10 18 37 Chris Buescher Kroger Your Personal Pit Stop Chevrolet 271 10 37 Running
11 14 17 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. SunnyD Ford 271 11 40 Running
12 33 10 Aric Almirola Smithfield Ford 271 0 25 Running
13 1 4 Kevin Harvick Busch Beer Ford 271 104 43 Running
14 34 41 Daniel Suarez Haas Automation Demo Day Ford 271 0 23 Running
15 30 22 Joey Logano Shell Pennzoil Ford 270 0 23 Running
16 11 11 Denny Hamlin FedEx Freight Toyota 270 0 21 Running
17 15 3 Austin Dillon American Ethanol Chevrolet 270 0 20 Running
18 17 8 Daniel Hemric # Bass Pro Shops/Tracker Boats Chevrolet 270 0 19 Running
19 31 19 Martin Truex Jr. Auto Owners Insurance Toyota 270 0 18 Running
20 3 24 William Byron UniFirst Chevrolet 270 4 17 Running
21 26 36 Matt Tifft # Out West Express Ford 270 1 16 Running
22 16 32 Corey LaJoie Schluter Systems Ford 270 0 15 Running
23 19 6 Ryan Newman Performance Plus Motor Oil Ford 269 0 14 Running
24 10 21 Paul Menard Menards/Dutch Boy Ford 269 0 13 Running
25 22 47 Ryan Preece # Kroger Chevrolet 269 0 12 Running
26 37 34 Michael McDowell Dockside Logistics Ford 269 0 11 Running
27 24 38 David Ragan Mystik Lubricants Ford 269 0 10 Running
28 36 13 Ty Dillon GEICO Chevrolet 269 0 9 Running
29 7 43 Bubba Wallace World Wide Technology Chevrolet 269 0 8 Running
30 8 18 Kyle Busch M&M's Red Nose Day Toyota 268 1 9 Running
31 27 15 Ross Chastain(i) Low T Center Chevrolet 268 1 0 Running
32 13 12 Ryan Blaney BodyArmor Ford 264 0 5 Running
33 23 52 Bayley Currey(i) Belmont Classic Cars Ford 263 0 0 Running
34 25 77 Quin Houff OilFire Rye Whiskey Chevrolet 263 0 3 Running
35 29 27 * Reed Sorenson Harrah's Chevrolet 262 0 2 Running
36 20 95 Matt DiBenedetto Digital Momentum/Hubspot Toyota 261 0 1 Engine
37 38 0 Landon Cassill(i) StarCom Fiber Chevrolet 261 0 0 Running
38 40 46 * Joey Gase(i) MBM Motorsports Toyota 258 0 0 Running
39 39 66 * Timmy Hill(i) MBM Motorsports Toyota 257 0 0 Running
40 28 51 Cody Ware(i) JACOB Companies Chevrolet 245 0 0 Running

 

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