If he could do it when he was sick, he could do it when he was feeling good. He is Brad Keselowski who drove his No. 2 Penske Racing Ford into Victory Lane today. Keselowski literally dominated the race leading 446 of 500 laps and sweeping all three stages.
“The car was really good, this Ford Mustang.” Keselowski commented, “Just a great day for our team, awesome execution on pit road. Credit to Doug Yates and all the engine stuff, those guys worked really hard.” He added, “Just one of those days you dream of as a race car driver.”
Chase Elliott brought his No. 9 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet home in second place. This was the third top-five finish for Chevrolet and the first for Hendrick Motorsports.
“Our NAPA Camaro was good, we were about as even with him (Keselowski) as we could be,” stated Elliott. “When we did get to lead there was a little advantage to being out front, being able to work traffic your way and kind of play off this and what not.” He added, “I tried to move up there at the end and I don’t know if I could have got to him, maybe if I moved up a little sooner. Maybe next time.”
Stage 1 started with Joey Logano on the pole and Aric Almirola on the outside. Brad Keselowski took the lead at lap five and didn’t look back. The first caution came out for Michael McDowell who had a tire go sending him into the wall. Keselowski beat everyone out of the pits to 30 laps. Keselowski was the stage winner.
Stage 2 started once again with Keselowski on the point. The second caution of the day was for Ross Chastain who lost a rear end axle leaving rear end grease on the track. Keselowski led every lap in the stage winning it easily.
The final stage of the race had Keselowski starting back on point. He wouldn’t stay there as Elliott took the lead. The caution flew once again for an incident between Ty Dillon and William Byron. Clint Bowyer who had a frustrating day in the pits earned his first of two speeding penalties of the day. Keselowski, with another great pit stop, took the top spot for the restart.
Eric Jones had problems with two tires slowing on the track but he was able to work his way to pit road so no caution. Elliott was able to pass Keselowski for the lead. He was the only driver to get past Keselowski with a chance to win the race.
Matt Tifft stopped on the high line of the track bringing out another caution. Keselowski’s team once again got him out ahead of the rest. The final caution came out for the stopped car of Chastain who had brake issues. Although Elliott and Kyle Busch drove as hard as they could, they were no match for Keselowski who took the checkered flag first.
Kyle Busch brought his No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota home in third.
“Overall we fought hard for today’s finish, not a finish we wanted to get, thought we had a chance to win actually but it could have been a whole lot worse,” Kyle Busch commented.
Ryan Blaney had a great race and kept his car toward the front all race long, and came in fourth, Denny Hamlin would round out the top five. Kevin Harvick, Bowyer, Martin Truex Jr., Almirola and Daniel Suarez finished sixth through 10, respectively.
Kyle Busch leads the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Standings with 273 points, Hamlin is second with 252 points, Harvick is third with 248 points, Logano is in fourth with 245 points, and rounding out the top five is Keselowski with 236 points.
The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series heads next to Texas Motor Speedway on Sunday, March 31.
Monster Energy Cup Series Race Number 6
Race Results for the 70th Annual STP 500 – Sunday, March 24, 2019
Martinsville Speedway – Martinsville, VA – 0.526 – Mile Paved
Total Race Length – 500 Laps – 263. Miles
|1||3||2||Brad Keselowski||Reese/Draw Tite Ford||500||1||1||60||Running|
|2||7||9||Chase Elliott||NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet||500||2||4||51||Running|
|3||13||18||Kyle Busch||M&M’s Chocolate Bar Toyota||500||9||0||36||Running|
|4||17||12||Ryan Blaney||Menards/Libman Ford||500||5||2||48||Running|
|5||5||11||Denny Hamlin||FedEx Ground Toyota||500||4||3||47||Running|
|6||4||4||Kevin Harvick||Mobil 1 Ford||500||0||7||35||Running|
|7||10||14||Clint Bowyer||Mobil 1/Rush Truck Centers Ford||500||6||8||38||Running|
|8||8||19||Martin Truex Jr.||SiriusXM Toyota||500||8||5||38||Running|
|9||2||10||Aric Almirola||SHAZAM!/Smithfield Ford||500||3||6||41||Running|
|10||9||41||Daniel Suarez||Haas Automation Ford||500||0||9||29||Running|
|11||29||3||Austin Dillon||Symbicort Chevrolet||500||10||0||27||Running|
|12||19||1||Kurt Busch||GEARWRENCH/Monster Energy Chevrolet||500||0||0||25||Running|
|13||22||13||Ty Dillon||GEICO Chevrolet||500||0||0||24||Running|
|14||16||88||Alex Bowman||Nationwide Chevrolet||500||0||0||23||Running|
|15||14||21||Paul Menard||Motorcraft/Quick Lane Tire & Auto Center Ford||500||0||0||22||Running|
|16||15||47||Ryan Preece #||Kroger Chevrolet||500||0||0||21||Running|
|17||26||43||Bubba Wallace||Transporation Impact Chevrolet||500||0||0||20||Running|
|18||6||42||Kyle Larson||Credit One Bank Chevrolet||500||0||0||19||Running|
|19||1||22||Joey Logano||Shell Pennzoil Ford||500||7||10||23||Running|
|20||21||95||Matt DiBenedetto||Toyota Express Maintenance Toyota||500||0||0||17||Running|
|21||12||37||Chris Buescher||Kroger Speed Up Your Cleanup Chevrolet||499||0||0||16||Running|
|22||34||24||William Byron||Axalta Chevrolet||499||0||0||15||Running|
|23||20||6||Ryan Newman||Acorns Ford||499||0||0||14||Running|
|24||11||48||Jimmie Johnson||Ally Chevrolet||498||0||0||13||Running|
|25||24||17||Ricky Stenhouse Jr.||Fastenal Ford||498||0||0||12||Running|
|26||25||38||David Ragan||MDS Transport Ford||496||0||0||11||Running|
|27||28||8||Daniel Hemric #||Bass Pro Shops/TRACKER Chevrolet||496||0||0||10||Running|
|28||27||0||Landon Cassill||CGS Imaging Chevrolet||494||0||0||9||Running|
|29||31||36||Matt Tifft #||Surface Sunscreen/Tunity Ford||494||0||0||8||Running|
|30||18||20||Erik Jones||DeWalt Toyota||491||0||0||7||Running|
|31||23||34||Michael McDowell||A&W All American Foods Ford||491||0||0||6||Running|
|32||35||77||DJ Kennington(i)||Go-Parts Chevrolet||489||0||0||0||Running|
|33||32||32||Corey LaJoie||CorvetteParts.net Ford||489||0||0||4||Running|
|34||30||15||Ross Chastain(i)||Rim Riderz Chevrolet||365||0||0||0||Engine|
|35||36||52||Jeb Burton(i)||Muzzy Bowfishing Chevrolet||163||0||0||0||Brakes|
|36||33||51||Cody Ware #||Jacob Companies Chevrolet||55||0||0||1||Brakes|