Brad Keselowski Wins His First At Martinsville Speedway in Sunday's STP 500. This is Keselowski’s fifth in a row top five finish this season
Keselowski said, “This is awesome, We’ve ran so good here with the Miller Lite Ford, but something always happens and we haven’t been able to bring it home. Martinsville is just one of those champion’s tracks. The guys that run well everywhere run well here, and it’s really just an honor to win here and get to compete here. This track is 70 years old and a lot of legends have won here. It feels great to be able to join them and bring home a clock.
“I have one as a truck owner, but not as a driver, so I’m glad to bring one back as a driver. But probably more than anything else I’m really proud, you hear it all the time about the boys back at the shop, but Team Penske has put so much effort in these Martinsville cars the last three or four years because we knew it was one of our weakest tracks, and finally we got the result they deserve. Thank you guys, so much.”
Keselowski slipped by Kyle Busch for the lead. Kyle and Joe Gibbs Racing was forced to settle for second place.
Busch said, “I just needed a normal set of tires at the end, we couldn’t maintain the drive off we needed on the long runs. I was just grasping for straws. Keselowski had a much better car than I did.”
Chase Elliott, Joey Logano and Austin Dillon rounded out the top five.
AJ Allmendinger, Clint Bowyer, Ryan Newman, Matt Kenseth and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. completed the first 10 finishers.
Keselowski led four times in 116 laps, including the final 43 laps. Cautioned 14 times, that is more than both Martinsville races combined last year.
Keselowski overcame a pit road speeding penalty earlier in the race. Once he got back to the front of the field, he and Busch put on a classic battle for the lead until lap 429 when he finally got by for the top spot. He was able to maintain the lead position for the rest of the day. This is Keselowski’s 23rd career win.