ThatsRacin

NASCAR: Brad Keselowski wins Auto Club 400 at Fontana

Brad Keselowski celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway on Sunday, March 22, 2015 in Fontana, Calif.
Brad Keselowski celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway on Sunday, March 22, 2015 in Fontana, Calif. Getty Images

Brad Keselowski led one lap Sunday. That’s all he needed.

Keselowski passed Kurt Busch during the second attempt at a green-white-checkered finish, unexpectedly taking the Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway. Busch tapped the wall after Keselowski’s pass, allowing Kevin Harvick to finish second. Busch was third, followed by Paul Menard and Ryan Newman.

This was Keselowski’s first victory at this track. In fact, Auto Club has been just about Keselowski’s worst track on the Sprint Cup circuit. He had taken four tires on his last pit stop while most others took two.

“Honestly when I crossed the finish line I just thought, ‘I won at one of Roger’s tracks!’ Thsat’s cool,” Keselowski said, referring to his team owner, Roger Penske. Penske built the facilty in Fontana now knonwn as Auto Club.

Turning point

Race leader Matt Kenseth sufferes a broken left-rear axle exiting his pit box with 16 laps left. During the same pit stop, Denny Hamlin was penalized for an uncontrolled tire, dropping him from third to 30th..

Three who mattered

Brad Keselowski: He took a gamble taking four tires that paid off big-time, qualifynig him for the Chase.

Kevin Harvick: He couldn’t keep his sweep alive, but second place isn’t too bad.

Joey Logano: He was in fifth place during a pit-stop with about 46 laps left when his crew was penalized for an uncontrolled tire. That forced him to the rear of the field.

Observations

<bullet> Brian Vickers demonstrated great composure in answering questions Sunday morning concerning his latest blood-clot episode. He acknowledged this threatens his racing career.

<bullet> Jeff Gordon and David Ragan got into it early in this race. Ragan got loose and sideways, but managed to get to the bottom of the track with minimal damage. Ragan was later penalized for an uncontrolled tire during a pit stop.

<bullet> Denny Hamlin was complaining to his crew about the sound quality in his radio. When they said they’d adjust his antenna, Hamlin cracked, “Same technology we’ve had for 25 years!”.

They said it

“They put two tires on and I hit the gas when they told me to go.” – Harvick on not taking four tires on that last pit stop.

N@SCAR

Three tweets from Sunday’s race:

Next race

STP 500

Where: Martinsville Speedway; Martinsville, Va..

When: Sunday, Mar.29 at 1 p.m. .

TV: Fox Sports 1.

Radio: Motor Racing Network.

Related stories from Charlotte Observer

  Comments