Brad Keselowski took advantage of Kyle Larson’s tire rub and won Saturday’s O’Reilly Auto Parts Challenge at Texas Motor Speedway.
It was the 34th career Xfinity Series victory for Keselowski, who is a full-time driver on the Cup series.
Keselowski, who led 62 laps, edged two other Cup drivers – Kevin Harvick and Austin Dillon. Erik Jones, the points lead in the Truck series who is racing in all three series this weekend, was fourth. Ty Dillon’s fifth-place finish was best of the full-time Xfinity drivers.
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Keselowski took the lead with 10 laps left after Kyle Larson’s left-rear tire blew. Keselowski had to get past Harvick – who finished 1.14 seconds behind – and Austin Dillon.
Three who mattered
Brad Keselowski: Keselowski also clinched the owner’s title for Team Penske with his victory Saturday.
Chris Buescher: Points leader finished 11th, yet another solid finish. He’s now 24 points ahead of Chase Elliott.
Kyle Larson: Was in position to win until race-long tire rub finally took its toll. While leading, his left-rear tire blew on Lap 176 and he would finish 33rd.
▪ The race started about 45 minutes late as workers dealt with “weepers” – water pouring up through the track – after it rained overnight.
▪ Kyle Busch, who led six laps early in the race, had clutch problems and finished 14th. His car was stuck in fourth gear and had to be pushed out of his pit box for much of the race. His fate was sealed with a pit-road penalty late in the race.
▪ Four drivers – Keselowski (62 laps), Austin Dillon (54), Larson (50) and Harvick (24) – led for substantial portions of the race.
They said it
“This was one of those races that kept changing dimensions. It was kind of a funky race to be part of.” – Keselowski.
Where: Phoenix International Raceway
When: 4 p.m., Saturday
TV: NBC Sports Network