Brad Keselowski won a wreck-filled Geico 500 at Talladega Superspeedway.
In a race during which rain threatened but never came, Keselowski crossed the finish line after yet another accident broke out behind him on the frontstretch. It was the third multi-car wreck over the race’s final 26 laps. One of the wrecks involved 21 cars. Another, which saw Matt Kenseth’s Toyota flip on the backstretch and Danica Patrick hit the wall hard, involved 12.
Earlier, rookie Chris Buescher also was involved in a scary wreck, with his car rolling at least three times down the backstretch. Kevin Harvick also skidded on his roof.
“The quota of three cars on their lids is a little high,” said Kyle Busch, who finished second.
Kyle Busch finished second, while Austin Dillon was third. Pole-winner and rookie Chase Elliott finishing fourth.
It was Keselowski’s fourth career victory at Talladega and his second of the season.
Brad Keselowski took the lead from Team Penske teammate Joey Logano on Lap 172. Keselowski watched from his rearview mirror as two big wrecks broke out behind him the rest of the way, including one just before he crossed the start-finish line.
Three who mattered
Brad Keselowski: Won the race while mayhem continuously broke out behind him.
Kyle Busch: Yet another strong finish for Busch and his No. 18 Toyota. He’s got two victories, two second-place finishes in past five races.
Dale Earnhardt Jr.: Nothing went right for Earnhardt. Even lost his steering wheel at one point.
▪ Tony Stewart seamlessly turned his car over to relief-driver Ty Dillon on Lap 52. Stewart, who missed the first eight races of the season with a fractured spine, returned to racing last week at Richmond, but, in consultation with doctors, elected to just start Sunday’s race at the more physically challenging Talladega track. Stewart, who plans on returning fulltime this week at Kansas, got credit for the car’s seventh place finish and the 57 points that came with it. Stewart is eligible to qualify for the Chase, but needs to finish in the top 30 and win a race to do so. He’s 38th in the standings, 71 points behind No. 38 Matt DiBenedetto.
▪ Austin Dillon finished a career-high third. “It was a little bit of everything,” said Dillon, who started on the front row with pole-winner Chase Elliott (who was fourth). “It started out pretty good, running up front, moving around, chasing guys. Man, we had a fast car.”
▪ Patrick said her wreck, in which he slammed into the inside wall on the backstretch, was the hardest of her career. “I’m OK,” said Patrick, who was X-rayed after the race. “Just taking a deep breath. I hit my foot pretty hard and hit my arm pretty hard. I have hit the inside wall at a superspeedway I think like four times now, and that was the hardest. I can’t quite remember exactly what started it. I know I got drilled from behind and turned sideways and hello wall.”
They said it
“The quota of three cars on their lids is a little high.” – Kyle Busch.
Three tweets from Sunday’s race:
Where: Kansas Speedway, Kansas City, Kan.
When: 7:30 p.m., Saturday
TV: Fox Sports 1
Radio: Motor Racing Network