For the second time out of the three Chase races run to date Brad Keselowski and the No. 2 Penske Racing team found themselves in Victory Lane. Crew Chief Paul Wolfe was once again rewarded with his decisions resulting in a win.
Keselowski explained, “This has been one of my worst tracks. I ran up front all day. I may not have had the best car, but hung around in that top five, just creeping around, and when you do that, you put yourself in position for good things to happen.”
“That’s what this No. 2 team has done the last few months,” Keselowski continued. “Man, if we keep doing this the next seven weeks, it will be an awesome seven weeks. I’m just really, really proud of the effort.”
This was Keselowski’s ninth career win in Sprint Cup.
Although it looked like Kyle Busch, Denny Hamlin or Jimmie Johnson “woulda, shoulda, coulda” walked away with the victory at the AAA 400 held at Dover International Speedway, it was Keselowski’s win that raises his 2012 total to two wins in the Chase and five overall this season tying him with Denny Hamlin for total 2012 wins.
Jeff Gordon, for the second straight week, earned a top-five in the race placing second.
Veteran part-time driver for Michael Waltrip Racing Mark Martin served up third. Jimmie Johnson, eager to earn his eighth victory at Dover, settled for fourth as he conserved fuel at the end of the race. Carl Edwards, a non-Chase racer this year, placed fifth.
Martin Truex Jr., Martin’s MWR teammate, was sixth. Race leader for most of the day, non-Chase racer Kyle Busch finished seventh because he needed a splash of fuel in the last laps of the race. Busch’s Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR)teammate Denny Hamlin finished eighth after running near the front for the same reason. Clint Bowyer, MWR’s third car in the top-10, brought home ninth. Joey Logano, the third JGR car and another non-Chase racer, finished tenth.
The Monster Mile wreaked havoc on several Chasers. The points are jumbled and a new points leader was named after the race.
Keselowski takes the NASCAR Sprint Cup points lead for the second time during the Chase. The last time he was leading the points was after his win in the first Chase race this season in Chicago.
He holds the top spot by only five points over second place five-time Sprint Cup champion Johnson.
Hamlin stays in third place for another week. Bowyer moves up two places to occupy fourth. Tony Stewart finished 20th in the race, enough to drop him one spot to fifth.
Kasey Kahne, 15th on Sunday’s race, fell one position to sixth. Dale Earnhardt Jr. finished 11th in the race and held on to seventh in points another week. Truex Jr. jumped two places to take eighth. Kevin Harvick, 13th in the race, fell one spot to ninth. Gordon bounced up two positions to round out the top-10.
Finishing 11th in the AAA 400, Biffle fell two places to 11th in points. Matt Kenseth, suffering mechanical problems, finished 12th in the race and is currently down one position to 12th in points.
Next week the NASCAR Sprint Cup drivers will compete at the legendary Talladega Superspeedway for the Good Sam Roadside Assistance 500. The race will be held on Sunday, October 7th. The broadcast will be carried on ESPN at 1pm EST.
Stay tuned for my Good Sam Roadside Assistance 500 Race Recap here after the race is run.
Candice Smith can be reached via Twitter by following @Chief187s.
To find out more please visit http://Chief187.com.