Ke­selowski makes it a Penske sweep at Brick­yard 400 race

Ripon Bulletin - - Sports -

IN­DI­ANAPO­LIS (AP) — First, Brad Ke­selowski fig­ured out the se­cret to restart­ing at the Brick­yard 400.

Then he safely and strate­gi­cally bumped his way into the lead and sped to the fin­ish line.

One year af­ter set­tling for sec­ond in a chaotic, crash-marred race last year, Ke­selowski re­deemed him­self by earn­ing his sec­ond straight ma­jor win and fi­nally giv­ing team owner Roger Penske the elu­sive Brick­yard win.

The 2010 Cup cham­pion got past race leader Denny Ham­lin on the sec­ond-to-last lap and beat Erik Jones to the fin­ish line by 0.904 sec­onds. Ham­lin fin­ished third.

“Last year, I lost this race al­most the ex­act same way. To bring it home this way, af­ter mess­ing up last year, is just in­cred­i­ble,” Ke­selowski said. “We were hop­ing this would be No. 500 and the Brick­yard, but that’s all right.”

Penske cer­tainly won’t be com­plain­ing

about get­ting win No. 499 on the same his­toric 2.5-mile oval where he has won a record 17 In­di­anapo­lis 500 crowns.

His first win 25 Cup tries at his fa­vorite racing venue came on one of the rare days he wasn’t ac­tu­ally at­tend­ing in the pits for the rain-de­layed race.

But Penske now joins Chip Ganassi as the only own­ers to win the Indy dou­ble in the same sea­son. Will Power cap­tured his first 500 win in May, while Dario Fran­chitti and

Jamie McMur­ray both won at the Brick­yard in 2010 for Ganassi.

The tim­ing couldn’t be bet­ter for Ke­selowski. He heads into the first round of the play­offs with mo­men­tum fol­low­ing wins at the South­ern 500 and the Brick­yard.

And he earned this one the hard way. He stayed close off the fi­nal restart with three laps to go, then quickly chased down Ham­lin, run­ning side by side with the race leader briefly on Lap 159. At one point, the cars touched but both driv­ers main­tained con­trol and Ke­selowski made the de­ci­sive move in the front straight­away just as the white flag started to come out.

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