Found September 30, 2012 on Speedway Digest - Home for NASCAR News: Yardbarker Blogger Network
Brad Keselowski conserves fuel, wins Chase race at Dover

To his NASCAR Sprint Cup Series rivals, Brad Keselowski has the annoying habit of doing what he's not supposed to do -- as in winning Sunday's AAA 400 at Dover International Speedway.

Adroitly saving fuel over the final 79-lap green-flag run, the devil in the Blue Deuce, Detroit's consummate wheel man, triumphed in what was perhaps the fourth- or fifth- or sixth-best car in the third Chase for the Sprint Cup race.

Keselowski wasn't supposed to win at Dover, where his career average finish in five previous starts had been 17.0, but he did. Keselowski wasn't supposed to be leading the series standings three races into the Chase, but he is, by five points over five-time champion Jimmie Johnson, who limped home in fourth place, saving every drop of fuel he could by slowing down and surrendering spots on the track in the closing laps.

The win was supposed to go to Johnson, a seven-time victor at Dover -- tied for the track record with Hall of Famers Richard Petty and Bobby Allison. And if not Johnson, then Kyle Busch, who led 302 of 400 laps but had to pit late for fuel.

If not Kyle Busch, then his Joe Gibbs Racing teammate, Denny Hamlin, with his pole-winning form and an attitude buttressed by a sports psychologist. Hamlin led the first 34 laps and ran in the top three all afternoon, but a fuel shortage forced him to the pits with nine laps left, at which point Keselowski took over a lead he held to the finish.

Ultimately, Keselowski beat hard-charging Jeff Gordon to the finish line by 1.078 seconds to win his series-best fifth race of the season, his second in the Chase, his first at Dover and the ninth of his career. Gordon had topped off his gas tank on Lap 318 and had ample fuel to get to the finish, as did third-place Mark Martin, who rallied from a lap down to challenge Gordon for the runner-up spot.

Jimmie Johnson held fourth despite drastically backing down his lap speeds to conserve fuel. Carl Edwards ran fifth, posting his first top-five since the Fontana, Calif., race in late March and his third of the season.

Keselowski had nothing but praise for crew chief Paul Wolfe and the team that builds his Penske Racing engines.

"This has been one of my worst tracks," Keselowski said. "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. 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 today."

Johnson seemed poised for an eighth victory, after beating Busch out of the pits under caution on Lap 309, thanks to a 12.5-second stop to Busch's 13.5 seconds. Thirty laps into a green-flag run that started on Lap 322, crew chief Chad Knaus posed an uncomfortable choice to the driver of the No. 48 Chevrolet -- either give up positions and save fuel or race hard, plan for another pit stop and hope for another caution.

They chose the fuel-saving option and salvaged fourth but were unable to contend for the win when the race went green the rest of the way.

Notes: Team owner Roger Penske dedicated the victory to legendary racing reporter Chris Economaki, who died Friday morning at age 91. . . . Six cars finished on the lead lap, the fewest since the November 2009 race at Texas, which also produced six lead-lap finishers. . . . Dale Earnhardt Jr. ran 11th, two laps down, as only four of the 12 Chase drivers completed all 400 laps. . . . Hamlin, who finished eighth, one spot behind Busch, remained third in the Cup standings, 16 points behind Keselowski. Clint Bowyer (ninth Sunday) is fourth, 25 points back.



Brad Keselowski wins at Dover, takes points lead

Brad Keselowski captured his fifth win of the 2012 season by winning at Dover International Speedway. Keselwoski won two weeks ago at Chicagoland to open the Sprint Cup Series Chase. After the win Keselowski assumes a five point lead over Jimmie Johnson who finished fourth. Kyle Busch had the car to beat on the day but was forced to pit for gas late which gave Keselowski the lead...

Keselowski keeps Chase race in mind

On Sunday the Chase for the Sprint Cup contenders weren't just racing for the win, they were running for the 2012 championship. And for Brad Keselowski, slow and steady won the race. No, Keselowski wasn't considered a favorite entering Dover International Speedway, but that didn't matter to him. His No. 2 Penske Racing team had the best strategy. While Keselowski'...

Keselowski takes win, points lead at Dover

Brad Keselowski beat out the Dover master, Jimmie Johnson, on Sunday when the AAA 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event at Dover (Del.) International Speedway became a fuel mileage race. Keselowski, with a reputation of being a master when it comes to fuel-mileage racing, took the checkered flag to claim his fifth win of the season and his second Chase victory, three races into thisâ...

Is Brad Keselowski now the Chase favorite?

Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - After winning Sunday's race at Dover International Speedway, Brad Keselowski might just be the favorite to...

Keselowski emerges in final laps

Brad Keselowski had just enough fuel left to take the checkered flag Sunday at Dover International Speedway for his second victory in three weeks. Keselowski won the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship opener at Chicagoland and followed that by conserving enough fuel down the stretch at Dover. Keselowski raced to his fifth victory of the season and zipped into the points lead...

NASCAR: Drivers on the move after Dover

Brad Keselowski is the real deal, despite Dodge’s impending departure from NASCAR. The man can get it done anywhere, and that makes him a bona fide championship favorite. He is leading the points, after all. At this point, it looks like there are three contenders for the title: Keselowski, Jimmie Johnson and Denny Hamlin. Clint [...]

Watch Brad Keselowski win at Dover

Brad Keselowski’s No. 2 Dodge wasn’t the best car at Dover International Speedway, but he had the winning strategy. Kyle Busch dominated the race but had to pit late for fuel. Teammate Denny Hamlin also had to pit for fuel while running up front. Jimmie Johnson had a terrific car but was forced into fuel [...]

Victory Lap: NASCAR Week In Review, 10-01-2012

Brad Keselowski entered this season with tons of unrealized long-term potential in the Sprint Cup Series. Three races into this season’s Chase for the Sprint Cup, Keselowski is already beginning to realize that potential, having taken his second win of the playoffs at Dover to cap off the past week in NASCAR. The biggest news [...]

Keselowski Conquers the Monster Mile

The Chase is all about winning and you’ll need a few wins to win the championship and now Brad Keselowski has two wins, three races into the Chase. Keselowski didn’t lead a single lap until there were ten laps to go but Keselowski brought home the victory. Fuel Mileage cost several drivers a shot at victory including the dominant car of the day Kyle Busch. Busch had to pit with...

RotoWire NASCAR Barometer Talladega

Sunday's AAA 400 at Dover International Speedway produced a winner that perhaps wasn't the fastest car on the afternoon. Fuel mileage became a factor after the final round of pit stops, and when a late caution never came, it was Brad Keselowski who capitalized on his position to claim the victory. Kyle Busch, Jimmie Johnson and Denny Hamlin took their turns out front Sunday...

Ryan Blaney Talladega Preview

Ryan Blaney, driver of the No. 29 Draw-Tite RAM, will make his fifth career start in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series season on Saturday afternoon at the Talladega Superspeedway.   This weekend, the No. 29 Brad Keselowski Racing (BKR) RAM will feature Draw-Tite as its primary sponsor.   Saturday afternoon will mark Blaney's first superspeedway start in any NASCAR national...

RotoWire NASCAR Barometer

Sunday's AAA 400 at Dover International Speedway produced a winner that perhaps wasn't the fastest car on the afternoon. Fuel mileage became a factor after the final round of pit stops, and when a late caution never came, it was Brad Keselowski who capitalized on his position to claim the victory. Kyle Busch, Jimmie Johnson and Denny Hamlin took their turns out front Sunday...

Sprint Cup Series driver standings after 29 of 36 races

Brad Keselowski won this weekend and now leads the point standings by 5 points over Jimmie Johnson, with Denny Hamlin (-16), Clint Bowyer (-25), and Tony Stewart (-32) making up the top five. Following those five are Kasey Kahne, Dale Earnhardt, Jr., Martin Truex, Jr., Kevin Harvick, Jeff Gordon, Greg Biffle, and Matt Kenseth as the Chase for the Sprint Cup motors on. ...
Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.