Brad Keselowski takes dominant Martinsville win over Elliott

Brad Keselowski had won at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway before but never like this.

Brad Keselowski takes dominant Martinsville win over Elliott
Race Winner Brad Keselowski, Team Penske, Ford Mustang Reese/DrawTite
Race Winner Brad Keselowski, Team Penske, Ford Mustang Reese/DrawTite
Race Winner Brad Keselowski, Team Penske, Ford Mustang Reese/DrawTite
Race Winner Brad Keselowski, Team Penske, Ford Mustang Reese/DrawTite
Race Winner Brad Keselowski, Team Penske, Ford Mustang Reese/DrawTite

Keselowski held off Chase Elliott by about half-a-second to take the victory in the STP 500 on Sunday, completing a dominating performance that saw him lead 446 of the 500 laps.

Keselowski led more laps in Sunday’s race than in all of his previous 18 starts (437) at the track, which included one previous win (2017).

The win is Keselowski’s second of the 2019 season and 29th of his Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series career.

"This car was just awesome," Keselowski said. "Ford worked really hard in the offseason on these cars to make them strong and so far, so good. Great day for our team, awesome execution on pit road.

"It was just one of those days you dream of as a race car driver. We had a great car. I don't know if we were as good as Chase Elliott. He was really strong and passed me with about 200 (laps) to go and I watched and studied him and broke it down into what I had to do to hold him off.

"As the temps were cooling off, the track was losing its rubber and just losing grip. Paul (Wolfe, crew chief) went working on it the best we can and that's what this team does - it never gives up. I'm really, really proud of them."

Kyle Busch finished third, Ryan Blaney fourth and Denny Hamlin completed the top-five.

Rounding out the Top 10 were Kevin Harvick, Clint Bowyer, Martin Truex Jr., Aric Almirola and Daniel Suarez.

Stage 3

Following the break between Stages 2 and 3, Keselowski was once again the first off pit road followed by Elliott, Bowyer, Truex and Almirola. The race restarted on Lap 272.

Ty Dillon was penalized for being too fast on pit road and both Hamlin and Ryan Newman were penalized for having an uncontrolled tire during their pit stops. All three had to restart from the rear of the field.

With 200 laps remaining in the race, Keselowski maintained a small lead over Elliott with Bowyer running in third. Hamlin remained mired in 18th after his penalty.

Byron spun on Lap 313 exiting Turn 4, which brought out a caution. All of the leaders elected to pit with Keselowski the first off pit road, followed by Elliott and Kyle Busch.

Bowyer was penalized for speeding on pit road and had to restart from the rear of the field when the race returned to green on Lap 320.

On Lap 325, Elliott got to the inside of Keselowski exiting Turn 2 and took the lead for the first time in the race.

After fighting a tire rub, Erik Jones finally slammed the backstretch wall on Lap 330 and slowly inched his way around the track and to pit road with no caution displayed by NASCAR.

With 150 laps to go in the race, Elliott had moved out to a 1.3-second lead over Keselowski. Blaney ran in third, followed by Kyle Busch and Truex.

Matt Tifft hit the Turn 2 wall on Lap 372 to bring out another caution. All of the lead lap cars elected to pit with Keselowski beating Elliott off pit road to reclaim the lead when the race returned to green on Lap 380. They were followed by Kyle Busch, Blaney and Harvick.

Bowyer was again penalized for speeding on pit road during his pit stop and had to restart from the rear of the field.

With 100 laps to go, Keselowski maintained a small lead over Elliott as Kyle Busch ran third, Blaney fourth and Harvick in fifth.

Keselowski moved out to a more than 1.5-second lead over Elliott with 75 laps remaining in the race. Kyle Busch remained close behind in third.

On Lap 446, Ross Chastain fell off the pace and his No. 15 Chevrolet came to a rest in Turn 2 which brought out a caution. All of the lead-lap cars elected to pit and Keselowski again was the first off pit road.

He remained in the lead when the race returned to green on with 45 laps to go and was followed by Kyle Busch, Elliott, Blaney and Harvick.

On Lap 458, Elliott moved around Kyle Busch on the outside and into the second position.

With 20 laps to go, Keselowski maintained a small but steady advantage over Elliott with Kyle Busch running in third.

Read Also:

Cla # Driver Manufacturer Laps Time Laps Led
1 2 United States Brad Keselowski  Ford 500   446
2 9 United States Chase Elliott  Chevrolet 500 0.594 49
3 18 United States Kyle Busch  Toyota 500 1.335  
4 12 United States Ryan Blaney  Ford 500 2.916  
5 11 United States Denny Hamlin  Toyota 500 3.604  
6 4 United States Kevin Harvick  Ford 500 4.017  
7 14 United States Clint Bowyer  Ford 500 5.355  
8 19 United States Martin Truex Jr.  Toyota 500 5.787  
9 10 United States Aric Almirola  Ford 500 6.146  
10 41 Mexico Daniel Suarez  Ford 500 6.381  
11 3 United States Austin Dillon  Chevrolet 500 7.051  
12 1 United States Kurt Busch  Chevrolet 500 7.549  
13 13 United States Ty Dillon  Chevrolet 500 8.507  
14 88 United States Alex Bowman  Chevrolet 500 9.996  
15 21 United States Paul Menard  Ford 500 10.717  
16 47 United States Ryan Preece  Chevrolet 500 11.505  
17 43 United States Darrell Wallace Jr.  Chevrolet 500 11.848  
18 42 United States Kyle Larson  Chevrolet 500 12.151  
19 22 United States Joey Logano  Ford 500 13.200 5
20 95 United States Matt DiBenedetto  Toyota 500 13.712  
21 37 United States Chris Buescher  Chevrolet 499 1 lap  
22 24 United States William Byron  Chevrolet 499 1 lap  
23 6 United States Ryan Newman  Ford 499 1 lap  
24 48 United States Jimmie Johnson  Chevrolet 498 2 laps  
25 17 United States Ricky Stenhouse Jr.  Ford 498 2 laps  
26 38 United States David Ragan  Ford 496 4 laps  
27 8 United States Daniel Hemric  Chevrolet 496 4 laps  
28 00 United States Landon Cassill  Chevrolet 494 6 laps  
29 36 United States Matt Tifft  Ford 494 6 laps  
30 20 United States Erik Jones  Toyota 491 9 laps  
31 34 United States Michael McDowell  Ford 491 9 laps  
32 77 Canada D.J. Kennington  Chevrolet 489 11 laps  
33 32 United States Corey Lajoie  Ford 489 11 laps  
34 15 United States Ross Chastain  Chevrolet 365 134 laps  
35 52 United States Jeb Burton  Chevrolet 163 336 laps  
36 51 Cody Ware  Chevrolet 55 444 laps  
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Brad Keselowski dominates in Stage 2 win at Martinsville

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About this article

Series NASCAR Cup
Event Martinsville
Author Jim Utter
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