It didn’t matter where Brad Keselowski was on a restart, he found his way to the front. The 2 car lead 138 of the 305 laps run, which included four laps of overtime thanks to a green-white-checkered finish.
“The team was just really on it today,” said Keselowski, who also clinched a spot in the Chase for the Championship with his third win of the season. “It really feels like we hit our stride, and I'm kind of quiet and somber because I want to soak it all in.”
Despite the dominating performance by Keselowksi, the race was not without controversy. His teammate Joey Logano was running second on lap 211 when an accident with 72-year old Morgan Shepherd put the 22 car out of the race. Shepherd was 15 laps down and running 10 mph slower than the leaders at the time.
“The slowest car on the race track took us out – go figure,” Logano said on the TNT broadcast. “To get taken out by the slowest car – I feel like there should be a driver’s test when you get out in a Cup car and make sure you know how to drive it before you (race) one. But I don’t know, I guess there isn’t.”
Shepherd told reporters it was just a racing incident and scoffed at the idea of a driver’s test.
NASCAR vice-president Robin Pemberton told reporters, “He’s been approved for decades. And so under our situation here, if you take a physical at the beginning of the year, you pass your physical, you pass inspection with your car, you qualify for the race and you run the event. And so he met everything he needed to meet.”
Shepherd finished 27 laps down in 39th.
Kansas native Clint Bowyer lead 36 laps and was running fourth on the final restart, but he got shuffled back several positions on the green-white-checkered finish and ended the race in sixth.
“Just frustrating,” said Bowyer. “Kind of our M.O. This year, nothing goes right. We got into position to get a top-five and a solid run and the 4 (Kevin Harvick) runs out of gas and stacks us all up on the bottom and a bunch of them get around us.
Bowyer is now 14th on the Chase Grid and 10th in driver’s points with seven races left until the Chase begins.
“We got the consistency down -- we just got to keep gaining on it,” said Bowyer. “We’re here to win races for 5-Hour Energy and everybody and all our partners on this Toyota. We’re just not quite there yet. We still got some work to do to catch up to the Fords and the Hendrick cars. We’re gaining on it. We got the consistency.”