Brad Keselowski wins NASCAR’s Camping World 301

jutter@charlotteobserver.comJuly 13, 2014 

— For the No. 2, it was his third victory of the season and the fourth in a row for Ford.

Brad Keselowski made it clean sweep at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, adding a victory in Sunday’s Camping World 301 to his Nationwide Series win on Saturday.

The win is the third this season for Keselowski’s No. 2 Team Penske team and the fourth in a row for Ford Racing. Ford has not won four races in a row since the 2001 season. The win is also the eighth of the season for Ford, the most for the manufacturer since winning 11 times in 2008.

Keselowski easily held off Kyle Busch in a two-lap overtime to earn the race. Rookiei Kyle Larson finished third, Matt Kenseth was fourth and Ryan Newman was fifth.

Kyle Busch, who started from the pole, took early command of the race and led the first 62 laps.

Jimmie Johnson, who was fast all weekend, suffered two flat left-rear tires in a 13-lap span and the second one sent his No. 48 Chevrolet into the wall on Lap 14.

On the restart on Lap 21, Kyle Busch continued to lead the way.

Hamlin got around Kyle Busch to take over the lead on Lap 63.

Most teams began a round of green-flag pit stops on Lap 74. Once the cycle was completed on lap 82, Hamlin returned to the lead followed by Kyle Busch and Keselowski.

On Lap 91, Keselowski ran down Denny Hamlin to take the lead.

Debris in Turn 3 brought out the second caution of the race on Lap 113. Larson elected not to pit and took over the lead on the restart on Lap 119, followed by Kyle Busch and Hamlin.

Kenseth got around Larson to take the lead for the first time on Lap 127.

Keselowski quickly moved into second behind Kenseth and completed the pass of Kenseth for the lead on Lap 139.

Debris on the backstretch brought out a caution on Lap 153. All of the lead-lap cars pit for fuel and tires and Joey Logano took over the race lead on the restart on Lap 158. He was followed by Jamie McMurray and Bowyer.

Logano and McMurray made contact battling for the lead which allowed Bowyer to move into the top spot shortly after the restart.

Over the next 19 laps, Keselowski worked his way to the front and passed Bowyer for the lead on Lap 177.

Debris in Turn 1 brought out the fourth caution of the race on Lap 178. Keselowski elected not to pit and remained in the race lead on the restart on Lap 182.

The lapped car of Morgan Shepherd slammed into Joey Logano, who was running second at the time, on Lap 213 to bring out the fifth caution of the race.

“I got taken out by the slowest car out there. You would think there would be some courtesy to the leaders. We were in second place,” Logano said.

“He gets out of the way on the straightaway and then goes into the corner and slides right up into the lane I was in. Whatever.”

Bowyer was the first car off pit road and took over the lead on the restart on Lap 219.

Keselowski made his way around Bowyer to re-take the lead on Lap 231.

Debris in Turn 3 brought out a caution on Lap 249. Several cars elected not to pit and Jeff Gordon took over the lead on the restart on Lap 254 followed by Hamlin and Kyle Busch.

After restarting ninth, Keselowski ran down Gordon to take over the lead on Lap 270.

Justin Allgaier wrecked on Lap 298 which brought out the sixth caution of the race. Keselowski continued to lead on the restart on Lap 304.

Utter: 704-358-5113; Twitter: @jim_utter

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