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Brad Keselowski captured his third NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victory of the season Saturday night, June 30, at Kentucky Speedway, leading the final 56 laps en route to victory in the Quaker State 400. The driver of the No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge is now the only driver in NASCAR’s premier series with three wins this season.
Teammate A.J. Allmendinger finished ninth in the No. 22 Shell/Pennzoil Dodge Charger, his third top 10 of the season.
Keselowski remains 10th in the season standings with nine races remaining to set the field for the Chase for the Sprint Cup. While it’s important that the driver of the “Blue Deuce” stays in the top 10 to collect three bonus points for each victory when the points are adjusted for the 10-race Chase, Keselowski put a firm hold on one of the wild card berths which goes to the two drivers finishing between 11th and 20th in the point standings with the most wins.
Keselowski has command of the leader board with three wins while three drivers – Jimmie Johnson, Denny Hamlin and Tony Stewart – have two victories each. Drivers making the Chase in the top 10 get three bonus points for each win during the first 26 races while the two wild card entries do not receive bonus points.
Driving a back-up Dodge Charger after his primary car was involved in a mishap in the opening minutes of Friday’s first practice session, Keselowski held off Kasey Kahne and Denny Hamlin in the 267-lap event at the 1.5-mile oval. The No. 2 Dodge raced in the top five throughout the 400-mile event and led three times for 68 laps including the final 56. Once he took the lead on the restart following the fourth caution, he continually built up an advantage that expanded to more than four seconds at the checkered flag.