Brad Keselowski used a push from Kyle Busch with a lap to go, then broke the tandem to prevent Busch from passing to take the green-white-checkered flag. This is the first ever win for Penske Racing at Talladega Superspeedway.
“ Hell, it’s my job to be good,” Keselowski said. “That is what I get paid for. I don’t get paid to suck at this. We are trying real hard to win a championship and we are doing the right things. I felt really good about the move. We were able to pull Matt (Kenseth). I was a little surprised that him and 16 (Greg Biffle) didn’t team up a little more full force then they did. Kyle, I just needed to make a move, made it in three. That disconnected us. That was the key right there. Once we got a that air bubble in between the two cars, it was going to take two or three laps for him to pop that.”
A nine-car wreck on turn one on lap 184 brought out the caution flag to set up the green-white-checkered finish.
For the driver of the No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge this was his second win of the season and his sixth in 99 starts, and his second at Talladega.
“It was obviously a big win for everybody on the Miller Lite team,” crew chief of the No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Paul Wolfe said.
“Coming into the weekend we probably had a different approach than what we ended up racing today, with the hot temperatures, and it seemed like with this aerial package we moved around a lot and were unstable when we got in big packs. We kind of found that ou on Friday. Brad wasn’t really happy with our car, so we made some changes for today to try to make the car more drivable in the bigger packs. Overall, I think we had both today and it was encouraging to see how strong our car was.”
Roger Penske, owner of the No. 2 Miller Lite car, was pleased that Kewseloki was able to get him his first win at Talladega in 40 years of racing.
“My recollection, this is the first time we won a Cup race at Talladega,” Penske said.
“Brad gave us the first win here in a Nationwide car. In face the first win back for a couple of years ago. We’ve been coming here since 1972. So it’s a long time to get a race win. It was certainly special.”
Kyle Busch, who finished in second in Aaron’s 312 on Saturday felt like he may have made a mistake after he pushed pasy Keselowski, Kenseth and Biffle.
“I just tried to keep pushing Brad to the front straightaway where I knew I could make a move, Busch said. “Unfortunately I must have screwed up something up because we got to turn three and come unlocked. Just gave the win away over there. Not sure exactly what happened.
We definitely need to go back and figure out what happened Keselowski said this is a move that he planed to use.
“I went into turn three high and pulled down off of Kyle and broke the tandem,” he said.
“ That allowed me to drive untouched to the checkered flag. It wasn’t easy to convince myself to do that, but it was the right move. I am glad it worked.”
Kenseth, finished third and blamed himself for not getting the win. The No. 17 Ford led a race-high 73 laps.
“We had the winning car but we didn’t have the winning driver,” Kenseth, who finished third said. “ That last restart Greg and I got together like we did at Daytona and off all the cars I raced around all day Greg was really pushing me fast. We got in front of the (Brad Keselowski) and Kyle Busch as soon as we became clear it wasn’t long before I looked back and we were separated and those guys were outside of him. With nobody behind him he lost his speed and with me not paying enough attention during that to keep us hooked up it cost us a shot at the win. It cost Greg a shot at the win. I didn’t do a good job of managing (where) he was.”
Kasey Kahne finished fourth followed by NASCAR points leader Greg Biffle, Clint Bowyer, David Reagan, Trevor Bayne, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Jeff Burton rounded out the top 10.
Aaron’s 499 had five cautions for 24 laps. Three of the cautions were cause by the Big One which took out close to half of the field.
Keselowski caused Kurt Busch who finished 20th to wreck on lap 182 to bring out the fourth caution. The race winner said he was sorry to that he took out his friend.
“I got to Kurt and tried to push him,” he said. “He tried staying in line. He didn’t want to go,” Keselowski said. “He probably didn’t know what was going on behind him, which is natural. When he decided not to go, I tried to force him to go. It was a combination of events that were unfortunate. I hated to see that happen.”
Defending champion Tony Stewart was upset after the race.
“ We didn’t quite crash half of the field which is what we normally look to do here, Stewart said. “ I was excited about that. I thought it was a pretty good race. I made it further than I though I would before I got crashed. I call it a successful day.”
Contact LaVonte Young@firstname.lastname@example.org.