Archive for September 10, 2018

Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Penske Racing Discount Tire Ford crosses the line to win the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Big Machine Vodka 400 at the Brickyard – Photo Credit: Michael Reaves/Getty Images

Brad Keselowski is making a habit of collecting crown jewels, and now he has the distinction of giving Roger Penske his first Brickyard 400 victory at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series.

Coming on the heels of his win at Darlington Raceway in the Bojangles’ Southern 500, Keselowski battled Denny Hamlin on a restart with three laps to go, using fresher tires and a little bit of his bumper to make the crucial pass en route to winning at the famed 2.5-mile track.

Erik Jones came home second in the Joe Gibbs Racing No. 20 Toyota, with Hamlin, Kevin Harvick andClint Bowyer rounding out the top five.


RELATED: Playoff StandingsRace Results

Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M’s Caramel Toyota, Aric Almirola, driver of the #10 Smithfield Ford, Ryan Blaney, driver of the #12 BODYARMOR Ford, Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Discount Tire Ford, Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, Alex Bowman, driver of the #88 Axalta Chevrolet, Chase Elliott, driver of the #9 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet, Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Possibilities Toyota, Martin Truex Jr., driver of the #78 Auto-Owners Insurance Toyota, Austin Dillon, driver of the #3 Dow MOLYKOTE Chevrolet, Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy John’s New 9-Grain Wheat Sub Ford, Clint Bowyer, driver of the #14 Mobil 1/Rush Truck Centers Ford, Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe’s for Pros Chevrolet, Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Automation/Monster Energy Ford, Kyle Larson, driver of the #42 Credit One Bank Chevrolet, Erik Jones, driver of the #20 Toyota, after making the NASCAR Playoffs – Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images

For Keselowski, it was his 26th victory in the Monster Energy Series, and it came in the regular-season finale as the NASCAR Playoffs field of 16 drivers was set. Hendrick Motorsports teammates Jimmie Johnson and Alex Bowman took the final two playoff spots that were available.

Kyle Busch, who finished eighth, clinched the Regular Season Championship and will carry the 15 bonus points for that into the NASCAR Playoffs. Busch has a total of 50 bonus points entering the playoffs, thanks also to his six wins and five stage victories this season.

RELATED: Kyle Busch Claims Regular-Season Crown

Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 Joe Gibbs Racing M&M’s Caramel Toyota after winning the regular season championship during the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Big Machine Vodka 400 at the Brickyard at Indianapolis Motor Speedway – Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images

Meanwhile, defending series champion Martin Truex Jr. blew a left-front brake rotor in the No. 78 Furniture Row Racing Toyota on Lap 40, exiting the race with extensive hood damage and finishing 40th.

The Monster Energy Series heads to Las Vegas Motor Speedway for the NASCAR Playoffs opener on Sept. 16 (3 p.m. ET, NBCSN).

A NASCAR Staff Report