June 29, 2014 in Sports

Auto Racing notes: Keselowski wins Sprint Cup series race at Kentucky Speedway

Gary B. Graves Associated Press
 
Associated Press photo

Brad Keselowski poses with the trophy after winning the Sprint Cup series auto race Saturday at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta, Kentucky.
(Full-size photo)

Brad Keselowski dominated the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race in Sparta, Kentucky, on Saturday night to become Kentucky Speedway’s first repeat winner.

The Penske Racing driver and 2012 race winner followed his record-breaking pole effort to lead 199 of 267 laps en route to his second victory of the season and 12th of his career.

Keselowski won from the pole for the first time, pulling away after chasing down and passing leader Kyle Busch on Lap 248.

“Our car was awesome,” said Keselowski. “The team did a great job and I’m just really thankful to have a car this good. I don’t know how else to put it.”

Busch was second, followed by Ryan Newman, Matt Kenseth and Dale Earnhardt Jr., who rallied from a 29th-place start.

A night after dominating the Nationwide Series race before finishing second behind Kevin Harvick, partly because of a pit-road speeding penalty, Keselowski saved his heavy foot for the bumpy, rough track. The 2012 Cup champion went on to win by 1.014 seconds.

Teammate Joey Logano started second and led 37 laps and Busch 31 in a race that featured 12 lead changes – all but one featuring Penske drivers.

The tone was set from the start, as Keselowski and Logano justified their front-row qualifying sweep with a vengeance. Keselowski wasted no time with that agenda, taking charge at the green flag and leading the first 78 laps before Logano took over for five laps.

The two traded leads from there with nobody else to challenge them until Aric Almirola’s wreck brought the sixth caution on Lap 213.

That sent the leaders down pit road and scramble off produced the race’s first non-Penske leader in Busch, whose No. 18 took over on Lap 217 and led the restart with Newman second.

The Penske duo needed just seven laps to draw a bead on both drivers and Keselowski was soon second and making a furious effort trying to chase down Busch, who had a 2-second lead at one point. Once Keselowski caught him in the backstretch, he again showed his Ford’s superiority.

Huertas wins Houston GP

Carlos Huertas raced to his first IndyCar Series victory, leading a Colombian sweep of the rain-soaked podium Saturday in the Grand Prix of Houston doubleheader opener.

Strategy put Justin Wilson and Huertas in the lead late in the race. Wilson eventually had to pit for fuel. Huertas assumed the lead with just over 7 minutes to go.

Then a caution briefly slowed action but IndyCar had enough time to run one final lap.

But Graham Rahal ran into the back of third-place Tony Kanaan before the restart. IndyCar could not go green and the race ended with Huertas leading Juan Pablo Montoya and Rahal across the finish line.

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