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4 things we learned from Brad Keselowski's NASCAR win

Alex Andrejev, The Charlotte Observer on

Published in Auto Racing

CONCORD, N.C. -- Brad Keseleowski, driver of the No. 2 Ford for Team Penske, won his first Coca-Cola 600 early Monday in an overtime race that was determined in the final laps.

Keselowski finished three-tenths of a second ahead of Jimmie Johnson, who came in second place until failing his post-race inspection. Chase Elliott, who had a large lead until a caution with two laps to go, crossed the finish line third.

CHASE ELLIOTT FOILED AGAIN

Just four days after Elliott ended a race in fury over an incident with Kyle Busch, he nearly returned to the track in redemption. Nearly.

With two laps to go and Elliott in the lead, Hendrick teammate William Byron spun out, forcing a caution and an overtime race. Elliot pitted for tires before the restart, placing him behind Keselowski and Johnson.

With under 50 laps to go, Keselowski moved into a first place position off a critical restart after a caution flag was thrown for Joey Gase, who spun off Turn 4 at the back of the field. Elliott's No. 9 Chevy pushed past Keselowski and held the lead for 38 laps of the 405-lap race.

 

A TRUEX-BOWMAN DUEL ...

Epitomized the Toyota-Chevy, JGR-Hendrick battle, and defined the evening.

Hendrick Chevrolet drivers made a statement early. Three of the team's four drivers dominated the qualifying round with a top-10 starting spot, then the one driver who started in 12th place, Alex Bowman, dominated the first two stages of the race.

Bowman led 338 of the 600 miles, winning Stage Nos. 1 and 2 handily, and finishing second in Stage 3. He was passed by reigning Coca-Cola 600 champion Martin Truex Jr. on Lap 225 after a cat-and-mouse chase that continued through the finish.

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