Brad Keselowski earned his third victory in as many races on Sunday at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The 2012 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series champion gave his owner, Roger Penske, his 500th win for Penske Racing which, along with NASCAR, fields cars in Indy Car and Sports Car Racing.
The driver who won the two previous races, the iconic Southern 500 and Brickyard 400, felt like the same scenario from those wins played out in “Sin City.”
“We have not been the best car the last three weeks,” Keselowski said. “We put everything together when it counted, and we kind of stole it today. Same scenario the last two weeks. … I feel like we stole the last three races. We’re not complaining, but we still have a lot of work to do to go out there and win heads-up without those issues.”
With Keselowski winning, he locked up his place in the Round of 12 of the playoffs. Keselowski’s championship rivals, Kyle Larson and Martin Truex Jr., finished the South Point 400 from LVMS in second and third, respectively.
The race wasn’t as smooth for eight other playoffs drivers. Four of those drivers left Las Vegas with a DNF, including, Kevin Harvick, who wrecked after blowing a tire on Lap 247. Harvick’s crash also collected playoff contender, Erik Jones. Kyle Bush, the other of the “Big 3” finished seventh. The regular-season champion rallied after spinning at the top of Turn 3, down through the infield grass with 35 laps remaining. On Lap 211, Jamie McMurray wrecked and collected Chase Elliott, also a championship hopeful. Jimmie Johnson and Denny Hamlin saw the pressure mount for them, as the both were caught up in late race incidents.
With only two races left in the Round of 16, Richmond, and the ROVAL at Charlotte Motor Speedway, the pressure to advance is more in focus.
Next week, a recap from Richmond Raceway, with the Track Talk podcast diving into all the details of the Round of 16 Elimination race, and the uniqueness of the inaugural race at the ROVAL at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
The newest episode of Track Talk is below.