In Sunday’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Martinsville Speedway, Brad Keselowski passed Kyle Busch late in a thrilling STP 500, then outran his rival to win Sunday’s Monster Energy Cup Series race at Martinsville Speedway.
Ford, the car maker found Victory Lane at the .526-mile short track for the first time since Oct. 20, 2002, when Kurt Busch won at NASCAR’s oldest and smallest premier series track in a Roush Fenway Racing Ford.
Brad Keselowski won Sunday’s STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway, his first at the half-mile short track. The win snapped a 13 year winless drought at the track by Penske. It was also his second win of the 2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, making him the first repeat winner in a season of parity in NASCAR’s premier series.
Keselowski and runner-up Kyle Busch swapped the lead during the final 64-lap green-flag run, with Busch taking the point on Lap 444 of 500, and Keselowski powering back past Busch’s No. 18 Toyota on Lap 458. From that point, Keselowski pulled away to win by 1.806 seconds, as Busch lost the long-run speed. Kyle Busch finished second, followed by Chase Elliott, Joey Logano, and Austin Dillon rounding out the top 5.
In the series standings, Keselowski leaves Martinsville in fourth place, 34 points behind leader Kyle Larson and 30 behind second-place Chase Elliott, who parlayed a front-row starting position into a third-place finish.
Martin Truex Jr. won the opening 130-lap stage, his series-leading fifth stage win of the young season. While Kyle Busch appeared to be well on his way to winning Stage 2, but fell victim to a turn four incident with Ricky Stenhouse Jr., allowing Elliott to sneak by and snag a precious playoff point.
Busch, who won last April’s STP 500, led the most laps on Sunday, but faded late after taking four tires on his final pit stop and seeing his car’s performance decline as a result. Here, Keselowski took the advantage.
However, the battle for the lead was thrilling but eventually win was just far more exciting. Two of NASCAR’s hard chargers Kyle Busch and Brad Keselowski contested after the restart with 64 to go after Truex’s spin. They both raced each other hard for several laps until Keselowski passed him and pulled away. Brad never looked back as he claimed his first Martinsville Speedway win.