Brad Keselowski won the sixth Monster Energy Cup Series race of the season at Martinsville Speedway, in Virginia, on Sunday. This was the 23rd victory of Keselowski’s career, and his second win of the season. The win at Martinsville was his first win of his career.
Brad Keselowski celebrates his win in the STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway
“You know, the two wins this year have both come at tracks that I haven't won at before and we haven't won at as a team before, so certainly that feels really good to be able to check something off the list, and with everything else that goes into today, there seemed to be a lot of numerology today with this being the Penske team's 1,000th start here in this series, and it's been a long time since Ford won here,” Keselowski said.
Keselowski led four times for a total of 116 laps to secure his second win of the season. He won 55 points and is in fourth place in the Monster Energy Cup Series standings.
“But it felt like we were due, and if you ever can be, this is probably one of those tracks, and today was one of those days where we persevered in a special way with the battle there with Kyle at the end I thought was a lot of fun to be a part of,” Keselowski said regarding the outcome of the race.
Kyle Busch finished in second place and led for a race-high 7 times and 274 laps. Busch and Keselowski swapped leads during the last 100, with Keselowski ultimately coming out on top.
“He was way better than we were at that time” Busch said. “Just wasn't the same. Our car definitely changed there for the last run of the race, and we just didn't have what we needed in order to have the speed that we had all the rest of the day. We were able to drive away from the field. We led a lot of laps. We really had no contention there from a lot of people, just passed halfway the rest of the way to the end, and then you put a set of tires on and you lose three-tenths. That was pretty shameful, but we come home P2. So that's all we had.”
Chase Elliott finished in third place and led twice for 20 laps. Elliott was in first place at the conclusion of Stage 2 and received 1 playoff point.
“For me, at this place I was much more improved than I've ever been here in the past, which I thought was great,” Elliott said. “This is such an important race, especially when you come back here in the fall, it's not a place that you can just get by with running bad in life, expect to just go on in the playoffs if you're a part of it.”
Brad Keselowski and Kyle Busch racing during the STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway
Martin Truex Jr and Chase Elliott won both stages of the Martinsville race, both receiving 1 playoff point. Keselowski is in the lead for the playoff standings with 10 points.
Kyle Larson leads the the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series standings with 268 points and 6 playoff points. Chase Elliott is in second place with 264 points and 2 playoff points. Martin Truex Jr is in third place with 236 points and 9 playoff points.
The next race in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series will be at O’Reilly Auto Parts 500.