Brad Keselowski is the New King of Bristol Motor Speedway
Move over Kurt Busch, Move over Kyle Busch, Brad Keselowski won the past two races of Bristol and is now the new king. Brad Keselowski won the Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway. NASCAR fans of old might not like the new racing at the reconfigured track but whatever camp you might be in there was actual racing at Bristol. The side by side kind of racing that is the definition of racing. Gone was the follow the leader racing which was typical of Bristol. Gone was the move them out of your way with your bumper racing. Brad Keselowski said “To me I’m biased, I know, but to me this was one of the best Bristol races I’ve ever seen. We ran side-by-side for the lead for 20 laps. There was some good beating and banging, some wrecking, a lot of side-by-side action, two- and three-wides. I don’t know what’s better than that. Short of a 30-car wreck every damn week, I don’t know what to ask for.” The race was still one where pit strategy was the key to winning but like it or not we actually had racing on the track. Brad Keselowski said it best “Really proud of this one, for sure. This is our earn-it place. Ain’t no doubt about that. Happy to earn it.”
The race was disappointing early when Kasey Kahne got into Regan Smith and caused a chain reaction crash that also took out Kyle Busch the previous King of Bristol and Carl Edwards another favorite. Also of note would be the stellar performance of Brian Vickers in his first start since ending the season with Red Bull on a sour note last year. Brian led a lot of laps and finished fifth. At the end of the race Matt Kenseth put on a great challenge to Brad Keselowski but fell short and finished second. There was also a great run for Martin Truex, Jr. and Clint Boyer, Brian Vickers team mates who finished third and fourth. Jeff Gordon was having a great day at Bristol until he got into his team mate Dale Earnhardt Jr. and spun the car into the wall ending his day.
It was all about Brad Keselowski though. About 1/3 of the way into the race Brad drove up to the front and catching Brian Vickers around lap 185 of 500 and taking the lead on lap on lap 217. From there on out it was all Brad Keselowski. “So I said last night that I thought I had the best Cup car I ever had. I’m thankful we were able to back it up as a team. Having the best car doesn’t guarantee you a win. Everybody on this team had to execute, and they did. It’s not always the guy with the fastest car that wins. Sometimes it’s the guy and the team that refuses to lose. The Miller Lite team got it done today, they refused to lose.”
That was a great race. Follow me on Twitter @brian_jr1 for more race analysis.