After more than a year since his last win, Brad Keselowski made his way back to victory lane at Charlotte.
Keselowski captured his first win of the 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season when he took the lead with a pass on Kasey Kahne with nine laps to go. The win at the Bank of America 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway comes 37 races after the reigning 2012 champion’s last win at Dover in Sept. 2012.
The win at Charlotte not only gave Keselowski his first Cup win of the year, but it marked the first time a non-Chaser won a race in the Chase. The last time this occurred was in the 2011 season with Kahne at Phoenix.
Keselowski walked away as the night’s winner, but the entire night had not been a winning for him. Earlier in the race, Keselowski had been penalized for leaving pit road with the jack attached to the car. He worked his way up to the front following the unlucky pit road incident. With the win, it gives the No.2 team a change for the better and to at least finish of the year on a brighter note.
Kahne finished in second after battling Keselowski for the win. Matt Kenseth finished in third followed by Jimmie Johnson and Kyle Busch to close out the top five.
Eight of the 13 chase drivers finished in the top 10.
The Bank of America 500 also featured the Cup debut of Kyle Larson, Brian Scott, and Blake Koch. Larson’s night came to an end following an engine failure, finishing the race in 37th. Koch finished in 38th. Scott had the highest finish among the night’s debuts with a 27th-place finish.
The night featured a Hendrick Motorsports dominance in the early part of the race in the top four spots, but also allowed many others to stand out. Not only was race winner Keselowski the only driver to turn his latest luck over at Charlotte, but so did Denny Hamlin. Hamlin captured a ninth-place finish. It had been a while since Hamlin finished in the top 10 since his comeback from a wreck at Fontana.
Charlotte closed the first half of the Chase, and Kenseth and Johnson still remain up front in the points. That said, with second half beginning at Talladega, a lot can change with all of the surprises that can come at the track. There still is plenty of racing left before everything is all said and done.