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Bowyer bolts to victory at Charlotte Motor Speedway

AP
Clint Bowyer celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Bank of America 500 Sprint Cup series race in Concord, N.C., on Saturday, Oct. 13, 2012. AP Photo/Terry Renna

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Saturday, Oct. 13, 2012, 11:56 p.m.
 

CONCORD, N.C. — Clint Bowyer picked up his first win in the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship Saturday night, winning a fuel mileage race that ended in disaster for points leader Brad Keselowski.

Keselowski dominated Saturday night at Charlotte Motor Speedway but ran out of gas with 58 laps remaining to blow his chance at the victory.

He fell a lap down and finished 11th, and had his lead in the standings sliced in half over five-time series champion Jimmie Johnson.

Keselowski, who has a seven-point lead over Johnson at the halfway point of the 10-race Chase, immediately gave his Penske Racing team a pep talk over the radio.

“Win some lose some, guys, it's all good,” he told them.

Keselowski, who also ran out of gas Friday night in the Nationwide Series race because of a fueling error, then asked his crew if he led the most laps Saturday night. Indeed — he led 139 of the 334 — but had little to show for his effort.

“It's blackjack; you're not going to win every hand,” he said. “When you got a bad deal, you have to try not to have too many chips on the table.”

But Keselowski was able to see a silver lining in still finishing 11th.

“It was the worst-case scenario,” he said. “We minimized the damage as best we could.”

Denny Hamlin finished second and is third in the Chase, 15 points back, and Johnson finished third.

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