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Brad Keselowski cruises to NASCAR win at Martinsville Speedway | TribLIVE.com
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Brad Keselowski cruises to NASCAR win at Martinsville Speedway

Associated Press
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Getty Images
Brad Keselowski celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Cup Series STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway on March 24, 2019 in Martinsville, Va.

MARTINSVILLE, Va. — Brad Keselowski routed the field at Martinsville Speedway to give Team Penske its third Cup victory through the first six races of the NASCAR season.

Keselowski led 446 of the 500 laps around the shortest track on the NASCAR schedule but was challenged a handful of times by Chase Elliott — the only driver to pass Keselowski on the track Sunday.

Although Elliott led 49 laps, a late caution sent the field to pit road and Keselowski beat Elliott back to the track. Elliott could never get close enough to challenge Keselowski for the win again.

“The car was really good. Just a great day for a team,” Keselowski said. “Just one of those days you dream of as a race car driver.”

The win was the third this season for the new Ford Mustang. Toyota has won the other three races.

Keselowski started third behind teammate Joey Logano, who led the first five laps of the race. Keselowski briefly nudged Logano out of the groove on the sixth lap and took off for the rout that earned him his second Martinsville grandfather clock.

Elliott finished second in a Chevrolet from Hendrick Motorsports, and Kyle Busch was third in a Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing. Busch had won two consecutive Cup races before Sunday, the Truck Series race Saturday at Martinsville and was seeking a weekend sweep.

Busch notched his fifth top-five finish of the season while making his 1,000th career NASCAR national series start.

Penske driver Ryan Blaney was fourth, and Gibbs driver and five-time Martinsville winner Denny Hamlin was fifth.

Stewart-Haas Racing drivers Kevin Harvick and Clint Bowyer were sixth and seventh, Gibbs driver Martin Truex Jr. was eighth, then SHR drivers Aric Almirola and Daniel Suarez completed the top 10.

Ford drivers took six spots in the top 10, and Gibbs and Toyota claimed three of the slots.

Categories: Sports | US-World
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