The first thing Brad Keselowski did when he reached victory lane at Bristol? Tweet a photo, of course.
NASCAR's social media monster proved he's not just a master of the hashtag on Sunday with a thoroughly dominating run at the Food City 500. He led 232 laps, by far the most of his Sprint Cup career, en route to his second straight Bristol victory. And he got to make what he called "my favorite turn in racing," the turn onto Bristol's rooftop victory lane.
Keselowski won with what he called earlier in the week the best Sprint Cup car he'd ever driven, and he did so despite a furious challenge from Daytona 500 winner Matt Kenseth. (And perhaps a wee bit of NCAA referee-style officiating from NASCAR officials, who didn't flag Kenseth for what appeared to be a possible jump of the restart mid-race.)
An inch or two another direction, and Keselowski wouldn't have had the chance to win. He came within a coat of paint of getting caught up in Kasey Kahne's early race wreck. But since that wreck took out three of the odds-on favorites to win in Kahne, Carl Edwards and Kyle Busch, the way was clear for Keselowski. And in the end, not even Kenseth could catch him.
Outside of Keselowski, this was a race of redemption for a couple of mid-pack teams. Michael Waltrip Racing finished 3-4-5 with Martin Truex Jr., Clint Bowyer and Brian Vickers in his Sprint Cup debut. And Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing's Jamie McMurray and Juan Pablo Montoya finished seventh and eighth.
But this day belonged to Keselowski, who completed the multi-manufacturer sweep; each of the four manufacturers has now won a race this season. (Keselowski's Dodge now joins Kenseth's Ford, Denny Hamlin's Toyota and Tony Stewart's Chevy in the win column.) And he's certainly poised for many more, both this year and at Thunder Valley.
"What can I say?" he smiled. "I love Bristol and Bristol loves me."
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- Brad Keselowski
- Matt Kenseth