Monday, September 17, 2018

Brad Keselowski Makes it Three in a Row with Win in Vegas

After a career highlighting win in Indianapolis, Brad Keselowski started his 2018 NASCAR Playoff run with a convincing victory in the South Point 400 at Las Vegas. This marked Keselowski’s third win in a row and advances him into Round 2 of the Playoffs.

Erik Jones started on the pole, but it was Kevin Harvick and Martin Truex Jr. that really looked strong in the opening stage of the race. Martin Truex would capture the Stage 1 victory, while fellow Playoff contender Kyle Larson fell victim to a unscheduled pit stop due to a right front tire.

On Lap 149, Harvick lost a right front tire as well, sending him hard into the turn one wall and collecting Erik Jones in the process, ending both driver’s day. Brad Keselowski emerged as the victor of Stage 2.

In Stage 3, chaos erupted as caution after caution slowed the race pace down considerably. On lap 212, Jamie McMurray lost a tire after slapping the wall on the previous lap. McMurray’s crash collected Playoff driver Chase Elliott, ending both driver’s race.

With 35 laps to go, Kyle Busch got loose in turn four, spinning down into the frontstretch grass, bringing out the caution. With 21 to go, teammate Denny Hamlin met the same fate, also spinning out of turn four. His day would end there, however, as his machine was destroyed by the tri-oval grass.

On the next restart, with 16 laps left, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. lost control of his machine making hard contact with the wall, bringing out yet another yellow.

All the while, Brad Keselowski held off the field with each ensuing restart. Keselowski would have to endure three more restarts, pulling away from the competition each time, before securing his victory.

Editor’s Take:

In my opinion, for a race at a mile and half, this was pretty exciting. It wasn’t a snooze-fest, with the early drama of Kevin Harvick’s tire failure, and it provided plenty of restarts, which in turn set the stage for exciting racing.

No controversies here, just a solid NASCAR Playoff race.

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