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NASCAR: Keselowski ends 33-race drought with Vegas win

Keselowski was both thrilled and relieved after the Kobalt 400. He had not won a Sprint Cup Series race in nearly a year to the day. Keselowski’s last trip Victory Lane came in March 2015 at Fontana, California, a race that is two weeks down the NASCAR schedule.
“It’s hard to believe it’s been 34 races. We’ve had a lot of races in that time span, probably deserved to win a few more races than that. That’s just kind of how racing goes sometimes,” said Keselowski. “ (I am) Thrilled to be back in Victory Lane.”
Keselowski admitted he had to overcome a few obstacles during the afternoon. Rain and high winds delayed the start of the race. There was a dust storm that hampered visibility late in the race. Six caution periods also toyed with each driver’s race strategy.
Keselowski also had to battle to the front of the field after being assessed a penalty for speeding on pit lane on Lap 180. But nothing seemed to deter Keselowski on this day.
“It just seemed like there were plenty of challenges. Whether it was pit road or the weather or cautions,” the winner said after the race. “They threw everything they had at us today. We were able to fight them off and get to Victory Lane.”
Keselowski was settling in for a second-place finish, when race leader Kyle Busch began to falter.
He streaked into the lead for good on Lap 262, as he passed Busch with Joey Logano and Jimmie Johnson in his wake. Despite the challenge coming home, Keselowski held on to edge teammate Logano by just over half a second.
When the checkered flag waved to end the race, Keselowski had his first win of the season, Logano was second, Johnson third and Busch fourth, albeit by a slim margin of .016 seconds. Keselowski was happy with that.
“Certainly, the performance we showed today, with finishing 1-2 with Team Penske, shows that when we get things right, we can be one of the dominant teams,” he said.
Race runner-up Logano said he was not surprised by his final standing. That was where he was all weekend.
“This whole weekend we finished second. Second in every qualifying round, second in practice on Friday, second in the race,” said Logano, who had started the race from the second spot. “Just so close.
“I know we’re only three races in, but I’m getting antsy,” Logano said. “(But) We have good speed in our cars—we’ll be all right.”
Though the Sprint Cup Series year has just got underway, the elite of NASCAR is already gathering at the top of the driver standings. Reigning series title holder Kyle Busch leads six-time champion Johnson by six points, with 2014 champion Kevin Harvick just one point behind that.
The fourth race of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season is the Good Sam 500. The race will be run on March 13, 2016, at Phoenix International Raceway.

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