Brad Keselowski darted past Kyle Busch with five laps remaining to win the Kobalt 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway – his first victory in 33 races (Auto Club 2015).
Without a daring late-race call by crew chief Paul Wolfe, the No. 2 Ford driver wouldn’t have taken home the checkered flag. Keselowski was forced to the back of the field, following a pit road speeding penalty on lap 180. Wolfe made the call to stay out on Lap 216 with 51 laps remaining, gambling on fuel, but gaining the track position needed to win the race.
The win was the 18th of Keselowski’s career. Entering 2016, he led the series in wins in two of the last four seasons (2012 and 2014).
Keselowski is now virtually guaranteed a berth in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup with his win. For every victory he accumulates prior to NASCAR’s playoffs, he will gain three bonus points for the Round of 16.
Keselowski’s Team Penske shopmate Joey Logano placed second, marking the second consecutive weekend two teammates have finished 1-2. In the previous race at Atlanta, Hendrick Motorsports drivers Jimmie Johnson and Dale Earnhardt Jr. came in first and second.