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KESELOWSKI SCORES CAREER FIRST MARTINSVILLE SPEEDWAY CUP WIN IN 1,000TH CUP START FOR TEAM PENSKE

 

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(Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Miller Lite Ford, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway on April 2, 2017 in Martinsville, Virginia. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)


In the final 50 laps of the STP 500 at Martinsville (Na) Speedway Brad Keselowski outran a failing Kyle Busch to collect his first “Grandfather” Clock trophy in what was revealed as the 1,000th Cup Series start for Team Penske.

The win was also the first for Ford Performance since the fall race in 2002 at the 526-mile racetrack which is the only track to be at the top level of NASCAR racing since the start of the company. The win was also the second of the season for Keselowski, both coming on tracks where he had yet to post a victory.

“You know, the two wins this year have both come at tracks that I haven't won at before and we haven't won at as a team before, so certainly that feels really good to be able to check something off the list, and with everything else that goes into today, there seemed to be a lot of numerology today with this being the Penske team's 1,000th start here in this series, and it's been a long time since Ford won here,” stated Keselowski when ask about the special moments attached to the win.

"Short tracks, they built this sport,” added Keselowski when asked about the “Grandfather” clock trophy. “The legacy of this sport is attached to tracks like Martinsville.So I think that makes them special places.

“Even the trophy itself has some special meaning. I know it's made back in my home state of Michigan, and that's something I'm going to take back and be real proud of. I don't like to keep trophies at my house. This one is going at my house. I can tell you, that's how special it is."

Second place finisher Kyle Busch wanted another clock and his first win of the 2017 season. Unfortunately, his car just didn't run as well following his final pit stop.

“ I was just grasping for straws,” admitted Busch of his final run. “(Keselowski) was way better than we were at that time. Just wasn't the same. Our car definitely changed there for the last run of the race, and we just didn't have what we needed in order to have the speed that we had all the rest of the day.

“That was pretty shameful, but we come home P2. So that's all we had.”

Chase Elliott climbed to third at the finish followed by Joey Logano and Austin Dillon. AJ Allmendinger, Clint Bowyer, Ryan Newman, Matt Kenseth and Ricky Stenhouse Jr., rounded out the top ten.

Kyle Larson, despite finishing 17th, still leads in the points followed by Chase Elliott, Martin Truex Jr., Brad Keselowski, Joey Logano, Kyle Busch, Ryan Blaney, Clint Bowyer, Jamie McMurray and Kevin Harvick.

 

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