Brad Keselowski was in the right place at the right time to steal a win Sunday afternoon at Bristol Motor Speedway.
Coming to two laps to go, Chase Elliott collided with leader Joey Logano in Turns 3 and 4, sending them both up the track and out of the way. Keselowski drove by both and into the lead and to the win in the Supermarket Heroes 500 over Clint Bowyer and Jimmie Johnson.
It is the second win for Keselowski in three races.
“I think everybody on this Discount Tire Ford Mustang team is going to go to Vegas,” said Keselowski. “Is it open yet? Because things have been going our way from the luck of the draw on the qualifying to the last few laps there. We couldn’t get anything to go our way at the start of the race with cars staying out, and I kept getting the bottom lane on restarts, and nothing was working out, and then right at the end we came in and put two tires on the left and drove up to, I guess fourth or sixth, I don’t know, something like that and put ourselves in position.
“I could see Joey and Chase were getting really racy there, and I didn’t know what was going to happen, but I knew if I kept my eye open, something good might happen and, sure enough, it did. An incredible day. I’m so happy for the team. This was a never-give-up effort. That’s what we’re becoming as a team.”
The win is the 32nd of Keselowski’s career in the NASCAR Cup Series. It is his third win at Bristol. He led 115 laps from the pole.
Kyle Busch finished fourth after leading 100 laps, and Erik Jones rounded out the top five. Austin Dillon finished sixth with Kurt Busch seventh, William Byron eighth, Christopher Bell ninth, and Darrell Wallace Jr. completing the top 10.
Denny Hamlin led a race-high 131 laps, but finished 17th after bringing out the race’s final caution on lap 490. Hamlin was leading when he got out of the groove in Turn 2 and lost his momentum going down the backstretch. He and Logano made contact in the next set of corners, and Hamlin spun off Turn 4 and also hit BJ McLeod.
Elliott and Logano lined up on the front row for the restart with five laps to go. When Logano got to the inside of Elliott and took the lead, Elliott knocked Logano up the hill in Turns 1 and 2, and it was in Turns 3 and 4 when he slid up into Logano.
The race ended under green, and the contact with Elliott pushed Logano up into the wall. Once the two got disconnected from each other, Logano finished 21st with Elliott finishing 22nd.
“He wrecked me,” said Logano. “He got loose underneath me. The part that’s frustrating is that afterwards a simple apology — like be a man and come up to someone and say, ‘Hey, my bad.’ But I had to force an apology, which, to me, is childish.
“We had a good recovery with our Autotrader Mustang and had a shot to win. That’s all you can hope for. I passed him clean. It’s hard racing at the end; I get that. It’s hard racing, but, golly, man, be a man and take the hit when you’re done with it.”
Responded Elliott, “Just going for the win, trying to get a run underneath him, got really loose in. I don’t know if I had a tire going down or if just got loose on entry, but as soon as I turned off the wall I had zero chance in making it. I’ll certainly take blame. … I feel like that was my shot. He was really good on the short run, and feel like I had to keep him behind me right there in order to win the race with only three, four laps to go. I hate to we both wrecked, but can’t go back in time now.”
Bristol featured 17 cautions and 21 lead changes among seven drivers.