Keselowski Wins Drive for the Cure 300 Presented by Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina
Pit Note 5
Friday, Oct. 10
Brad Keselowski came on strong at the end to win the Drive for the Cure 300 presented by Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina NASCAR Nationwide Series race Friday at Charlotte Motor Speedway, outlasting a hard charge by Kyle Busch in the closing laps. It was Keselowski's third Nationwide Series win at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
"Winning a Nationwide race … the novelty hasn't worn off," said Keselowski, who tied NASCAR Hall of Famer Jack Ingram for fifth on the all-time Nationwide win list with 31. "I don't take these wins for granted."
Polesitter Chase Elliott took control of the race early on, leading 66 laps. But a couple late restarts shuffled him back in the field, leaving the rookie with a disappointing eighth-place finish that he blamed himself for.
"For me it seemed like I did not know how to restart a race," Elliott said. "That is 100 percent my fault."
Busch ended the race second, and Matt Kenseth was third.
BRAD KESELOWSKI (WINNER, NO. 22 DISCOUNT TIRE FORD) - "I thought we were playing prevent defense early in the race. We were just waiting on who was going to blow the next tire. You didn't want to run slow and get further back in traffic where you couldn't make passes. But we had some tire problems on the first run and thankfully we got better. We made some adjustments on the car and the team did an awesome job tonight. It's the people. Whenever you have a team, it's always the people right? With the sponsors we have and Roger Penske as a car owner, and Jeremy Bullins who has a done a tremendous job on this program this year, he has really earned it. I'm glad I get to drive it. "
KYLE BUSCH (SECOND PLACE, NO. 54 MONSTER ENERGY TOYOTA) - "For us early, we just didn't have a fast race car. I just didn't quite have the grip I needed to. I was really feeling insecure just not having the car underneath. We worked on it … and made it better there. … We were looking pretty good, just kind of holding a second gap there. Somehow there are things that fall out of the sky and cause cautions, so that kind of ruined our day. We had to come down and get squared back up with stickers and stickers, but the competition was better than us and beat us."
MATT KENSETH (THIRD PLACE, NO. 20 GAMESTOP TOYOTA) - "My race was one spot worse than his (pointing to Busch). It was probably the most competitive we have been this year with me driving the 20. We were pretty fast out there in the lead. We had that debris caution the lap before I was going to lap Chase (Elliott), and that got us behind. We ended up third so it was ok. We didn't win the race but we were closer than we have been."
CHASE ELLIOTT (POINTS LEADER AND POLE WINNER, NO. 9 NAPA AUTO PARTS CHEVROLET) - "It was a roller coaster for us. At times we had the lead and had a fast car. We tried to play the aggressor and have an aggressive strategy on pit road. We've had that done to us this year."