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MENCS: Keselowski overcomes adversity, wins at AMS

(MRN)  An unscheduled pit stop surprisingly preceded an unexpected victory for Brad Keselowski on Sunday at Atlanta Motor Speedway. But for Kevin Harvick, late-race adversity could not be overcome as a speeding penalty on pit road negated his race-long domination and left Harvick with only a ninth-place finish. After teams pitted during the fourth caution of the afternoon, it was soon discovered that Keselowski would need to return with a loose wheel. He did so and restarted fourteenth less than sixty laps from the checkered flag. He worked his way through the field, passed race leader Kyle Larson seven laps from the finish and kept the Number-2 Team Penske Ford in front the rest of the way to notch his twenty-second career victory. Larson took second place, a half-second behind Keselowski. Matt Kenseth, Kasey Kahne and Chase Elliott completed the top five … Pole sitters had won the first two races of the weekend and for much of Sunday’s race, it looked like Harvick would follow suit. But after leading a race-high 292 of the 325 laps and winning the first two stages, the speeding ticket dropped Harvick from contention. He did come away from the second race of the season with a consolation prize, of sorts. Harvick has the series lead by four points over Daytona 500 winner Kurt Busch with the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series now headed into its three-week swing through the western United States … Busch was bidding to become the first driver to open the Cup season with back-to-back wins since Kenseth in 2009 but fell short, finishing seventh.

Top 10 Finishers in the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500

DRIVER STARTING POSITION LAPS LED

1. Brad Keselowski (5) 21

2. Kyle Larson (8) 7

3. Matt Kenseth (16) —

4. Kasey Kahne (29) —

5. Chase Elliott (11) —

6. Joey Logano (6) —

7. Kurt Busch (13) —

8. Martin Truex Jr. (9) —

9. Kevin Harvick (Pole) 292

10. Jamie McMurray (7) —

UNOFFICIAL POINT STANDINGS–AFTER 2 RACES

DRIVER POINTS BEHIND LEADER

1. Kevin Harvick 90 —-

2. Kurt Busch 86 -4

3. Brad Keselowski 84 -6

4. Chase Elliott 82 -8

5. Joey Logano 80 -10

6. Kyle Larson 79 -11

7. Martin Truex Jr. 67 -23

8. Ryan Blaney 63 -27

Kasey Kahne 63 -27

10. Trevor Bayne 58 -32

About Jim Harris

Jim Harris has been WYSH's News & Sports Director since 2000. In addition to reporting local news, he is the play-by-play voice for Clinton High School football, boys' and girls' basketball and baseball. Catch Jim live weekdays beginning at 6:20 am for live local news, sports, weather and traffic plus the Community Bulletin Board, shenanigans with Ron Meredith and more on the Country Club Morning Show on WYSH & WQLA. Jim lives in Clinton with his wife Kelly and daughter Carolina, his mother-in-law and cats Lucius and Oliver.

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