Last lap pass sees Keselowski win at Fontana

Keselowski has secured a spot in the Chase

Keselowski has secured a spot in the Chase

Brad Keselowski has led just one mile in winning the Auto Club 400 at California Speedway to take his first victory of 2015.

During a succession of late race caution periods, the race looked to be a fight between Stewart-Haas team-mates Kevin Harvick and Kurt Busch.

However, on the second and final ‘green-white-chequered’ finish, Keselowski split the pair and took the lead heading onto the back straight, which he held to the finish.

The result came down to a four-tyre pit stop under caution prior to the first attempt to finish the race.

While most of the leaders took two tyres, Keselowski put four fresh Goodyear’s on his Ford and stormed through from 17th to sixth and put himself in a position to fight for victory.

He got that chance when Kyle Larson hit the wall and spread debris on the back stretch which brought out another yellow flag.

Then with the extra grip Keselowski, who re-started the final time from the third row, took full advantage and charged by the leaders.

“Kevin Harvick and Kurt Busch, they both did a hell of a job and both had great cars the whole weekend and probably had the field covered on speed, but my guys never gave up, put us in position and we were able to close it out at the end,” Keselowski said.

“We caught some breaks and made the most of the breaks we caught, and that was kind of the story of our race.

“It looked like we were probably gonna finish sixth or seventh there and then that yellow came out.

“We came in and pitted and drove up a little bit. Some guys stayed out. Some guys took two tyres and all kinds of different strategies and on the restart we were able to find our way through the lanes and get to the front there and somehow end up in victory lane leading the last lap.

“That’s kind of a race car driver’s dream and this is one we’re gonna sit back and go ‘wow’ for a while on.”

The result was the 17th victory for Keselowski and he joins his Team Penske team-mate Joey Logano in making the Chase for the Sprint Cup.

Harvick took second to stretch his streak of a first or second place finish to eight-straight races; dating back to his championship winning run last year.

VIDEO: Race Highlights

RESULTS: Auto Club 400 – Auto Club Speedway

POS. CAR # DRIVER MANUFACTURER STARTING POS. LAPS LAPS LED FINAL STATUS POINTS BONUS POINTS
1 2 Brad Keselowski Ford 8 209 1 Running 47 4
2 4 Kevin Harvick Chevrolet 2 209 34 Running 43 1
3 41 Kurt Busch Chevrolet 1 209 65 Running 43 2
4 27 Paul Menard Chevrolet 11 209 0 Running 40 0
5 31 Ryan Newman Chevrolet 9 209 0 Running 39 0
6 88 Dale Earnhardt Jr Chevrolet 17 209 0 Running 38 0
7 22 Joey Logano Ford 13 209 0 Running 37 0
8 78 Martin Truex Jr Chevrolet 12 209 5 Running 37 1
9 48 Jimmie Johnson Chevrolet 14 209 0 Running 35 0
10 24 Jeff Gordon Chevrolet 7 209 3 Running 35 1
11 43 Aric Almirola Ford 23 209 0 Running 33 0
12 51 Justin Allgaier Chevrolet 31 209 0 Running 32 0
13 19 Carl Edwards Toyota 15 209 1 Running 32 1
14 14 Tony Stewart Chevrolet 20 209 0 Running 30 0
15 17 Ricky Stenhouse Jr Ford 27 209 0 Running 29 0
16 3 Austin Dillon Chevrolet 21 209 0 Running 28 0
17 5 Kasey Kahne Chevrolet 19 209 0 Running 27 0
18 18 David Ragan Toyota 4 209 0 Running 26 0
19 10 Danica Patrick Chevrolet 22 209 0 Running 25 0
20 34 Chris Buescher Ford 33 209 0 Running 24 0
21 1 Jamie McMurray Chevrolet 26 209 0 Running 23 0
22 55 Brett Moffitt Toyota 30 209 0 Running 22 0
23 13 Casey Mears Chevrolet 37 209 0 Running 21 0
24 35 Cole Whitt Ford 32 209 0 Running 20 0
25 40 Landon Cassill Chevrolet 40 209 0 Running 0 0
26 42 Kyle Larson Chevrolet 5 209 0 Running 18 0
27 33 Brian Scott Chevrolet 25 209 0 Running 0 0
28 11 Denny Hamlin Toyota 6 209 56 Running 17 1
29 6 Trevor Bayne Ford 36 209 0 Running 15 0
30 15 Clint Bowyer Toyota 10 209 0 Running 14 0
31 20 Matt Kenseth Toyota 3 209 43 Running 14 1
32 16 Greg Biffle Ford 29 209 0 Running 12 0
33 7 Alex Bowman Chevrolet 28 208 1 Running 12 1
34 47 AJ Allmendinger Chevrolet 18 208 0 Running 10 0
35 38 David Gilliland Ford 43 208 0 Running 9 0
36 98 Josh Wise Ford 35 207 0 Running 8 0
37 23 J.J. Yeley Toyota 41 206 0 Running 0 0
38 46 Michael Annett Chevrolet 24 206 0 Running 6 0
39 26 Jeb Burton Toyota 34 205 0 Running 5 0
40 32 Mike Bliss Ford 39 205 0 Running 0 0
41 62 Brendan Gaughan Chevrolet 38 205 0 Running 0 0
42 83 Matt DiBenedetto Toyota 42 203 0 Running 2 0
43 9 Sam Hornish Jr Ford 16 155 0 Running 1 0

 

 STANDINGS

POS DRIVER POINTS BEHIND STARTS WINS TOP 5 TOP 10 DNF
1 Kevin Harvick 225 Leader 5 2 5 5 0
2 Joey Logano 197 -28 5 1 2 5 0
3 Martin Truex Jr 192 -33 5 0 1 5 0
4 Dale Earnhardt Jr 164 -61 5 0 3 4 1
5 Brad Keselowski 163 -62 5 1 1 4 1
6 Ryan Newman 162 -63 5 0 3 4 0
7 Jimmie Johnson 159 -66 5 1 2 3 0
8 Kasey Kahne 159 -66 5 0 1 2 0
9 Paul Menard 152 -73 5 0 1 1 0
10 Aric Almirola 138 -87 5 0 0 0 0
11 AJ Allmendinger 137 -88 5 0 0 2 0
12 Casey Mears 132 -93 5 0 0 1 0
13 Matt Kenseth 127 -98 5 0 1 2 0
14 Denny Hamlin 125 -100 5 0 2 2 0
15 David Ragan 124 -101 5 0 0 0 0
16 Jamie McMurray 120 -105 5 0 1 1 1
17 Carl Edwards 120 -105 5 0 0 0 0
18 Kyle Larson 116 -109 5 0 0 2 1
19 Austin Dillon 116 -109 5 0 0 0 0
20 Clint Bowyer 115 -110 5 0 0 1 0
21 Greg Biffle 113 -112 5 0 0 1 0
22 Jeff Gordon 112 -113 5 0 0 2 1
23 Danica Patrick 111 -114 5 0 0 0 0
24 Justin Allgaier 102 -123 5 0 0 0 1
25 David Gilliland 101 -124 5 0 0 0 0
26 Ricky Stenhouse Jr 99 -126 5 0 0 0 1
27 Trevor Bayne 86 -139 5 0 0 0 0
28 Kurt Busch 82 -143 2 0 2 2 0
29 Sam Hornish Jr 80 -145 5 0 0 0 0
30 Cole Whitt 80 -145 5 0 0 0 1
31 Brett Moffitt 78 -147 4 0 0 1 0
32 Tony Stewart 62 -163 5 0 0 0 2
33 Michael Annett 60 -165 5 0 0 0 0
34 Alex Bowman 49 -176 4 0 0 0 1
35 Michael McDowell 44 -181 3 0 0 0 0
36 Josh Wise 38 -187 4 0 0 0 0
37 Brian Vickers 32 -193 2 0 0 0 0
38 Jeb Burton 28 -197 4 0 0 0 0
39 Chris Buescher 24 -201 1 0 0 0 0
40 Bobby Labonte 20 -205 1 0 0 0 0
41 Michael Waltrip 18 -207 1 0 0 0 0
42 Reed Sorenson 12 -213 1 0 0 0 0
43 Matt DiBenedetto 11 -214 2 0 0 0 0
44 Mike Wallace 8 -217 1 0 0 0 0
45 Alex Kennedy 6 -219 1 0 0 0 0
46 Ron Hornaday Jr 2 -223 1 0 0 0 1
47 Brian Scott 0 -225 2 0 0 0 0
48 Regan Smith 0 -225 3 0 0 0 0
49 Matt Crafton 0 -225 1 0 0 0 0
50 Ryan Blaney 0 -225 2 0 0 0 1
51 Johnny Sauter 0 -225 1 0 0 0 0
52 Landon Cassill 0 -225 5 0 0 0 2
53 Brendan Gaughan 0 -225 4 0 0 0 0
54 Ty Dillon 0 -225 1 0 0 0 0
55 Mike Bliss 0 -225 3 0 0 0 0
56 J.J. Yeley 0 -225 5 0 0 0 0
57 Joe Nemechek 0 -225 1 0 0 0 0
58 Travis Kvapil 0 -225 0 0 0 0 0
59 Tanner Berryhill 0 -225 0 0 0 0 0
60 Justin Marks 0 -225 0 0 0 0 0

 

 

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