Keselowski strikes first
JOLIET, Ill. (AP) — Brad Keselowski has won the opening race in the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship, a victory that automatically advances him into the second round.
As Kyle Larson and Kevin Harvick staged a hold-your-breath, side-by-side race for the lead following a restart with 19 laps remaining, Keselowski charged through the middle to grab control of the race. He easily pulled away from the field while Harvick and Larson had their hands full trying to hold off Jeff Gordon, who finished second. Larson was third, followed by Joey Logano and Harvick.
The Chase this year will eliminate four drivers after every third race, and a win guarantees a driver an automatic berth into the next round. Keselowski already was the top seed in the Chase after picking up his fourth win of the season last week at Richmond.