(WOMR file photo)
“Blazingly Bad” Brad Keselowski passed the race leader, Jimmie Johnson, during the final series of pit stops, and then, went on to win the first race of the Chase for the Sprint Cup Championship at Chicagoland Speedway on Sunday. Adding the GEICO 400 trophy to his collection. Keselowski will head into Louden, N.H. with a three-point lead in the Sprint Cup standings.
The final race-deciding stops began with just under 40 laps to go. Johnson had a lead of just over a second when he headed in for fuel and tires. Keselowski pitted a lap later and when he came out, he did so just in front of Johnson, who led the most laps in the race.
Once in the lead, Keselowski pulled away from Johnson, who finished second, and won by just over three seconds.
“It feels like Round 1 of a heavyweight title bout,” said Keselowski, who took the series points lead for the first time in his career. “It’s a 10-round bout. Week one’s done. We might have won the round, but we didn’t by any means knock ‘em out.
“We’ve got a lot of racing left to go. We’re feeling good about today, but (we) know that we have a lot of work to do.”
Johnson shrugged off the result.
“Yeah,” the five-time champion who said, “just really proud of the team on all fronts. Overcame some adversity through our practice sessions, sat on pole, led a lot of laps today, fell some on pit road, race strategy, you name it, we had a very, very solid day. Of course we would have loved to have won the race, but we’ll take second and go on. This is a fantastic way to start the Chase.”
Here is the unofficial results from the GEICO 400.
After the first race in the 2012 Chase, check out the Chase standings.
This weekend the Sprint Cup series moves into the Granite State, Louden, N.H. for round two of the Chase. Slowly the pressure is building on some of the race teams to ratchet up their performances, if they have any hopes of contending for the championship.
Twelve drivers, nine races, one championship, who will be the last man standing?
TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!