Last Pit Stop Gets Keselowski Southern 500 Win For Weekend Sweep, 1-2 Penske Finish

Heading into the final pit stop of the race at the Darlington Raceway, it appeared that Sunday night’s Southern 500 was going to be Kyle Larson’s to lose. He dominated the entire 367 Lap race in his No. 42 Chevrolet including taking a win in each of the two stages of the night.

If the race would have gone caution free in the closing stages like the rest of the night had practically gone, Larson would have ended up in victory lane. Instead, it was Brad Keselowski doing all the celebrating. 

Through the first 310 laps, we saw just three caution flags fly. Two of which were for stage breaks. But, we’d see three yellows come out over the next 32 laps of racing which arguably cost Larson a huge win.

On Lap 311, Clint Bowyer didn’t know Ryan Newman was pitting and the duo would crash hard into the Turn 3 SAFER barrier. Then, we’d have a debris yellow fly on Lap 328. Still, Larson was the top dog.

On Lap 343, Jeffrey Earnhardt crashed, bringing out the sixth and final caution. The field hit pit road again but a 14 second stop for Larson compared to a 13.4 second stop for Keselowski proved to be the difference.

Keselowski took over the lead on Lap 346 and never look back in leading the final 22 laps en route to his 25th career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race. He beat Larson on the 20 to go restart while Larson would get passed a few laps later by Keselowski’s Team Penske teammate Joey Logano.

They’d finish 1-2 to give Penske his first Southern 500 win since 1975. Since that feat, Penske has 103 more trips to victory lane by 22 different drivers but none in this prestigious race.

Until Sunday.

Keselowski, also gave Ford their first win in the Southern 500 since 2006 when Greg Biffle went to victory lane.

The Michigan native’s 29 race winless streak is also now snapped as his last win prior to tonight was at Talladega (10/15/2017) during last year’s playoffs. It was the third time in his career that he earned a weekend sweep with Keselowski winning Saturday afternoons NASCAR XFINITY Series race too.

Coming into the weekend, he had never won at Darlington before. Now, he leaves with two new trophies.

This is also the second straight year a driver swept Darlington with Denny Hamlin winning both races a year ago as well.

Logano, finished second in his No. 22 Ford for his third straight top 10 finish on the season and third top five finish in his last four starts at Darlington.

Larson, led a race high 284 of 367 laps but would finish third for his third top six finish over the last four races.

Kevin Harvick finished fourth in his No. 4 Ford for his sixth straight Southern 500 top 10 finish, five of which in the top five. He now has 21 top 10 finishes in 25 races this season.

Chase Elliott rounded out the top five in his No. 9 Chevrolet for his third straight top 11 finish in this race and his sixth consecutive top 10 finish on the season.

The series closes out the regular season next weekend at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the 25th Running of the Brickyard 400 (2:30 p.m. ET/NBCSN/IMS Radio Network/SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).

Currently, 14 spots in the playoff field are now clinched with only two remaining open. Jimmie Johnson (+87) and Alex Bowman (+68) hold onto those positions.

Southern 500 Results

  1.  2 Keselowski
  2. 22 Logano
  3. 42 Larson
  4.  4 Harvick
  5.  9 Elliott
  6. 41 KuBusch
  7. 18 KyBusch
  8. 20 Jones
  9.  1 McMurray
  10. 11 Hamlin
  11. 78 Truex Jr.
  12. 17 Stenhouse Jr.
  13. 37 Buescher
  14. 10 Almirola
  15. 12 Blaney
  16.  3 ADillon
  17. 21 Menard -1
  18. 38 Ragan -1
  19. 31 Newman -1
  20. 34 McDowell -2
  21. 13 TDillon -2
  22. 47 Allmendinger -2
  23. 88 Bowman -2
  24. 95 Kahne -3
  25.  6 Kenseth -3
  26. 43 Wallace Jr. R -4
  27. 72 LaJoie -7
  28. 15 Chastain -7
  29. 19 Suarez -9
  30. 00 Cassill -10
  31. 52 Yeley -17
  32. 51 McLeod -20
  33. 99 Cope -21
  34. 96 Earnhardt -23
  35. 25 Byron R OUT
  36. 14 Bowyer OUT
  37. 66 Hill OUT
  38. 32 DiBenedetto OUT
  39. 48 Johnson OUT
  40. 23 Gase OUT

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