Brad Keselowski prevails at Darlington

Brad Keselowski took advantage of a tussle in front of him, grabbed the lead with nine laps to go and won the NASCAR Cup Series’ Goodyear 400 on Sunday at Darlington Raceway in Darlington, S.C.

In a 33-lap dash after Kyle Larson’s wreck, Tyler Reddick ran down leader Chris Buescher on the backstretch, but the two cars made contact in Turn 3 with 10 laps left, knocking both cars out of the season’s 13th race as it stayed green.

Third-place Keselowski assumed the point and went on to break his 110-race winless streak, which dated back to Talladega in 2021, by beating Ty Gibbs by 1.214 seconds in the six-caution race.

The RFK Racing driver’s win gave Ford its first victory of 2024 as three blue ovals finished in the top five, rounded out by Josh Berry, Denny Hamlin and Chase Briscoe.

Two-time Darlington winner Erik Jones, who suffered a lower vertebra fracture in a violent wreck at Talladega, started 30th and finished 19th in his No. 43 Legacy Motor Club Toyota after missing two races.

On Throwback Weekend at the famed 1.366-mile speedway, drivers sported paint schemes on their cars commemorating ones from decades ago.

Top qualifier Reddick, driving his No. 45 Toyota decked out in a Tim Richmond paint scheme that he drove for two races in 1982, led from the outset and steadily pulled away from fellow front-row starter Keselowski.

Following a series of varied pit-stop strategies, Larson, last week’s winner at Kansas, easily beat Gibbs by two seconds for the 90-lap Stage 1 win with Keselowski well behind in third.

The 293-lap race’s first major incident occurred on a restart on Lap 129 when William Byron, Martin Truex Jr. and Ryan Blaney raced three-wide between Turns 1 and 2.

On the low side, Byron’s Chevrolet crowded the Toyota of middle-man Truex, who made contact and forced Blaney’s Ford into the wall. Buescher got into the back of Truex, who hit Blaney’s No. 12 again as the third caution waved.

In the race’s tightest early racing, Reddick and Keselowski made contact with 16 laps to go in the second segment before the polesitter squeezed by Keselowski and claimed his second win this season and first ever at Darlington.

–Field Level Media