A late-race pass on Kyle Busch on the final restart of the night awarded Kevin Harvick of JR Motorsports managed to pass Joe Gibbs Racing’s Kyle Busch with 10 laps remaining to claim victory in the John R. Elliott HERO Campaign 300 presented by Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta yesterday.
For a long time it looked as though pole winner Penske pro Brad Keselowski would claim the trophy as he virtually dominated most of the race from the time he led the 40-car starting field to the green flag and zoomed down the track, leading for 138 out of 200 laps. Although Keselowski lost the lead several times to other drivers including Paul Menard, Kyle Busch and Elliott Sadler, each time following 7 cautions during the race, he was able to quickly regain it until a he was dropped back to 17th after being caught speeding in pit road at lap 157.
"We had a great Discount Tires Ford. I just put us behind with that speeding penalty," he commented after the race.
Still, Keselowski managed to put his pedal to the metal once more, and push his No. 22 Penske Ford to the limit, getting by Kyle Bush as the race wound down, and held on for 2nd behind Harvick. Busch finished 3rd, followed by Menard (4th), Ryan Blaney (5th) and Richard Childress drivers Brendan Gaughan, Ty Dillon and Brian Scott claiming the 6-8 spots. Also finishing in the top 10 were Turner Scott Racing’s Kyle Larson and Joe Gibbs’ Elliot Sadler.
Sadler, by the way became the new points leader (the first non-JR Motor Sports driver to do so this season) by 4 points over (now) second-place Chase Elliott, driver of the No. 9 JR Motorsports Chevrolet. Regan Smith had been point leader going into the race before ending up in a wreck on lap 169.