With nine laps left, Keselowski took the lead by driving inside Kahne coming off turn four, but Kahne drove back past Keselowski and retook the lead down the main straightaway. Keselowski fell in behind Kahne, but undeterred, he drove high and re-passed Kahne on the next lap. With Keselowski’s four tires gripping the track better than Kahne’s two-tire gamble, Keselowski gradually pulled away leading the final eight laps to capture his first win of 2013.
Kahne barely held off Chase points leader Kenseth for second place, with Johnson and Kyle Busch rounding out the top five finishers.
An elated and relieved Keselowski commented on his first win of 2013.
“It was a never give-up night!” he exclaimed. “We had a lot of struggles tonight. We didn’t qualify well (23rd place), but we kept working our way forward. I knew we had a good car...When (crew chief) Paul (Wolfe) made the call to take four tires...I knew we could get them!”
Kenseth has a four-point Chase lead over Johnson as the NASCAR drivers return to the fast and unpredictable Talladega SuperSpeedway for next weekend’s Camping World RV Sales 500.