NASCAR Cup Series

Brad Keselowski triumphs at Darlington to snap 110-race NASCAR Cup Series winless streak

Brad Keselowski triumphs at Darlington to snap 110-race NASCAR Cup Series winless streak

After an excruciating three-year wait that saw him leave one team and become co-owner of another, Brad Keselowski finally made it back to victory lane.

Keselowski snapped a 110-race winless streak Sunday at Darlington Raceway, scoring his first NASCAR Cup Series victory in three years. The win, the 36th of his Cup career, was also Keselowski’s first as a driver and co-owner of RFK Racing, which he joined at the start of the 2022 season when Roush Fenway Racing became Roush Fenway Keselowski Racing.

“It’s just so great to be here in Darlington.  I love this track.  I love coming here,” Keselowski said. “It’s a special place to me whether you win or not, but to run up front all day and have a great car, qualify up front, it was just an awesome day.”

Brad Keselowski celebrates after winning the Goodyear 400, Sunday at Darlington Raceway.

Keselowski’s last win before Sunday came at Talladega Superspeedway on April 25, 2021 as a driver for Team Penske.

Keselowski, who also gave manufacturer Ford its first win of 2024, started second and led 37 laps after battling pole sitter Tyler Reddick for most of the afternoon. They tangled again on the final restart with 33 laps to go and raced side-by-side for a few laps until both were passed by Keselowski’s teammate Chris Buescher, who drove down to the bottom of the track and sped past Keselowski and Reddick to assume the lead.

Reddick moved ahead of Keselowski and steadily reeled Buescher back in, and with 10 laps to go, the 23XI Racing driver made his move – diving from behind Buescher to his left side before sliding high and pushing Buescher’s No. 17 Ford into the outside wall. That contact cut Reddick’s right-rear tire and forced both drivers to pit road, handling the lead back to Keselowski.

Minutes later, Keselowski, the 2012 Cup Series champion, took the checkered flag ahead of Ty Gibbs, and the celebration was on.

“I thought (Buscher) was gonna win it there when he got by me,” Keselowski said.  “I was like, ‘Dog gone it.  Here’s another one that Chris got,’ but he did a hell of a job there.  It’s good for us as a company, good for us as a team.  It locks us into the playoffs.  Just and incredible day for us here in Darlington.”

Buescher, who finished second last weekend at Kansas behind Kyle Larson in the closest finish in NASCAR history, limped home in 30th, while Reddick, who led a career-high 174 laps, finished 32nd.

Immediately after the race ended, Buescher tracked down Reddick on pit road and angrily confronted him.

Buescher then explained his frustration in an interview with Fox Sports’ Jamie Little.

“We got wrecked. That one’s clear as day, don’t need any cameras to tell us,” Buescher said. “We’ve raced each other really clean through the years, try to be respectful about it, and we get used up. Just really pissed off about it right now. We certainly had a chance to win another one.”

Josh Berry finished third for his second career Cup Series top five, Denny Hamlin came home fourth and Chase Briscoe fifth. William Byron, Bubba Wallace, Alex Bowman, Justin Haley and Michael McDowell rounded out the Top 10.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Brad Keselowski wins at Darlington to snap long NASCAR winless streak

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