A Strong Finish Gives Brad Keselowski Another Crown Jewel Victory

A Strong Finish for Brad Keselowski and Team Penske in the Coca Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway gives him another Crown Jewel victory.
CONCORD, NORTH CAROLINA – MAY 24: Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Miller Lite Ford, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Cup Series Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 24, 2020 in Concord, North Carolina. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

A Strong Finish for Brad Keselowski and Team Penske in the Coca Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway gives him another Crown Jewel victory.

The NASCAR Cup Series ran the show at Charlotte Motor Speedway for the Coca Cola 600, one of NASCAR’s Crown Jewel races. This race is all about team endurance and their ability to adjust from day to night racing. The 600 miles at the 1.5-mile track is already a tough Sunday drive. Now, throw in a sunset and a track temperature decline in the middle of the drive, and this race becomes an annual challenge for many teams.

Stage One

Kurt Busch earned the pole Sunday afternoon during qualifying. He hit the gas and the six-hundred-mile journey began. Kurt Busch led into the competition caution on lap twenty and was able to win the race off pit road. Busch kept control of the lead, but mother nature had a different idea.

On lap 50, the caution flag waved for rain. After the short delay and a few pace laps, drivers came down pit road one more time. Alex Bowman won the race off pit road after a two-tire stop, with 43 laps remaining in the stage. The tire strategy paid off as Alex Bowman held the lead to win the first stage.

Stage Two

Alex Bowman again won the race off pit road in-between stages. He and Martin Truex Jr. made up the front row. Bowman pushed out to the lead and set sail.

On lap 55 drivers began a green flag pitting cycle. Alex Bowman came down for four tires and fuel and once again took to the track with the lead. With no cautions in the second stage, Bowman rolled on to win the second stage.

Stage Three

Alex Bowman won the race off pit road once again, but it seems Martin Truex Jr. made the adjustments he needed. He stayed with Bowman on the restart.

Finally, on lap 25 of the stage, Martin Truex Jr. completes the pass for the lead. Truex Jr. continued to lead through the green flag pitting cycle.

A late caution came out with 26 laps remaining with many drivers opting to come down pit road. A few stayed out for track position, and Joey Logano was one of those drivers, allowing him to claim the lead. This move paid off, allowing Logano to win the third stage.

Stage Four and a Strong Finish for Brad Keselowski

Matt Dibenedetto won the race off pit road in between stages with a two-tire stop. His lead was short-lived as Martin Truex Jr. quickly returned to the front. Truex Jr. led through the midway point of the stage, but with 53 laps remaining in the race, a caution came out for Joey Gase.

Jimmie Johnson won the race off pit road during the caution. Brad Keselowski took the lead on the restart after receiving a big push from behind. Chase Elliott followed right behind Keselowski and took the lead away with 37 laps remaining in the race.

Elliott continued to lead but an extremely late caution came out bringing the race into overtime. Chase Elliott and his team opted to come down pit road thinking drivers would follow. Elliott lost his lead to Keselowski who stayed on the track. Keselowski took care of business on the restart and with a strong finish, he won the Coca Cola 600 in overtime at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Coca Cola 600 Results Cup Series Point Standings

This crown jewel win gives Brad Keselowski the third crown jewel of his career. He only needs a Daytona 500 victory to complete the career grand slam.  Considering the races that are the crown jewel races, this is a tough feat. Keselowski won the Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway. He then went on to win the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Then last night he wins the Coca-Cola 600. Three very challenging races in NASCAR’s Cup Series. A driver of his talent should be able to cap it off and win the Daytona 500. Brad Keselowski has had a great career already with 31 wins and one championship. At 36 years of age, he has accomplished much more than he thought he would ever accomplish.