Keselowski wins Chase-opener at Chicagoland

4:46 PM, Sep 16, 2012   |    comments
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Joliet, IL (Sports Network) - Brad Keselowski overtook Jimmie Johnson during the final round of pit stops and then led the final 25 laps to win Sunday's first race in the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship at Chicagoland Speedway.

Johnson started on the pole and dominated most of the race by leading 172 of 267 laps. He pitted from the top position with 38 laps remaining, while Keselowski made his stop on the following lap. After Keselowski exited the pits, he got up to speed quick enough to advance his position on the five-time Sprint Cup Series champion.

Keselowski beat Johnson to the finish line by 3.17 seconds for his fourth win of the season and the eighth of his Sprint Cup career. It was also his first victory in the Chase.

With the win, Keselowski moved atop the point standings for the first time in his career. He holds a three-point advantage over Johnson, who has yet to win a Cup race at this 1.5-mile racetrack.

Kasey Kahne, who is also in the Chase, finished third, while Kyle Busch and Ryan Newman rounded out the top-five. Defending series champion and last year's Chicagoland race winner Tony Stewart placed sixth. Stewart is eight points behind Keselowski.

Denny Hamlin entered this 400-mile race as the points leader, but Hamlin ran out of fuel on the final lap and coasted across the finish line in 16th.

Jeff Gordon had the worst finish among the 12-member Chase field. Gordon experienced a stuck throttle and crashed into the wall late in the race. He wound up in 35th.

The Sports Network

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