Brad Keselowski earns third NASCAR win of season

Brad Keselowski raced to his third NASCAR Cup Series victory of the season, holding off a charging pack in overtime to take the checkered flag at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City.

Keselowski took the lead from Alex Bowman with seven laps to go, building a big lead before a caution came out. Keselowski roared away on the restart and held off Bowman and Erik Jones to add to his victories this season at Atlanta and Martinsville.

Keselowski’s win came one day after longtime Truck Series driver Mike Mittler died of cancer at the age of 67. Mittler helped to give Keselowski and others a chance in racing.

“He helped a lot of guys in their career. Just a huge loss for the NASCAR community,” Keselowski said. “One of those unsung heroes. Gave his whole life to this sport.”

Bowman finished second for the third straight week, while Jones triggered some bad blood with Kansas native Clint Bowyer by making an aggressive move that allowed him to hold onto third.

Chase Elliott dominated long stretches of the race before losing the lead to Ricky Stenhouse Jr. with 22 laps to go. But after his car failed inspection twice and Elliott had to start at the back, he still managed his third consecutive top-five finish.

Bowyer rounded out the top five.

IndyCar Series: Simon Pagenaud ended his victory drought with a splashy move in the rain in Indianapolis.

The Team Penske driver made a daring pass through three turns on the second-to-last lap and sped away from Scott Dixon for his third IndyCar Grand Prix victory and first series win since the 2017 season finale at Sonoma. Pagenaud beat five-time series champion Scott Dixon by 2.0469 seconds.

“I’ve got to get everything right, and we did that this weekend,” Pagenaud said. “Slowly and surely, we got there. The stars just didn’t align before. But the performance has always been there this year. The team has been fantastic at giving me what I need. So, here we are.”

After qualifying eighth, barely avoiding a loose tire from teammate Josef Newgarden during the race and running out of push-to-pass time during a pass of Jack Harvey for second, the Frenchman pulled off the win.

While other drivers struggled with tire wear on the wet road course, Pagenaud got even more aggressive — a trick he learned driving in his home country of France.

Pagenaud said he experimented with the braking, threw in some fakes and took advantage of other drivers’ second thoughts.

The result: He erased a six-plus second differential with Dixon in the final five laps and there was nothing the five-time series champion could do to stop the hard-charging Pagenaud.

Team Penske has won five straight races on Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s 2.439-mile, 14-turn course.

Formula One: Valtteri Bottas is poised to become a major threat to teammate and defending Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton after clocking a scorching lap at the Spanish Grand Prix at Montmelo to take his third consecutive pole position.

Bottas, who failed to win a race last season, leads Hamilton by one point in the standings after they have alternated places in their four-race run of one-two finishes.

This post was originally posted at https://www.sfgate.com/sports/article/Brad-Keselowski-earns-third-NASCAR-win-of-season-13838765.php.

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