Keselowski Overcomes Injury for Pocono Upset

By Gary Buchanan

The Good Sam RV Insurance 500 at Pocono looked like it may never get started and Brad Keselowski, who had injured his ankle in testing recently, looked like he could not possibly drive the entire 500 miles. On Thursday as the Truck teams were coming into the track, a hauler knocked down the flag stand. Friday, the track had to go to a lift truck as a back up. On Friday night they put up a temporary flag stand. On Saturday, the Camping World Truck Series Good Sam RV Emergency Road Service 125 only managed to get 13 laps in before the summer torrential rains came and Nascar Officials had to move both the Truck race and the Arca Race to Sunday morning before the Cup race began.
Sunday race day morning was still wet when the drivers and teams got to the track, but with Jet Dryers and coffee in the morning, the track was soon dry enough for the Truck teams to resume at 9:00 and Kevin Harvick dominated to bring home a win with Kyle Busch a close second.

With the Arca Teams setting up pit boxes while Kevin Harvick was doing his burnout, the track was dried and rubbered up just before the Cup teams went green at 1:10 PM. The heat and humidity was oppressive on pit road. The infrared temperature guns reading 105 when the drivers climbed into their cars and after two of the fastest pace laps in memory, the green flag flew and the Good Sam RV Insurance 500 was underway.

The race started with Joey Logano on the pole with Kasey Kahne right beside him on the front row. The rest of the field started in the following order: Martin Truex Jr., Carl Edwards, Ford, Kurt Busch,Denny Hamlin, Paul Menard,Jeff Burton, Greg Biffle, Kevin Harvick, Kyle Busch, Ryan Newman, Brad Keselowski, Clint Bowyer, David Ragan, Jamie McMurray, Regan Smith, Chevrolet, Jimmie Johnson, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Matt Kenseth, Dave Blaney, Bobby Labonte, Juan Pablo Montoya, David Gilliland, Mark Martin, Brian Vickers, Marcos Ambrose, Tony Stewart, A J Allmendinger, Todd Bodine, Jeff Gordon, Casey Mears, David Reutimann, J.J. Yeley, Erik Darnell, Landon Cassill, David Stremme, Robby Gordon, Travis Kvapil, Scott Speed, Jason White, Andy Lally, and Joe Nemechek,
Kyle Busch, who started 11th in the 18 car spun going into turn 3 on lap 13 and brought out the first caution. Kyle ended up on Pit road after the spin and was penalized for entering pit road before the pits were open.
Shortly after on lap 19, David Regan went to the bottom of turn 3 and got loose and spun out hitting the wall and ending his day. David said that “ if I had to do it all over again, I would have probably made the same decision, but I just didn’t have enough to do what I needed to do. “
There were 16 Lead Changes in the first 124 laps with Denny Hamlin leading the most with 65 laps, Joey Logano 43 laps, Kurt Busch 28 laps , Brad Keselowski 3 laps, Carl Edwards 2 laps, and Casey Mears, Ryan Newman and Landon Cassill each leading one lap apiece.
At lap 124 the heavens opened up and once more Pocono was inundated with rain which caused the race to be red flagged for one hour 40 minutes and 45 seconds. After sitting around in their haulers and grabbing a sandwich, the teams headed back out to the grid and the race restarted on a green race track with 6 caution laps run before the green flag flew on lap 150. Many of the teams, including

Tony Stewart took the opportunity to pit before the green flag flew.

on the restart the lead 10 cars were Kurt Busch, Kyle Busch, Brad Keselowski, Jimmie Johnson, Joey Logano, Denny Hamlin, Casey Mears, Jeff Gordon, Dale Earnhart Jr, and Carl Edwards.
With ominous storm clouds swirling over head of the track, On Lap 162 Kyle Busch passes his brother Kurt for first. Then on lap 179 Juan Pablo Montoya hit Kasey Kahne and spun himself out.
On lap 174 Brad Keselowski, nursing a sprained ankle that resembled a grapefruit and with a backup driver on standby, took the lead from Kyle Busch and did not relinquish it till he took the checkered flag. Kurt Busch and Jimmie Johnson fought each other for 3rd place on the final lap with each bumping the other and nearly wrecking. Jimmie Johnson had a few words for Kurt Busch at the end of the race.
The top ten finishers were; Brad Keselowski, Kyle Busch, Kurt Busch, Jimmy Johnson, Ryan Newman, Jeff Gordon, Carl Edwards, Greg Biffle, Dale Earnhart Jr., and Paul Menard rounding out the top 10.
This was Brad’s 3rd victory in 74 sprint cup races. For 2011, this was Brad’s second victory and his sixth top 10 finish.
The win again changed up the points standing with Carl Edwards maintaining his lead over Jimmie Johnson. The order of the points are: Carl Edward, 720; Jimmy Johnson , 711; Kyle Busch, 709; Kurt Busch, 706; Kevin Harvick, 700; Matt Kenseth, 694; Jeff Gordon, 668; Ryan Newman, 658; Tony Stewart, 642; Dale Earnhart, Jr, 641. Of the top ten drivers, neither Tony Stewart nor Dale Earnhart, Jr have a win this season and could be bumped from the top ten by drives with wins.