BRISTOL, Tenn. - There may be lots of people leaving Bristol Motorspeedway disappointed in the action, but Brad Keselowski wasn't one of them. Keselowski took the lead with 111 laps to go and held off a late race run by Matt Kenseth. The win is the fifth career Sprint Cup win for Keselowski and two in a row at Bristol for the driver of the Blue Deuce. "I love Bristol and Bristol loves me," said Keselowski. "This I the best race car I've ever had in Cup and it showed off today. Hopefully we'll have more cars like this and win more races. The goal at Penske racing is to win a Sprint Cup championship."
On his second place finish, Kenseth said "Overall I was pretty happy with my car. Once we took off and after the mandatory caution, we rolled up to a third or fourth." On a controversial restart (second to last), Kenseth appeared to beat Keselowski to the line and offered an explanation. "I didn't floor it till I got to the start/finish line. I don't know if he was trying to let me beat him on purpose" said Kenseth. "I was half throttle for five car lengths. I was finally, I got to go or Martin or whoever was behind me was going to go around me"
Behind Keselowski and Kenseth were the Michael Waltrip Racing trio of Martin Truex, Clint Bowyer and Brian Vickers rounding out the top five. "I was a little bit worried coming into the race today. We weren't exactly where we wanted to be at the end of Happy Hour" said Truex, Jr. Truex continued by giving praise to how different 2012 has been from 2011. "Michael and Rob really took a step back as an organization bringing in Scott Miller towards the end of last year. We started building some new cars. TRD was really giving us a lot of input. Really kind of started from scratch."
For a good portion of the race, it looked like Vickers had the car to beat. He led 125 laps in his first start of 2012 in the Aaron's Toyota. Vickers hopes to get more races this season and did a good job showing he's still completely capable at competing in the Sprint Cup series.
The race's only major accident occurred before the tires could even get warmed up. On lap 25, Regan Smith made contact with Kasey Kahne and sent Kahne's car into the fence. The accident collected the cars of Marcos Ambrose, Kyle Busch, Kevin Harvick and Carl Edwards with all but Harvick spending significant time behind the wall with repairs. "I think Regan (Smith) was battling with that same thing we all battle with here which is should you let the guy go or keep racing him," said Edwards. "Kasey (Kahne) probably thought he was clear and that ended up in a wreck. It is hard to put 43 cars on a half-mile going this fast and not wreck."
Late in the race, Jeff Gordon and Dale Earnhardt, Jr. were racing hard for a top five position when Earnhardt, Jr. and Gordon made slight contact. "I think we bumped more than we should have" Said Gordon. "When he got into me, it looked like the tailpipe just caught the left rear (tire) and cut the left rear." Gordon went on to finish 35th after spending 105 laps behind the wall; Earnhardt, Jr. finished 15th after a speeding penalty on the final pit stop.
Greg Biffle, who started on the pole, finished the race in 13th and maintained his lead in the points by nine points with Kenseth (-12), Martin Truex, Jr. (-18) and Denny Hamlin (-20) rounding out the top five in Sprint Cup points. After a rough start to the 2012 season, the five car of Kasey Kahne now sits 34th in owner points, just seven points inside the top 35.