Passing hometown favorite Kyle Busch with six laps remaining, Brad Keselowski won Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Busch took the lead with an impressive display of talent powering from sixth to first in less than a lap on a restart with 35 to go. But slowly Keselowski and Joey Logano, Team Penske stablemates, gradually whittled down Busch's advantage with Keselowski passing Busch entering Turn 3, then pulling away to snap a 33-race winless streak.
The win was Keselowski's 18th career victory, but first since March 22, 2015, at Auto Club Speedway.
"It's hard to believe it's been 34 races," Keselowski said. "We've led a lot of races in that time span, probably deserved to win a few more races than that. That's just kind of how racing goes sometimes."
Logano finished second, with Jimmie Johnson third, Busch fourth and Austin Dillon fifth. Rookie Ryan Blaney, a quasi-teammate of Keselowski and Logano, placed sixth.
A Las Vegas native, Busch was positioned to win for the second time on his home track until what he believed was a slowly deflating right-side tire allowed Keselowski to close. The defending Sprint Cup champion had taken just left-side tires on his previous pit stop. He is the only driver to record three top-five finishes in all three races this season.
"I had a vibration when they put the rights on and then it just kept getting worse and worse and there at the end I didn't know if the tire was coming apart or what the deal was," Busch said. "I was trying to give it everything I had, and it just would not turn."
Inclement weather plagued the Kobalt 400. A rain shower delayed the start by 25 minute, while heavy winds — gusts strong as 43 mph — and a dust storm affected drivers throughout the afternoon. Several cars collected debris on the front grilles causing overheating.
"That's the wild, wild west, right?" Logano said. "It was dusty, rainy, windy, crazy. It made for a great race."
The win virtually guarantees Keselowski, the 2012 series champion, a spot in the 16-driver Chase for the Sprint Cup playoff. He joins Denny Hamlin (Daytona) and Johnson (Atlanta) as 2016 race winners and gives all three manufacturers victories in the young season. Hamlin is aligned with Toyota, Johnson with Chevrolet, while Keselowski drives a Ford.
"Certainly the performance we showed with finishing 1‑2 with Team Penske shows that when we get things right, we can be one of the dominant teams," Keselowski said, "but not by a long ways."