Keselowski Wins Coca-Cola 600

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Brad Keselowski won the Coca-Cola 600 from Charlotte Motor Speedway on Sunday night.

Keselowski inherited the lead when Chase Elliott pitted before an Overtime restart.  Keselowski held off Jimmie Johnson over the final two laps to pick up his first win in NASCAR’s longest race.

Keselowski said the victory knocked another one of NASCAR’s majors off his list.

Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

“I know we’ve lost it the way Chase lost it and that really stinks, but today we finally won it that way,” Keselowski said.  “It’s a major; it’s the Coke 600 and this only leave one major left for me, the Daytona 500, so we’re checking them off.”

Keselowski said the victory was emotional because of what Memorial Day means and because he was able to take the name of a fallen soldier to victory lane.

“It means a lot to me, but I can’t help but think about the Reep family and Donovan [the fallen soldier’s name on Keselowski’s windshield],” Keselowski said.  “I know Memorial Day’s about a lot more than racing, but we’re glad to be able to do cool things like racing because of the freedoms provided by those that are willing to make those sacrifices.”

Elliott had a strong car throughout the race, and was leading when his teammate William Byron brought out the caution with three laps to go.  Elliott pitted while the other leaders stayed out, and he was only able to work his way back to third in the final two laps.

Elliott said the leader is always at a disadvantage when a late-race caution comes out.

“Those guys are going to do the opposite of whatever we do, but that’s just part of it,” Elliott said.  “You make those decisions and live with them.  Just trying to make the best decision you can.”

Elliott’s teammate Jimmie Johnson ran towards the front throughout the night, and he finished second on Sunday.

Johnson, who has gone winless since June 2017, said his team is starting to put together stronger runs.

“Very proud of everyone on this Ally Chevrolet, second’s okay,” Johnson said.  “It’s tough being this close to victory lane, but we’re knocking on the door and we’ll get there.  Very proud of the effort we’re putting in, but second stinks.”

Unofficial results:

  1. Brad Keselowski
  2. Jimmie Johnson
  3. Chase Elliott
  4. Ryan Blaney
  5. Kyle Busch
  6. Kevin Harvick
  7. Martin Truex Jr.
  8. Kurt Busch
  9. Tyler Reddick
  10. Christopher Bell
  11. Chris Buescher
  12. Erik Jones
  13. Cole Custer
  14. Joey Logano
  15. Austin Dillon
  16. Aric Almirola
  17. John Hunter Nemechek
  18. Matt DiBenedetto
  19. Michael McDowell
  20. Alex Bowman
  21. William Byron
  22. Ross Chastain
  23. Ryan Preece
  24. Corey LaJoie
  25. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
  26. Ty Dillon
  27. Matt Kenseth
  28. Ryan Newman
  29. Daniel Suarez
  30. Denny Hamlin
  31. Brennan Poole
  32. Gray Gaulding
  33. BJ McLeod
  34. Garrett Smithley
  35. Timmy Hill
  36. Quin Houff
  37. Joey Gase
  38. JJ Yeley
  39. Bubba Wallace
  40. Clint Bowyer