Hendrick Motorsports and Team Chevy were back in victory lane Sunday after Jimmie Johnson made a late-race pass on Brad Keselowski to win the AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway. Keselowski, who will need a win at Phoneix next week in order to keep his championship hopes alive, dominated the race in his No. 2 Ford Fusion with 312 of 334 laps led.
After securing pole position for the Sprint Cup race and winning the XFinity Series race on Saturday, Keselowski was the favorite to win Sunday. He asserted his dominance early on, jetting to the lead and staying there for the majority of the race, save for pit stops.
It wasn’t until Keselowski made minor contact Martin Truex Jr.’s No. 78 Chevrolet that he began to look even remotely vulnerable. Johnson said he could tell the No. 2 car was “tight,” and that Keselowski was beginning to have trouble, which is when he decided to make his big move for the lead
“The 48 car had mega turn that last run and I couldn’t keep the turn and it kept pushing real bad, Keselowski told NASCAR.com post-race. “I did everything I could to hold him off but he was way faster that last run. Their team did a hell of a job and found speed and my team did a hell of a job, too. We led 300-some laps and these debris yellows always favor someone and it wasn’t our day for them to favor us.
Keselowski was the highest finishing Chase driver, with Chevy’s Kevin Harvick slotting in behind him in third after battling transmission issues for a part of the race. His Team Penske teammate Joey Logano, meanwhile, was the lowest finishing Chase driver after blowing a tire on Lap 10 caused him to wind up 40th.
Jeff Gordon, who finished ninth Sunday, currently leads the championship after taking a much-needed win at Martinsville last week. Kyle Busch is second with Kevin Harvick third, Martin Truex Jr. fourth, Carl Edwards fifth, Keselowski sixth, Kurt Busch seventh and Logano eighth.
All eight Chase drivers will be hungry for a win when the series heads to Phoenix next week. For now, you can view full results from Texas at this link and view a schedule of next weekend’s NASCAR festivities at this link.