Brad Keselowski took a surprise win over Kevin Harvick in Sunday’s Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 from Atlanta Motor Speedway.
Harvick led 292 laps in the 325 race, but took a speeding penalty on pit road that ultimately thwarted his chances. Chevrolet’s Kyle Larson came home second, with Matt Kenseth, Kasey Kahne and Chase Elliott rounding out the top five.
Keselowski surged into the lead on Lap 319, pulling out a half second lead over Larson. The Team Penske driver restarted third following the final caution of the day and on fresh tires worked his way past Chip Ganassi Racing driver to an early first win of the season.
“We had a lot of adversity today. There’s no doubt about that,” Keselowski told NASCAR.com. “These races aren’t easy. They’re 500 miles, and a lot can happen, and when you think you’ve got it, they slip away. I know how it goes.”
NASCAR handed out 13 speeding penalties Sunday, largely brought on by NASCAR;’s decision to add more timing lines to the Atlanta track for 2017. Harvick took blame for the infraction, however, and acknowledged the poor run of luck he’s had at Atlanta in his long NASCAR career.
“Yeah, this place, for whatever reason, I just feel like I’m snake-bitten,” said Harvick. “It’s my own doing today. I really didn’t think I was even close on pit lane.”