Brad Keselowski won Saturday night’s Quaker State 400 at Kentucky Speedway on a fuel economy run to claim his fourth victory of the 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season. The top finishing Team Chevy driver was Ryan Newman in third, while Kurt Busch and Tony Stewart rounded out the top five in fourth and fifth, respectively.
Usual front-runner Kevin Harvick, who led 128 laps, initially dominated the night race. His No. 4 Chevrolet SS began to fade as the night wore on, however, and the championship leader turned up ninth overall. The result saw his championship lead over Keselowski shrink to just four points.
Keselowski pipped Harvick for the lead on Lap 200 following a restart. The Chevy driver was never able to truly challenge him for the lead and eventually fell through the running order as Joe Gibbs Racing’s Carl Edwards moved through the field. Edwards attempted to catch Keselowski on the final lap as the Ford ran low on fuel, but an expert economy drive from Keselowski would put him in victory lane.
“We knew the fuel mileage,” Keselowski told NASCAR.com. “We went out and we set a really fast pace there on that restart and were just using fuel, and then it became obvious that you were going to have to save fuel at the end, but I already used so much.”
The repaved Kentucky track proved treacherous for the low-downforce Sprint Cup cars. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. brought out the first caution of the race after hitting the wall at Turn 3, while Jimmie Johnson spun through Turn 4 and hit the wall on Lap 32. Soon after on Lap 53, Joey Logano hit the Turn 3 wall, which preceeded a two car-wreck involving rookies Ryan Blaney and Chase Elliott. An eight-car wreck also played out on Lap 93 and collected Brian Scott , Chris Buescher, AJ Allmendinger and others.