Keselowski breaks through with first career win at Daytona in Coke Zero 400

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Brad Keselowski can check a big one off his bucket list — he finally won a race at Daytona International Speedway, claiming Saturday’s Coke Zero 400.

Keselowski’s victory was the 100th Sprint Cup win for Team Penske, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary.

Runner-up Kyle Busch challenged Keselowski on the final lap, but Keselowski was just too strong. While he’s won four times at Talladega Superspeedway, the other restrictor-plate track on the circuit, this was his first victory at Daytona.

“Them guys were doing a heck of a job, Kyle and Kurt (Busch) work together real well,” Keselowski said. “My teammate, Joey Logano, was a huge part of this. Two great cars here from Team Penske and worked together really well. On that (last) restart, he gave me the push I needed.”

MORE: Stats and results of Coke Zero 400

MORE: Harvick still leads standings, but Keselowski now a close second

Keselowski led 115 of the race’s 161 laps – one lap beyond the scheduled distance because of a late caution

Ford officials were happy, as four of the top five – Keselowski, Trevor Bayne (third), Joey Logano (fourth) and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (fifth) – and five of the top eight drivers (pole-sitter Greg Biffle in eighth) were behind the wheel of Ford Fusions.

Denny Hamlin, who won the season-opening Daytona 500, led at the halfway mark, but finished 17th.

There were just five cautions in the race, with the most notable for a 22-car wreck on Lap 90.

Among those involved were: Jimmie Johnson, Jamie McMurray, Paul Menard, Brian Scott, Chase Elliott, Kasey Kahne, Kevin Harvick, Regan Smith and Chris Buescher.

HOW KESELOWSKI WON: Getting a big jump against the Busch brothers on the final restart with two laps to go was what won it for Keselowski. He also got a lot of help from teammate Joey Logano, a former Daytona 500 winner.

WHO ELSE HAD A GOOD RACE: It was a great night for Roush Fenway Racing with all three of its drivers in the top eight: Trevor Bayne (third), Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (fifth) and pole-sitter Greg Biffle (eighth). … Kyle Larson and Austin Dillon came back from earlier incidents to finish sixth and seventh, respectively. … Clint Bowyer, who has struggled this season, placed ninth, while Michael McDowell finished 10th.

WHO HAD A BAD RACE: Because of the big 22-car wreck on Lap 90, points leader Kevin Harvick finished 39th, preceded by Paul Menard (36th), Jimmie Johnson (35th), Jamie McMurray (34th), Chase Elliott (32nd), Kasey Kahne (30th), Martin Truex Jr. (29th) and Matt Kenseth (28th).

NOTABLE: Tony Stewart wrecked on Lap 148. While he finished 26th, Stewart earned enough points to climb into 30th in the Sprint Cup point standings. Having won last week at Sonoma, Stewart is now eligible for the Chase for the Sprint Cup. He’ll have to be in the top 30 following the September race at Richmond to clinch one of the 16 Chase berths.

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “Here we are, it’s Daytona victory lane, I don’t care if it’s not the 500. It’s Daytona and this is huge. I love this place. God, it’s amazing.” – Brad Keselowski.

WHAT’S NEXT: Saturday night, July 9, Quaker State 400, Kentucky Speedway, 7:30 p.m. ET start, TV: NBCSN.

Follow @JerryBonkowski

NASCAR Saturday schedule at WWT Raceway, Portland

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Saturday is a busy day for NASCAR. The Cup and Craftsman Truck Series are at World Wide Technology Raceway. The Xfinity Series is at Portland International Raceway.

Cup teams will practice and qualify ahead of Saturday’s Truck race at WWT Raceway. The Xfinity Series has practice, qualifying and its race Saturday at Portland.

World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway (Cup and Trucks)

Weather

Saturday: Sunny. Temperatures will be around 80 degrees for the start of Cup practice and climb to 89 degrees by the end of Cup qualifying. Forecast calls for sunny skies and a high of 92 degrees around the start of the Truck race.

Saturday, June 3

Garage open

  • 8 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.  — Cup Series
  • 10:30 a.m. — Truck Series

Track activity

  • 10 – 10:45 a.m. — Cup practice (FS1, Motor Racing Network, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio)
  • 10:45 a.m. – 12 p.m. — Cup qualifying  (FS1, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio)
  • 1:30 p.m. — Truck race (160 laps, 200 miles; FS1, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio)

Portland International Raceway (Xfinity Series)

Weather

Saturday: Mostly sunny with a high of 74 degrees and no chance of rain around the start of the Xfinity race.

Saturday, June 3

Garage open

  • 10 a.m.  — Xfinity Series

Track activity

  • 11:30 a.m. – 12 p.m. — Xfinity practice (No TV)
  • 12 – 1 p.m. — Xfinity qualifying (FS1)
  • 4:30 p.m. — Xfinity race (75 laps, 147.75 miles; FS1, Motor Racing Network, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio)

Truck starting lineup at WWT Raceway: Ty Majeski wins pole

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Ty Majeski will lead the Craftsman Truck starting lineup to the green flag Saturday at World Wide Technology Raceway after winning the pole Friday night.

Majeski claimed his fourth career series pole and first of the season with a lap of 138.168 mph around the 1.25-mile speedway.

MORE: Truck starting lineup at WWT Raceway

Ben Rhodes, who won last week at Charlotte, qualified second with a lap of 137.771 mph. He was followed by Christian Eckes (137.716 mph), Carson Hocevar (137.057) and Stewart Friesen (137.007).

The series races at 1:30 p.m. ET Saturday on FS1.

Saturday Portland Xfinity race: Start time, TV info, weather

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There have been different winners in each of the last nine Xfinity Series races this season. Will the streak continue Saturday at Portland International Raceway?

Those nine different winners have been: Sammy Smith (Phoenix), Austin Hill (Atlanta), AJ Allmendinger (Circuit of the Americas), Chandler Smith (Richmond), John Hunter Nemechek (Martinsville), Jeb Burton (Talladega), Ryan Truex (Dover), Kyle Larson (Darlington) and Justin Allgaier (Charlotte).

Details for Saturday’s Xfinity race at Portland International Raceway

(All times Eastern)

START: The command to start engines will be given at 4:38 p.m. … The green flag is scheduled to wave at 4:46 p.m.

PRERACE: Xfinity garage opens at 10 a.m. … Practice begins at 11:30 a.m. … Qualifying begins at 12 p.m. … Driver introductions begin at 4:15 p.m. … The invocation will be given by Donnie Floyd of Motor Racing Outreach at 4:30 p.m. … The national anthem will be performed at 4:31 p.m.

DISTANCE: The race is 75 laps (147.75 miles) on the 1.97-mile road course.

STAGES: Stage 1 ends at Lap 25. Stage 2 ends at Lap 50.

STARTING LINEUP: Qualifying begins at 12 p.m. Saturday

TV/RADIO: FS1 will broadcast the race at 4:30 p.m. ... Coverage begins at 4 p.m. … Motor Racing Network coverage begins at 4 p.m. and can be heard on mrn.com. … SiriusXN NASCAR Radio will carry the MRN broadcast.

FORECAST: Weather Underground — Sunny with a high of 73 degrees and a zero percent chance of rain at the start of the race.

LAST TIME: AJ Allmendinger won last year’s inaugural Xfinity race at Portland by 2.8 seconds. Myatt Snider finished second. Austin Hill placed third.

NASCAR Friday schedule at WWT Raceway, Portland

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Craftsman Truck Series teams will be on track Friday at World Wide Technology Raceway to prepare for Saturday’s race. Cup teams will go through inspection before getting on track Saturday.

Xfinity Series teams will go through inspection Friday in preparation for their race Saturday at Portland International Raceway.

Here is Friday’s schedule:

World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway (Cup and Trucks)

Weather

Friday: Partly cloudy with a high in the low 90s.

Friday, June 2

(All times Eastern)

Garage open

  • 1 – 8 p.m. Craftsman Truck Series
  • 4 – 9 p.m. Cup Series

Track activity

  • 6 – 6:30 p.m. — Truck practice (FS1)
  • 6:30 – 7:30 p.m. — Truck qualifying (FS1)

Portland International Raceway (Xfinity Series)

Weekend weather

Friday: Mostly sunny with a high of 77 degrees.

Friday, June 2

(All times Eastern)

Garage open

  • 6-11 p.m. Xfinity Series (no track activity on Friday)