Concord, NC. – Brad Keslowski extended Jimmy Johnson’s streak to 102 runs, scattering the NASCAR champion at Coca-Cola 60,000 in overtime early Monday.
Keslowski started from the back of the field, Charlotte worked on the front of the motor speedway, and carefully gambled as he could not save Chase Elliott from victory in two laps.
Elliott Pieted and Keslowski led the eight-car train that remained on the track. He stood in front of Alex Bauman in the in-line with Johnson – retiring in cup racing at the end of the season – below Keslowski’s teammate Ryan Blaney.
Keslovsky was pushed to enter the clear air and denied Johnson a win. Keslowski spread a huge American flag outside the window during the usual celebrations.
“I think I missed this race a handful of times and I thought we were going to lose it today,” Keslowski said. “I lost it the way Chase lost it and it really stinks. And today we finally won it that way.”
This is Keslowski’s first win of the season, his first Coca-Cola 600 win for Ford since 2002 and his first win.
Johnson had to finish second in the Chevrolet, and Elliott, who snatched just two coals from the finish, came in third to take two podium positions for Hendrik.
Elliott had a comfortable lead and Hendrik Motorsports teammate William Byron was in favor of the win when he was cutting through tire problems.
“It’s become a joke,” Elliott said on his radio.
Elliott was crushed by Kyle Bush last week as he tried to compete for victory on the Darlington Raceway on Wednesday night.
The Sunday before Memorial Day will be considered a motorsport memorabilia for the Formula One at the Monaco Grand Prix, followed by the Indicar and the Indianapolis 500, followed by the Nascar and its longest run on the calendar.
The coronavirus epidemic has erased the first part of F1’s schedule and, like Indicar, it is still waiting to start its season. Roger Pence, the new owner of Indianapolis Motor Speedway, has removed the Indy 500. For the first time since 1944, 500 is not being run on Memorial Day weekly holidays.
By allowing the game to resume after a gap of ten weeks, state officials were able to take part in the third World Cup in NASCAR within seven days under an approved health plan. NASCAR participated in three events in South Carolina and ran Coca-Cola 600 kicks for four consecutive days of running in Charlotte.
A rain delay of about 90 minutes in the first stage of the race pushed the finish to a halt by Monday, but it was still right for Pensek, the owner of Keslowski’s car.