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Keselowski moves into Sprint Cup points lead

Mar 17, 2013, 7:00 PM EDT

Food City 500 - Qualifying Getty Images

Brad Keselowski is still thirsty for a victory, but the reigning NASCAR Sprint Cup champion still was able to move into the top spot in the Cup standings with his third-place effort in today’s Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway.

Keselowski was in contention for victory but on the final restart of the day at Lap 459, he was slow coming to the green, allowing Kasey Kahne to take the lead for good.

“I got ran over,” Keselowski said right after the race. “I’d have to take a look at the replay, but it was gonna be a helluva battle between me and Kasey there with four laps to go, but I didn’t get a chance. I’m not sure what happened, if [Denny Hamlin] got pushed from behind or if he just ran me over, but that’s racing.”

“We weren’t close at the start, but at the end the car was pretty good — not quite as good as Kasey’s, but still a great effort.”

He lost one more spot to Kyle Busch before the checkered flag flew, but thanks to Jimmie Johnson‘s 22nd place finish, Keselowski will have a nine-point lead in the championship over Dale Earnhardt Jr. going to Auto Club Speedway next weekend. Johnson fell back two spots to third in the standings at 15 points behind.

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