Aug 21, 2014, 11:45 AM EDT
Brad Keselowski has done quite a bit in his NASCAR career. He won the 2012 Sprint Cup championship (as well as 13 wins to date), the 2010 Nationwide Series title (and 30 wins to date).
But one thing the Michigan native had never done prior to Thursday is to win a Camping World Truck Series event.
Keselowski can finally scratch that off the bucket list, as in his 62nd career start in a truck, he dominated en route to victory in the rain-rescheduled UNOH 200 at Bristol Motor Speedway.
“He’s wanted this so bad for so long,” teary-eyed crew chief Doug Randolph told Fox Sports 1. “I’m just really excited for Brad. … I’m sure he’s relieved.”
Keselowski led 119 of the event’s 200 laps, holding off a late charge by Darrell “Bubba” Wallace Jr. He becomes the 25th driver in NASCAR history to win in all three major series, Trucks, Nationwide and Sprint Cup competition.
“It’s huge, huge,” Keselowski said. “I’ve been wanting to win in this series for a long time. It’s been a long time coming.”
Later, in Victory Lane, Keselowski added, “My family has been a part of this series since the inception, and I feel like I have, too, either as a kid watching or now as a team owner and driver. I nearly went bankrupt in this series, trying to make it. … I’ve had all the success in the Cup series and Nationwide, but never here.
“It took a long time to get here and we made it and I’m thrilled. It’s great to win as a driver. … This is a special day.”
It was also the first win for a Ford truck this season.
“We finished second. I wish we could take it back. I thought I got on his bumper pretty good getting into (turn) one and not enough,” Wallace said. “I’have had to wreck him to get by him (but) I respect Brad and what he does. Congrats to him. … We just came up short.”
Added Hornaday, “I had to burn the tires off, trying to catch those guys.”
Pole-sitter Kyle Busch was the only other driver to lead a lap in the event, leading 81 laps, but wound up finishing six laps behind the leaders in 24th. Busch was running third with 24 laps to go when he slammed into the wall due to a flat right rear tire.
Busch led at the halfway point of the 200-lap event.
In the season standings, Sauter retains the No. 1 spot, holding an eight-point edge over teammate Crafton. Hornaday remains in third, 17 points back, Ryan Blaney is 24 points in arrears and Wallace is fifth, 33 points back.
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