STP 500: Brad Keselowski comes back to pass Kyle Busch, win in Martinsville

Brad Keselowski wins his second race of the year.

Brad Keselowski is on the board again.

The Penske Racing driver won his second race of the Monster Cup series, coming back to pass Kyle Busch to win the STP 500 in Martinsville, Va.

MORE: Dale Earnhardt Jr. done for day after seven-car wreck involving Denny Hamlin, Danica Patrick

Busch, the 2016 winner, lead for over 200 laps, but Keselowski pulled ahead late to take the victory in the closely contested race.

"More than anything else, I'm really proud," Keselowski said in his postrace TV interview. "You hear all the time about the boys back in the shop, but Team Penske has put so much effort into these Martinsville cars for the last three or four years, because we knew it was one of our weakest tracks. So they got the result they deserved."

This is Keselowski's first victory in Martinsville.

“This track is 70 years old and a lot of legends have won here. It feels great to be able to join them and bring home a (grandfather) clock (trophy)," Keselowski said. "A lot of people don’t know this, but those clocks are built in my hometown in Rochester Hills, Mich., so it’s cool to get one of them from back home. I have one as a truck owner, but not as a driver, so I’m glad to bring one back as a driver.

“I don’t like to keep trophies at my house, but this one’s going to my house. That’s how special it is."

The race was also colored by an accident with 82 laps to go, in which Denny Hamlin and Danica Patrick collided, which resulted in Dale Earnhardt Jr. having to exit the race, losing his radiator.

Kyle Larson still maintained his overall Monster Cup points lead over Chase Elliott by four.

IN-RACE UPDATES

3:20: Martin Truex Jr., who started in third, is the winner of the first stage in Martinsville. But Kyle Busch in the lead as the second stage starts.

4:11: Chase Elliott wins the second stage. He currently leads the defending winner, Kyle Busch.

5:28: Kyle Busch and Brad Keselowski are neck-and-neck now with just over 80 laps to go, while Dale Earnhardt Jr. was just involved in a seven-car chain-reaction wreck.

5:55: With25 laps to go, Brad Keselowski leads Kyle Busch by just over a second. Chase Elliott is in third.

(Busch after the race: “My pit crew did great today. (Crew chief) Adam (Stevens) and the guys did an awesome job on this car this weekend to get it to where it was. We were lights out faster than those guys after 20 laps or so. There on that run it was at minimum at least three tenths slower the entire time, and that’s why Brad just was able to drive away there at the end. We were really really, really struggling. I’m surprised I held off the 24 (Elliott), but you know, overall, just not quite getting the finishes we need.”)

6:05: Brad Keselowski wins the STP 500, his second victory of the year.

RESULTS

1. Brad Keselowski

2. Kyle Busch

3. Chase Elliott

4. Joey Logano

5. Austin Dillon

6. AJ Allmendinger

7. Clint Bowyer

8. Ryan Newman

9. Matt Kenseth

10. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

11. Chris Buescher

12. Erik Jones

13. Trevor Bayne

14. Kasey Kahne

15. Jimmie Johnson

16. Martin Truex Jr.

17. Kyle Larson

18. Aric Almirola

19. Paul Menard

20. Kevin Harvick

21. Cole Whitt

22. Ty Dillon

23. Danica Patrick

24. David Ragan

25. Ryan Blaney

26. Michael McDowell

27. Landon Cassill

28. Corey LaJoie

29. Gray Gaulding

30. Denny Hamlin

31. Reed Sorenson

32. Daniel Suarez

33. Timmy Hill

34. Dale Earnhardt Jr.

35. Matt DiBenedetto

36. Jeffrey Earnhardt

37. Kurt Busch

38. Jamie McMurray

The NASCAR Wire Service contributed to this report.

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