Penske's Brad Keselowski gets first win of 2018 — NASCAR Darlington

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During their stops, Dillon and McMurray were slapped with uncontrolled tire and commitment line violations, respectively Larson pitted on lap 259 to relinquish the lead to Keselowski, though he retook the spot (then held by Logano after Keselowski pitted on lap 261) on lap 278.

On the restart, Keselowski pulled out to a quick lead and was never challenged to the finish. Harvick drove to Chastain's pits and stopped his auto briefly before driving back to the garage.

Keselowski then did the rest as he opened a 1½-second lead down the stretch.

Brad Keselowski took the lead off pit road late in Sunday's Southern 500 and went on to win one of NASCAR's crown jewel races.

"It's always important to come out the leader off pit road", Larson said.

Keselowski had a second and two thirds in 15 combined Xfinity and Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series races at Darlington.

"The 1-2 is nice", he said. I thought Kyle was really good, and he was flat-out flying. "I was in a bad mood for a lot of that race, I think, just because my expectations are high".

With just two races left in the regular season, Kevin Harvick continues to lead the 2018 Playoff standings with seven wins and 40 playoff points. It was Larson's seventh top three finish this year. Larson chose to focus on the strong showing.

"Disappointed that we didn't get the pole, " Larson said. "The disappointment, I can handle it better than most people". They [Chastain and Kevin Harvick] had their thing off [Turn] 2, and we were able to pounce on it.

The race was delayed just over an hour for lightning in the area, but kicked off shortly after 7 p.m. ET with Denny Hamlin taking the green flag in his throwback No. 11.

Brad Keselowski scored his first Darlington Raceway win in Saturday's NASCAR Xfinity Series Sport Clips Haircuts VFW 200. After recording the fifth-fastest lap in the first round, seven-time Cup champion Jimmie Johnson scraped the wall on his second-round lap and could do no better than 20th. His practice mileage was compromised by an engine blowout and he started from the back of the field after the team used qualifying as an additional opportunity to test. I want to be at the track, I miss being at the track. We've been working hard, but just haven't had the results (so) we'll keep working hard. Bowyer was evaluated and released from the infield care center.

"It's just something about the racetrack that fits my particular driving style, " he said. Johnson and Alex Bowman can advance at Indy, but Johnson will be eliminated if Bowman passes him in points and someone new becomes the year's 11th victor.

After track officials had twice cleared the stands due to the potential severe weather in the area, NASCAR drivers fired up their cars and got rolling at the track "Too Tough To Tame". Drivers were called to return to their cars about 45 minutes later and, following the singing of the national anthem, were ordered back to safety.

Chastain and the others will be pushed in the race by plenty of NASCAR Cup series regulars. Over 12 races at this track in his career, Hamlin has an average finish of 5.8 and a driver rating of 110.3.

Margin of Victory: 1.224 seconds.

Despite his lead surviving two restarts in the closing stages, a spin for Jeffrey Earnhardt on lap 344 triggered one final caution and one final pit window. 130-159; K. Larson 160-258; B. Keselowski 259-260; J. Logano 261-278; K. Larson 279-345; B. Keselowski 346-367.

Chastain, who typically races for JD Motorsports, was in his first race of a three-race deal with Chip Ganassi Racing, to drive that team's No. 42 vehicle.



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