TALLADEGA, Ala. — Brad Keselowski got a huge push from Kyle Busch to take the lead with a lap to go Sunday, then used a calculated move to prevent Busch from taking the win away from him at Talladega Superspeedway.
A nine-car accident with four laps remaining brought out the yellow flag, setting up a two-lap overtime sprint to the finish.
Daytona 500 winner Matt Kenseth was the leader, and chose the outside line for the restart so Roush Fenway Racing teammate Greg Biffle would line up behind him and presumably push him to the victory.
That put Keselowski and Busch together on the inside line, but they drifted back on the restart as Kenseth indeed was able to jump out to a huge lead.
Probably too big of a lead.
Kenseth got a little too far away from Biffle, which gave the tandem of Keselowski and Busch a chance to catch him. Busch pushed Keselowski to the front on the outside line, then waited to make his attempted pass for the lead on the final lap.
Keselowski had played this scenario out in his head, though, and was prepared to stave off the challenge.
“I had this whole plan if I ever got into that situation where I was leading,” he said. “I thought about it and thought about it and dreamed about it, what to do. Sure enough going into 3 it was just me and Kyle.
“I knew the move I wanted to pull and it worked.”
It put Keselowski in Victory Lane for the second time this season, and continued a hot streak for team owner Roger Penske, who won for the first time in the Sprint Cup Series at Talladega.
Penske’s organization, meanwhile, has won all four of the IndyCar races so far this season.
The victory was the first for manufacturer Dodge at Talladega since Dave Marcis in 1976.
Busch, meanwhile, settled for second for the second day in a row. Joey Logano passed him on the final lap of the Nationwide Series race on Saturday, and Busch said after that defeat he was certain the leader on the last lap could not win at Talladega.
“Just gave a win away over there, not sure what happened,” Busch said.
Kenseth, who wound up third, thought the same thing.
“I think we had the winning car, I just don’t think we had the winning driver,” Kenseth said.
Kasey Kahne finished fourth and was followed by Biffle, Clint Bowyer and David Ragan. Trevor Bayne was eighth, Dale Earnhardt Jr. ninth and Jeff Burton rounded out the top 10.