- Brad Keselowski won the Sport Clips Haircuts 200 Saturday afternoon at Darlington Raceway, his first win at the historic South Carolina speedway. The win was the third victory in five starts this season and the 497th for Team Penske.
- Keselowski grabbed the lead with 33 laps to go and never looked back, officially crossing the finish line .738 seconds ahead of second—place Cole Custer.
- The driver of the Snap-on Ford Mustang started ninth in the 147-lap, 200-mile race. His car was too tight at the 2/3 point in each corner of the racetrack and he finished eighth when Stage 1 concluded on lap 45. Keselowski pitted on lap 48 for four tires and adjustments and restarted eighth when the race went green on lap 52.
- The adjustments by crew chief Brian Wilson paid off in Stage 2. Keselowski said his Ford Mustang was “much better” and he wasted no time climbing up through the field, finishing second when the segment ended on lap 90.
- Keselowski pitted during the stage caution for four tires and fuel plus an air pressure adjustment on lap 93 and restarted second when Stage 3 began on lap 96.
- During the early laps of the final stage, Keselowski, Ross Chastain and Kevin Harvick waged an entertaining battle for the lead. Keselowski made a strong move on Chastain for the lead on lap 104 but grazed the wall in Turn 4, dropping him to third. Chastain and Harvick bounced off each other battling for lead off Turn 2 on lap 111, bringing out the sixth and final caution of the race. Keselowski narrowly avoided the incident and grabbed the lead. Two laps later he made his final stop for four tires. Excellent service by the Snap-on pit crew gave him the lead on the restart. He restarted in the lead when the race went green and he never looked back, officially crossing the finish line .738 seconds ahead of second—place Cole Custer.
- This was the sixth win of 2018 for the No. 22 team and they extended their lead in the XFINITY Series owner standings.
“We had a really great Snap-On Ford Mustang. I could keep up with Ross, but I couldn’t quite pass him. I tried to make the move to get by him and I just brushed the wall and both he and Kevin got back by me and then they had their issue off of Turn 2 and were just so strong that we pounced on it and took advantage of the opportunity. I drove five races this year and we’ve won three of them. That’s pretty darn good and I’m really proud of that. That’s such a testament to this team. This win means a lot to me. Darlington has been a track where I started my career very well with the Cup car and had some great runs, and then the last half-dozen races I think I’ve ran here have gone quite awful. I’m trying to figure out why that is and running this race certainly helps. It gives me a lot of confidence and direction to know what to work on to be better.”
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