Didn't we see this movie two weeks ago in Kentucky?
Indeed we did, but Brad Keselowski put on an encore performance Sunday at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway, trouncing all comers in dominating the Camping World 301. It is the third win of the season for the Penske Racing driver, his first at Loudon, and the 13th of his Sprint Cup career.
Keselowski led 138 laps - a misleadingly low-number reduced by varying pit strategies - out of the 305 (extended by a green-white-checkered due to Justin Allgaier's crash with three laps remaining) to follow up his win in Saturday's Nationwide Series event and become the first driver to sweep the weekend at NHMS. Polesitter Kyle Busch took second after stretching his fuel as many rivals ran dry, followed by Rookie of the Race Kyle Larson, Matt Kenseth, and Ryan Newman. Clint Bowyer finished sixth, ahead of Tony Stewart, Denny Hamlin, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., and Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Jeff Gordon was slated to be second on the last restart, but he ran dry of fuel on the last caution lap and wound up 26th. Kevin Harvick then assumed second but he too ran dry as the green flag waved and wound up 30th.
The day was marred by two bizarre accidents involving two drivers expected to contend for the victory.
Jimmie Johnson started second and was running there when he was forced to pit road less than 10 laps into the race with a deflated left-rear tire. He returned to the track two laps in arrears to then-leader Busch, made a handful of laps, and suffered another blown tire. This one sent the No. 48 Chevrolet slamming into the turn one wall on lap 14, knocking Johnson out of the race with his second-consecutive 42nd-place finish.
Joey Logano, nursing a sprained wrist from his practice accident on Friday, was running second to teammate Keselowski on lap 212 when he was collected by Morgan Shepherd entering the third turn. The No. 22 Ford slammed the wall, knocking Logano out of the race and infuriating both driver and team over being eliminated by a driver who had puttered around at near minimum pace and was already 15 laps down at the time of the accident. The 72-year-old Shepherd completed the race, finishing 27 laps down in 39th position.