Concord, NC (SportsNetwork.com) - Brad Keselowski bounced back from a pit-road mistake and passed Kasey Kahne in the closing laps to win his first Sprint Cup Series race of the season on Saturday night at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Keselowski, who won the series championship last year, left his pit stall with the tire jack still attached to his Penske Racing car and had to pit again during a round of stops under caution early in the race. He rallied back and grabbed the lead from Kahne with nine laps to go. Keselowski beat Kahne to the finish line by one second for his 10th Sprint Cup career victory but his first September 2012 at Dover (38 races ago). He won five races during his title season.
Kahne and his Hendrick Motorsports teammate, Jimmie Johnson, dominated most of this race, with Kahne leading the most laps with 138 and Johnson running in front for 130 laps.
Matt Kenseth finished third and increased his championship lead from three points to four over Johnson, who placed fourth. Johnson held the lead until a round of pit stops with 25 laps left when he made a four-tire change and came out of the pits in third. After the final restart, he was shuffled back in the field. Johnson was attempting to win for a record seventh time at this 1.5- mile racetrack.
Kyle Busch took the fifth spot, followed by Kevin Harvick, who won last weekend's race at Kansas. Jeff Gordon, Ryan Newman, Denny Hamlin and Carl Edwards completed the top-10.
Harvick is now 29 points behind Harvick, while Gordon trails by 36 points. Busch is 37 behind, as the 10-race Chase for the Sprint Cup championship reached its halfway point.