Saturday, November 7, 2015

Brad Keselowski's win in Texas clinches Xfinity Owner's Championship for Penske

credit: Debbie Ross for Skirts and Scuffs
Brad Keselowski charged to victory in the O’Reilly Auto Parts Challenge Saturday afternoon, besting second-place Kevin Harvick by a margin of 1.137 seconds.

The win put the No. 22 Discount Tires Chevrolet ahead of the Joe Gibbs No. 54 by 98 points, clinching the fourth overall and third consecutive Owner’s Championship for Roger Penske in the Xfinity Series.

Keselowski didn’t take the win for granted, though.

“First off, Austin Dillon was really good and he was one of the toughest guys to beat. He ran a heck of a race,” said Keselowski in Victory Lane. “Harvick looked really good, Kyle Busch looked really good and Kyle Larson, I thought, was going to run away with the race until he had that flat. There was a lot of competition out there today and that makes this win very special for the whole Discount Tire Ford team.”

Austin Dillon led the second-most laps with 54, but couldn’t hold off Harvick at the end. His brother Ty finished fifth, the highest-finishing series regular. The younger Dillon's No. 3 Bass Pro Shops Chevy had some issues with the right-front tire cording during the only practice, so he held back until they were confident the tires would hold up on the track’s abrasive surface.

Running triple-duty this weekend, Erik Jones finished a respectable fourth in the Gamestop/Call of Duty Black Ops III Toyota, but was disappointed he didn’t do better.

“We just didn’t have what we needed. Really all day it seemed like we fought this thing and just couldn’t get it really up to run with the top three or four there,” said Jones. “Just kind of a bummer that we just missed it a little bit. I thought we were a little bit better than that in practice so we’ll go to work on this thing and get this GameStop Camry a little better for next time.”

Chris Buescher finished 11th at his home track and still holds the series point lead by 24 over Chase Elliott and by 30 over Ty Dillon. Two races remain in the season, though, so Buescher isn’t comfortable with that margin.

“It isn’t comfortable yet. It is a cushion that we have and I guess you average that out to 12 spots per race so if we go out and finish top 10 the last two we should be in good shape,” Buescher explained. “That would be cutting it too close for comfort but we need to just have some solid runs the next two weeks.”

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