POCONO, Penn. (AP) Brad Keselowski raced all 500 miles of Sunday’s Sprint Cup stop at Pocono Raceway with a broken left ankle.
As if that was not enough, he somehow managed to win, too.
Competing with a brace on his ankle, Keselowski sped off on the final restart late in the race in Long Pond, Pa., to pick up his second victory of the season. He gingerly climbed out of his car to celebrate with his crew in Victory Lane.
“It doesn’t feel good, but I’ll be all right,” he said.
Keselowski was an unlikely winner after he crashed head-on into a wall Wednesday during a test session at Road Atlanta. He slammed a section of wall at 100 miles per hour and was forced out of the Nationwide Series race.
He insisted during practice this weekend he would not leave the No. 2 Dodge, no matter how much pain he was in.
It was not necessary. Keselowski had some rest during a 1-hour-40-minute rain delay.
“I was amazed he raced the full race,” Kurt Busch, the third-place finisher, said.
Keselowski’s victory thrust him into prime position to claim one of two wild-card spots available for the Chase for the championship. The top two drivers with the most victories in 11th to 20th place earn a wild-card spot for the playoffs.
Keselowski, in 18th place, is the only one of the wild-card contenders with two victories. Only five races remain until the field is set. The top 10 drivers in the points standings automatically qualify.
Keselowski posted several updates on his injury this week on his Twitter page, including two photos that showed a swollen ankle and an abrasion on his foot. His broken left ankle ballooned to the size of a softball, and he needed a left shoe a size larger than his right one.
“There’s no good time, but this is certainly the worst time,” he said Friday.
Keselowski won his third career Cup race and first since he won in June at Kansas.
Kyle Busch was second, Jimmie Johnson fourth and Ryan Newman fifth.
Kurt Busch and Johnson had a heated exchange after the race because of some last-lap contact and had to be separated by their crews. The star drivers took turns bumping into each other on the final lap. Busch said it was simply hard racing and Johnson, the five-time defending Cup champion, overreacted.
“You want to race, let’s race,” Busch said. “I raced him smart, raced him clean. Why can’t we race each other like this and put on a show for the fans?”
There was a racing tripleheader after rain halted the Trucks Series race Saturday and wiped out the ARCA race. Kevin Harvick won the Trucks race and Ty Dillon took ARCA.
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