Brad Keselowski took the victory to victory in Loudon, celebrating at the same time the contractual renewal with Penske also for the next season. The driver fought a long time against Gibbs Racing rival Denny Hamlin, with whom he traded the summit more than 10 times.
Keselowski's overtaking on lap 221 was decisive. The battle between the two was long and full of variables. A long race situation in the green flag saw Keselowski keep control of the situation, while Hamlin comfortably finished second in front of his partner Martin Truex Jr.
Joey Logano's Penske home car also reached fourth place, while in fifth place here is Kevin Harvick.
August is the decisive month to earn a place in the playoff
August is the decisive month to earn a place in the playoff phase which starts on the first Sunday of September in Darlington, a race from which the race for the title will be restricted to the best sixteen drivers, with four drivers at a time eliminated every three races from September.
just in November, until the Phoenix showdown, reserved for the best four who will play the title. Staying in the top four of the current rankings, it should be noted that three of them chase the second personal title: Keselowski was champion in 2012, Harvick in 2014, Logano in 2018.
He points to his first title instead Hamlin who however has an impressive score in the Daytona 500 that alone is worth a whole championship: the Florida driver has won it three times in the last five years, including the last two editions.
With five hits, Hamlin is also the most successful driver of the current season: one more than Harvick, while the usual Keselowski and Logano (two) are the only other protagonists of the series so far capable of going beyond single success.
The race for the title resumes in Loudon (New Hampshire), before the seven races scheduled for August. By way of statistics, Harvick crossed the finish line first in the first races and staged in the months of May, June and July.
Nineteen of the thirty-six events on the NASCAR Cup Series schedule are now behind us: six in the month of July alone.
A month opened by Kevin Harvick's success in Indianapolis and closed by that of Denny Hamlin in Kansas. These are the drivers who, as soon as they have doubled the half-way mark, appear to be the two challengers for the title.
But the road to the Phoenix grand finale is still very long. In the midst of the regular season, destined to end with the seven races scheduled in August, the challenge that is emerging quite clearly is that between Kevin Harvick with the Ford Mustang Newman-Haas and Denny Hamlin with the Toyota Camry Joe Gibbs: 2037 points versus 2035.
Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano are far from cut off from the title hunt with Team Penske Mustangs, with 2025 and 2019 points. A quartet who has all the credentials to book the showdown on November 8 in Phoenix, Arizona.