|Keselowski outran Johnson down the stretch|
Keselowski beat five-time Sprint Cup champion Jimmie Johnson off pit road by a car length following the day’s final pit stop Sunday, then dominated the final 38 circuits en route to comfortable, 3.1 second decision in the opening round of the 2012 Chase.
Johnson appeared to be the dominator on this day, leading 172 of 267 total laps; often by wide margins. But as the clock ticked down, it was Keselowski who threw the heavy leather, pulling directly in front of Johnson while exiting pit road on Lap 232 and forcing the former champion to check-up to avoid a collision. Johnson and his team immediately questioned the legality of Keselowski's maneuver, and it might have inspired post-race controversy had Keselowski not staggered Johnson down the stretch, leaving him in his wake while bobbing and weaving flawlessly through a difficult pack of late lapped traffic.
|Round One to the Blue Deuce|
Keselowski promised to keep his Chicagoland win in perspective, focusing almost immediately on the nine bloody rounds that almost certainly lie ahead.
“I haven't allowed (the win) to sink in,” he said. “I'm not going to let it sink in. My thought process is `what do I need to do to be the best driver over the next nine?’ I'm going to focus on the next nine, and I know everybody on my team is going to do that.
“It's great to get the points lead, but we've got so much racing left. It would be a disservice to today's accomplishments to allow our focus to get off of tomorrow's workload.”
Photo: Justin Edmonds/Getty Images