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Racin' with Russ: Brad Keselowski Overcomes Adversity to Win Pocono

Russell SchmidtContributor IAugust 9, 2011

LONG POND, PA - AUGUST 07:  Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Miller Lite Dodge, celebrates after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Good Sam RV Insurance 500 at Pocono Raceway on August 7, 2011 in Long Pond, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

They’ll probably have Brad Keselowski test another car and crash this week if that's what it takes to inspire the young man to rise to the occasion and hold off the likes of Kyle Busch to win (like on Sunday).

Despite having spent time in the hospital last week as physicians worked with Kesel’s broken and very swollen ankle along with other minor contusions, the Penske Dodge driver gutted it out to take a well-deserved checkers and a better spot to enter the Chase (two wins).

Denny Hamlin and teammate Kyle Busch led a host of laps, as did Kurt Busch and a few others.

Lap 125 sees the action come to a halt as rain parked the field on pit lane with Joey Logano out front. Nearly two hours later, the red flag was lifted to finish the final 75 laps.

Kyle Busch and Hamlin split leading laps but spent quite a bit of time looking at the back bumper of Kurt Busch out front.

A few final pit stops saw Keselowski get out front and hold off Top Five runners Kyle Busch, Kurt Busch, Jimmie Johnson and Ryan Newman.

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Points leader Carl Edwards stayed among the Top 10 by finishing seventh, maintaining the points lead by a handful over Johnson.

Nationwide

Ricky Stenhouse and Carl Edwards were certainly the class of the field of Nationwide racers competing in Iowa.

In one of the wildest endings ever, Stenhouse was motoring towards the checkers when, within a hundred yards, the Roush-Fenway power plant exploded in a huge slippery plume of smoke.

Teammate Edwards was left with nowhere to go as he plowed into the back of Stenhouse’s Mustang, pushing both cars across the finish line in a pile of twisted metal and smoke.

Stenhouse emerged the winner, his second trophy of the season.

Edwards was obviously second with Elliott Sadler, Josh Wise and Aric Almirola wrapping up the Top Five finishers.

Stenhouse comes away with a narrow point lead over Reed Sorenson.

Truckin’

The Camping World Truck race started on Saturday afternoon at Pocono, but Mother Nature stepped in to end the day early.

The race cranked back up on Sunday morning, with Kevin Harvick out front.

The full-time Cup driver went on to spank the field by a wide margin to capture his second truck win of the year, this one in front of Kyle Busch, James Buescher, points-leader Johnny Sauter and Austin Dillon. 

Open Wheel News

The Indy Car series visited the beautiful Mid-Ohio race track, where Scott Dixon took the pole, set and match to win his first race of the season in convincing fashion.

His teammate and points leader Dario Franchitti wound up second, with Ryan Hunter-Reay a strong third.

Franchitti tops the charts by a wide margin over Will Power.

Danica Patrick started and finished around 22nd, with her only claim to fame taking out Graham Rahal during the race.

Simona de Silvestro finished a very credible 12th with the oldest car in the field.

From Rumorville

The big rumors of where Carl Edwards would wind up for next year and beyond were finally answered late last week.

The Roush-Fenway driver has re-upped for a multi-year contract with Roush and the folks with the big blue oval, Ford.

Perhaps now Edwards can concentrate on maintaining the points lead and grab that somewhat elusive points championship from not just Jimmie Johnson but the dominant Chevrolet brand as well.

The other big rumor swirling around this week involves Danica Patrick.

It appears, by all accounts, the diminutive driver will campaign a full-time Nationwide effort with JR Motorsports next year alongside a partial Sprint Cup entry with Tony Stewart.

There are also details being worked out to have the 29-year-old driver compete in next year’s Indy 500.

Interesting Money Note

People are always asking me about the potential money drivers earn. I noticed something the other day concerning the top three series' earnings.

As drivers move around from Cup to Nationwide and Truck, there must be a big sticker shock when they look at their paychecks.

Judging by today’s stats, a Camping World Truck driver wins about three percent as much as he did while in Cup.

Nationwide? Ten percent is the magic number there. 

These are huge differences when you consider the top dog in Cup has won over $6 million this season alone, and the top drivers in Nationwide and truck grossed $600,000 and $160,000 for the races run so far.

That’s it for this week. Next week, RWR will review the racing results from the Cupsters and Nationwide series in Watkins Glen, NY along with more racing action from around the globe.

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