Kobalt 400 2016: NASCAR winner, recap and results from Las Vegas

Mar 6, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; NASCAR Sprint Cup driver Brad Keselowski celebrates after winning the Kobalt 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

Mar 6, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; NASCAR Sprint Cup driver Brad Keselowski celebrates after winning the Kobalt 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

Brad Keselowski fought through pit-road penalties and hunted down Kyle Busch late to take his first victory of the season in the Kobalt 400 at Las Vegas. It’s his second win in two years during the “NASCAR Goes West” cycle after winning at Auto Club Speedway last year.

The Blue Deuce was penalized midway through the race, but surged late to clinch a 1-2 finish for Team Penske as Joey Logano also overtook Busch late. Jimmie Johnson would eventually chase down Busch as well for his second straight top-three finish.

“This rules package, I love it. It’s awesome,” Keselowski said. “… As soon as I got to the 18 I saw him falling off. I’m just thrilled to be here.

“What a day, I’m beat!”

The new rules package set up a thrilling finish for NASCAR fans. With less than 10 laps remaining, Keselowski was third with Busch out front. Rather than Busch running away in clean air like he would have last year, both Penske cars were able to track him down.

Busch was close to winning his first race of the season after a late-race move on a restart. But an issue with the right-front tire caused him to drop

“I had a vibration when they put the rights on and it kept getting worse,” Busch said of the finish. “It just would not turn. … It’s not a win, but it’s a top five.”

In the Rookie of the Year race, Ryan Blaney proved his mettle by finishing sixth — his highest result on a 1.5-mile track. Meanwhile, Chase Elliott put together a strong effort all afternoon, but a late wreck with Matt Kenseth sent both driver to the garage. Kenseth led nine laps before losing control of his car and dropping down to 37th, ahead of only Elliott and Cole Whitt.

Another driver who showed vast improvement was Austin Dillon in fifth. It was his third top-five result in his Sprint Cup career, but could have been even better. The Richard Childress Racing driver had a horrid pit stop and fell two laps behind after speeding on pit road.

Here’s a look at the full results after that Kobalt 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

  1. Brad Keselowski
  2. Joey Logano
  3. Jimmie Johnson
  4. Kyle Busch
  5. Austin Dillon
  6. Ryan Blaney
  7. Kevin Harvick
  8. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
  9. Kurt Busch
  10. Kasey Kahne
  11. Martin Truex Jr.
  12. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
  13. Ryan Newman
  14. A.J. Allmendinger
  15. Paul Menard
  16. Jamie McMurray
  17. Trevor Bayne
  18. Carl Edwards
  19. Denny Hamlin
  20. Greg Biffle
  21. Danica Patrick
  22. Clint Bowyer
  23. Casey Mears
  24. Aric Almirola
  25. Regan Smith
  26. Chris Buescher
  27. Brian Scott
  28. Landon Cassill
  29. Michael McDowell
  30. Michael Annett
  31. Matt DiBenedetto
  32. David Ragan
  33. Jeffrey Earnhardt
  34. Kyle Larson
  35. Josh Wise
  36. Brian Vickers
  37. Matt Kenseth
  38. Chase Elliott
  39. Cole Whitt

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