Penske, the iconic IndyCar owner who has yet to win a NASCAR championship, watched Penske Racing driver Will Power lose the IndyCar title to Ryan Hunter-Reay at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif., on Saturday night. Power blew a 17-point lead in the standings when he wrecked, enabling Hunter-Reay to win the title.
But Penske knows how important the Chase is, and his spirits lifted when Penske Racing’s Brad Keselowski beat Jimmie Johnson by three seconds. The victory puts Keselowski in the points lead by three over Johnson and eight over defending Cup champion Tony Stewart.
Chase driver Kasey Kahne finished third, Kyle Busch was fourth and Ryan Newman fifth. Stewart was sixth.
Keselowski led 76 laps, but Johnson started on the pole and led a whopping 172. It was almost reminiscent of Johnson’s victory in July at the Brickyard 400, where he led nearly the whole race.
But Keselowski figured Johnson out and kept the five-time champion winless in the Cup series at Chicagoland.