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Keselowsi back to championship form

Kentucky Speedway’s rough racing surface provided the bumps on Saturday.

Brad Keselowski delivered the bruises.

And a champagne bottled caused a cut that needed four stitches.

Soon after Keselowski dominated the Quaker State 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Kentucky Speedway, he dashed into the infield care center. A bottle of champagne broke during the Victory Lane celebration and sliced his right hand between his ring and pinkie fingers.

There’s a good chance Keselowski still could have won driving with one hand considering the power his No. 2 Miller Lite Ford produced. He led a race-high 199 (of 267) laps around Kentucky’s 1.5-mile, tri-oval known for its rough surface.

Ryan Newman, Matt Kenseth and Dale Earnhardt Jr. rounded out the top five. Jeff Gordon, Kevin Harvick, Kasey Kahne, Joey Logano and Jimmie Johnson completed the top 10.

Logano was the only other driver to lead laps, turning 37 of them.

“We were playing around with some champagne bottles and as I told my good friend, ‘We should have stuck with beer,’” Keselowski said. “Yeah, welcome to the party. It’s all good. I’m just glad we won. It’s a lot better story when you win and get hurt.”

Keselowski clicked off the final 19 laps in clean air after working past Kyle Busch, who led from laps 217-247. Busch had nothing left in his No. 18 M&M’s Toyota and finished 1.015 seconds behind Keselowski.

Keselowski left Kentucky Speedway with two wins this season — cementing his spot in the Chase for the Sprint Cup — and the feeling he had in 2012 when he won his Sprint Cup championship. He’s fourth in points.

He told his team as he crossed the finish line it feels like 2012 and echoed that statement in Victory Lane. Why the urgency for a driver in his fifth full Cup season?

“I turned 30 and I’m going through a little bit of a mid-life crisis,” Keselowski said. “I won a championship and I want to win another. I don’t want to be a guy that contends for championship every three or four years. I want to contend every single year. My team has that same goal and that same vision.”

The Sprint Cup win capped off a stellar weekend for Keselowski. He finished fifth in the Camping World Truck Series race Thursday and second in the Nationwide Series race Friday. Also on Friday, he set the track record with his qualifying lap of 28.603 seconds (188.791 mph).

That he ran so well at Kentucky could be a good sign with nine races left before the Chase field is set. A handful of 1.5-mile tracks make up the Chase’s final 10 races.

“The things it takes to go fast here aren’t too far off from the other tracks,” Keselowski said. “When you can run well this time of the year it bodes well.”

“We want another Sprint Cup. I really want another one. It feels really good to get back to this form. I think I appreciate it now than I did before.”

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