Sports

Brad Keselowski takes opening race to advance into 2nd round of NASCAR's Chase

  • Kyle Busch (18) leads the field at the start of the NASCAR Sprint Cup series auto race at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Ill., Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014. (AP Photo/Paul J. Bergstrom)

    Kyle Busch (18) leads the field at the start of the NASCAR Sprint Cup series auto race at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Ill., Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014. (AP Photo/Paul J. Bergstrom)  (The Associated Press)

  • Jeff Gordon (24) drives past Marcos Ambrose (9) and Jamie McMurray (1) during the NASCAR Sprint Cup series auto race at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Ill., Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

    Jeff Gordon (24) drives past Marcos Ambrose (9) and Jamie McMurray (1) during the NASCAR Sprint Cup series auto race at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Ill., Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)  (The Associated Press)

  • Brad Keselowski (2) drives in front of Aric Almirola (43) and Greg Biffle during the NASCAR Sprint Cup series auto race at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Ill., Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

    Brad Keselowski (2) drives in front of Aric Almirola (43) and Greg Biffle during the NASCAR Sprint Cup series auto race at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Ill., Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)  (The Associated Press)

Brad Keselowski has won the opening race in the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship, a victory that automatically advances him into the second round.

Keselowski used a three-wide pass of Kyle Larson and Kevin Harvick to snatch the lead away with 15 laps remaining at Chicagoland Speedway. As Larson and Harvick raced door-to-door, Keselowski drove through the middle to take the lead.

A caution with 10 laps remaining set up one final restart, and Keselowski easily pulled away for the win.

The Chase this year will eliminate four drivers after every third race, and a win guarantees a driver an automatic berth into the next round. Keselowski, who won last week at Richmond and has a Sprint Cup-leading five wins this season, was the top seed in the Chase.