Bristol, TN (Sports Network) - Brad Keselowski continued his hot streak in the Sprint Cup Series during the month of August with a win in Saturday's IRWIN Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway.
Keselowski took the lead from Martin Truex Jr. just after a restart with 80 laps remaining. He then held off Truex at the finish by 0.95 seconds for his third win of the season and the fourth of Sprint Cup career.
"This is an awesome car and an awesome team, Penske Racing," Keselowski said. "Tony Stewart, Jeff Gordon and Dale Earnhardt won this race. It's a race of champions. There's races that pay more, and there's races that might have a little more prestige, but this is the coolest damn one of them all."
Since suffering a broken left ankle and a sore back from a crash while testing August 3 at Road Atlanta, Keselowski has been on a roll in NASCAR's premier series, finishing no worse than third in the last four races, including two wins. He has climbed from 21st to 11th in points since then.
"We've been a team that's clicking and starting to believe in each other," he said.
Keselowski has yet to secure a spot in the 12-driver Chase for the Sprint Cup championship. He does hold the first wild card position with just two races to go before the Chase cutoff -- Atlanta (next Sunday) and Richmond (September 10).
Truex ran among the top-10 for most of the race, but during the last round of pit stops under caution, he took two tires only and came out of the pits first.
"That two-tire stop got us up there, but once again, I was too tight on the restarts," he said. "[Keselowski] checked out, and we just kind of maintained from there."
Jeff Gordon and Matt Kenseth swapped the lead for a majority of the 500-lap race, with Gordon leading the most with 206, followed by Kenseth's 110 laps led. Both drivers took four tires during their last stops and lost track position. Gordon battled Truex for position in the closing laps but wound up finishing third.
"I wasn't too worried about the guys on two tires, but I was a little bit surprised that I couldn't get by Martin," Gordon said.
Jimmie Johnson finished fourth, followed by Jamie McMurray and Kenseth. Denny Hamlin, Ryan Newman, the pole sitter, Carl Edwards and Marcos Ambrose completed the top-10.
Johnson, Kenseth and Edwards joined Busch as those drivers who have now clinched a spot in the Chase.
Busch, who punched his ticket with his win last Sunday at Michigan, finished 14th. He cut a tire and made contact with the wall late in the race, which prompted the sixth caution and set up the final round of pit stops.
Busch captured his record 50th Nationwide Series win on Friday at Bristol.
Clint Bowyer and Tony Stewart struggled throughout the race, with Bowyer finishing two laps behind in 26th and Stewart three laps down in 28th.
Stewart, who has yet to win a race this season, maintained his 10th-place ranking in points. Bowyer dropped one position to 12th in points.
Hamlin continued to hold the second wild card spot, as he moved up to 13th in the standings.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. remained ninth in points, despite his 16th-place finish.
08/28 00:25:55 ET