Brad Keselowski walked into the interview room and said, “Oh, that’s nice — air conditioning.”
Keselowski overcame a humid afternoon and an hour-long rain delay Saturday at Charlotte Motor Speedway to become the first repeat winner on the Xfinity Series this season.
“I don’t know if I have ever been that hot in a race car,” Keselowski said. “It was smoking out there.”
Ten drivers won the previous 10 Xfinity races.
“Yeah it has been a tale of two cities compared to the Cup Series where there have been multiple repeat winners,” Keselowski said.
The Cup driver has 38 Xfinity victories, also winning the rain-delayed Phoenix race in March.
Keselowski won in overtime after the yellow flag came out for debris on the track with two laps remaining in the scheduled 200-lap race. He took off in Team Penske’s No. 22 Ford on a restart with two laps remaining and held off Cole Custer and Christopher Bell, who finished second and third respectively.
Keselowski took his final set of tires earlier than some of the drivers, a decision crew chief Brian Wilson said he later regretted. But Keselowski benefited from the handful of yellow flags in the final 40 laps that saved some wear and tear on his tires.
Bell thought he had a chance to overtake Keselowski on the final restart because he had fresher tires, but said “I just didn’t execute.”
“We probably had the right strategy but the old Cup guy just beat us,” Bell said.
Keselowski’s win comes just a few days after team owner Roger Penske was selected to the NASCAR Hall of Fame.
He quickly turned his attention to the upcoming Coca-Cola 600 on Sunday.
“It would be really cool to sweep Memorial Day weekend,” Keselowski said.