Brad Keselowski finished in 10th place in the Go Bowling 400 on Saturday night at Kansas Speedway, despite being involved in a four-car melee on lap 242 that knocked out three cars.
It started when Denny Hamlin wedged between Keselowski and Kyle Larson, and things went awry quickly, despite no contact between the cars.
“No, you don’t have to hit each other. The air just spins everybody out,” Keselowski said. “It’s hard to explain because you can’t see it. I’m disappointed, but I don’t think there was anything malicious. We’re all just racing for wins and that was everybody’s shot to win the race.”
Stewart returns for good
The rest of three-time Sprint Cup champion Tony Stewart’s NASCAR career began on Saturday night in the Go Bowling 400 at Kansas Speedway, where he finished 12th.
Stewart, who missed the first eight races of the season because of back injuries sustained in a January ATV accident, made his 2016 debut two weeks ago at Richmond and started last week’s race at Talladega before giving up his seat to Ty Dillon after the first caution.
“I feel really good,” said Stewart, a two-time winner at Kansas who announced this would be his final year as a driver. “What I learned after the race at Richmond is that my back was really messed up before the accident when I broke it. I think the surgeons fixed that.
“I actually feel better now than I did this time last year. I felt really good after Richmond. We could have lined everyone up and raced again and I would have been fine. I’m ready to get back in full-time.”
NASCAR’s new lower-downforce package as resulted in some of the closest finishes in recent years.
Two races, at Daytona and Phoenix, finished with a margin of victory of .010 seconds, which is tied for the seventh closest margin of victory since the inception of electronic timing and scoring in 1993.
Seven of the first nine races ended with a margin of victory under 1 second (one race ended under caution), the most since 2010 and tied for the most through nine races since the inception of electronic scoring in 1993
Kansas Speedway veterans
Four drivers — Kurt Busch, Kevin Harvick, Matt Kenseth and Ryan Newman — are the only ones who have started all 21 Sprint Cup races at Kansas Speedway.
Kenseth, the winner in the first two races after the track was repaved in 2012, has led the most laps at Kansas Speedway, 655, going into Saturday.
Blair Kerkhoff, The Star; Randy Covitz and Todd Engle, Special to The Star