NASCAR at Atlanta: Race results, highlights from Brad Keselowski's nail-biting QuikTrip500 win

KeselowskiATL_Getty_FTR
(Getty Images)

Two IVs, one checkered flag.

Just hours after receiving a pair of intravenous fluid bags to combat an ongoing stomach flu, Brad Keselowski hung on in the final few laps from a closing Martin Truex Jr. to win the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 at Atlanta. Keselowski led the final 32 laps en route to his second career victory at Atlanta Motor Speedway and became Team Penske’s all-time leader in wins (60).

The race was the complete opposite of last week’s carnage at Daytona as the only wreck that occured in Atlanta was on pit road involving Ryan Preece and B.J. McLeod when Preece became distracted looking at his tachometer and clipped McLeod. Mistakes on pit road were the story of the day, as several drivers lost precious time due to careless errors.

Kyle Larson led a race-high 142 of 325 laps, but was caught speeding entering pit road, dropping him to the rear of the ensuing restart, something he was never able to recover from, finishing 12th. Alex Bowman and Joey Logano’s cars were three times involved in chaotic exits from pit road, that ultimately bled over in the third dispute to slow down an upset Treux Jr. Finally Ryan Blaney, who led for 41 laps, ran over his car jack in the final stage that cost him any chance of retaking his lead.

Last week’s winner Denny Hamlin hung around the top-10 all race, but ultimately finished 11, while seven-time NASCAR champion Jimmie Johnson had difficulties for much of the race and finished 24th.

The top 20 finishers from the 2019 QuikTrip 500 are in order below. Here’s a full list of results.

QuikTrip 500 results: 2019 winner, order of finish

Finish Team Car No. Laps Lead
1. Brad Keselowski Penske 2 33
2. Martin Truex Jr. Joe Gibbs 19 4
3. Kurt Busch Chip Ganassi 1 1
4. Kevin Harvick Stewart-Haas 4 45
5. Clint Bowyer Stewart-Hass 14
6. Kyle Busch Joe Gibbs 18
7. Erik Jones Joe Gibbs 20
8. Aric Almirola Stewart-Haas 10
9. Chris Buescher JTG Daugherty 37
10. Daniel Suarez Stewart-Haas 41
11. Denny Hamlin Joe Gibbs 11
12. Kyle Larson Chip Ganassi 42 142
13. Ryan Newman Joe Gibbs 6
14. Paul Menard Wood Brothers 21
15. Alex Bowman Hendrick 88
16. David Ragan Front Row Motorsports 38
17. William Byron Hendrick 24
18. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Roush Fenway 17 1
19. Chase Elliot Hendrick 9
20. Daniel Hemric Richard Childress 8

NASCAR at Atlanta: Live updates, highlights from QuikTrip 500

Caution flags: 5

Lead changes:  25

Lap leaders: Brad Keselowski (32), Kyle Larson (142), Kevin Harvick (45), Ryan Blaney (41), Aric Almirola (37), Joey Logano (17), Martin Truex Jr. (4),  Kurt Busch (1), Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (1)

(All times Eastern.)

5:50 p.m.: Keselowski holds on for the win! His 28th career win and second victory at Atlanta.

5:46 p.m.: Fout laps left! Truex Jr. is closing. This is going to be close!

5:43 p.m.: 12 laps to go, and Keselowki has a 2.5-second lead over Truex Jr. for first place!

5:39 p.m.: Logano pits out of second with a lose tire.

5:36 p.m.: What stomach flu? A sick Keselowski has his first lead. 25 laps left!

5:30 p.m.: Phew. Things got close, but all wrecks avoided. Brad Keselowski has battled his way to second with 33 laps to race.

5:20 p.m.: Joey Logano and Kurt Busch lead out of the restart. 44 laps until the checkers!

5:11 p.m.: Caution! There’s a crash in pit road, of all places. Ryan Preece nails BJ McLeod.

4:57 p.m.: It’s a young top 10 as five of the drivers are under the age of 30. Speaking of young, veteran Jimmie Johnson is in 25th and two laps behind Blaney.

4:48 p.m.: Ryan Blaney takes his first lead of the day as Larson falls all the way back to 21st!

4:45 p.m.: Larson wins the race off pit road…BUT he was speeding. Killer mistake after such a fabulous race.

4:38 p.m.: Lap 222 and we have our first caution-for-cause. Kyle Busch has a flat.

4:28 p.m.: Kyle Busch was forced to use a backup car today after hitting the wall in his final lap of practice yesterday. That backup is now second place!

4:15 p.m.: Harvick and Larson lead out of the restart for Stage 3. Kyle Busch is up to third.

4:13 p.m.: More drama on pit road between Logano and Bowman. This time their strategies make it tough for Truex Jr. to exit.

4:06 p.m.: Kevin Harvick takes Stage 2!. Larson, Truex Jr., Ryan Blaney and Hamlin round out the top 5.

4:01 p.m.: Hey, where’s our Daytona 500 winner? Denny Hamlin has been sitting in fifth almost the entire race. He’s nine seconds off the lead.

3:54 p.m.: Larson and Harvick go back-and-forth, back-and-forth for the lead! Four changes in two laps!

3:47 p.m.: 30 laps to go in Stage 2 with Larson, Harvick, Truex Jr. at 1,2,3. Not a good day for Jimmie Johnson as he was just lapped.

3:38 p.m.: Green flag pit stops begin! Leader Kyle Larson heads to pit road.

3:28 p.m.: Joey Logano has been running a good race, but twice he’s gotten jammed in pit road by Alex Bowman. Results of a poor poll position.

3:20 p.m.: Harvick is the control car as Stage 2 begins.

3:16 p.m.: Almirola is too fast entering pit road. He’ll drop to the back at the restart.

3:10 p.m.: End of Stage 1! Larson still leads and earns a NASCAR Playoff point.

2:59 p.m.: 70 laps in, Larson has lengthened his lead over Almirola up to four seconds. Harvick is all the way up to third.

2:45 p.m.: Larson wins the restart after a new set of tires!

2:40 p.m.: A lap-35 competition caution is out as a result of last night’s rain. Sounds well-needed and like several drivers are going to make some adjustments in the pits.

2:29 p:m.: Many drivers complaining of “tight” cars. Jimmie Johnson is among those and has dropped out of the top 20.

2:23 p.m.: Kevin Harvick has already passed eight cars just ten laps in.

2:19 p.m.: Let’s do that NASCAR. Green flag!