Sometimes it really does pay off to be lucky rather than good, although having both certainly doesn't hurt. In the case of Las Vegas, luck certainly had a part in victory, but it was good calls and strategy that helped play out the eventual winning hand.
Fuel strategy was what decided the race, but it was the pit calls of one Paul Wolfe that brought Brad Keselowski to the front. Different pit calls than the competition seemed difficult at times, but it put the No. 2 in the right spot when it mattered most. The late battle with Dale Earnhardt Jr, the driver that gave Keselowski his big break in the sport, wasn't about who had the better car, but who had enough gas in the tank.
Down the backstretch, on the final lap, Junior ran dry, but still had enough to refire the car and finish the race. But when that car ran out and sputtered, the opening was there, and Keselowski took it.
After having to wait till the middle of the Chase a year ago to win, a Chase that he was not involved with, the white deuce is officially a winner, and the third driver that will compete for a title this season.
That win also means yet another week of victories for the pool, as one writer got their first, while another added another round of bonus points toward the Chase. Here's the new standings after Sunday's Kobalt 400:
Rob Tiongson (127) Jimmie Johnson finished 6th - 1
Ryan O'Hara (121) Brad Keselowski WON - 2
Kara Martin (120) Kyle Busch finished 11th - 1
Dustin Parks (118) Kyle Busch finished 11th - 1
Sal Sigala Jr (112) Brad Keselowski WON - 1
Billy Fellin (104) Matt Kenseth finished 10th - 0
Michael Hirshbein (95) Kyle Busch finished 11th - 0
Aaron Rosser (91) Kyle Busch finished 11th - 1
Misan Akuya (90) Jimmie Johnson finished 6th - 0
Patti Rodisch (90) Kevin Harvick finished 41st - 1
James Broomhead (75) Kurt Busch finished 26th - 1
Rob Blount (71) Kevin Harvick finished 41st - 0
Next Race: A few writers had a rough week, especially after a couple were coming off a win from a week prior. They are angry, and want to take out their frustration on someone, or something. Seems appropriate as the next race on the schedule is known for having a few run-ins both on the track, and on pit road.
NASCAR is going below the mile-mark for it's next track, and hitting the concrete to boot. It's the first short track event on the schedule, and it occurs at a place that has seen many a spectacular moment happen. High banks, aggression, and the ever-popular "bump and run" have become infamous at this place. NASCAR is heading back to Thunder Valley, returning to the Bristol Motor Speedway, or as it's nicknamed, the "Last Great Coliseum."
Writers, it's time to bang some fenders. Have your picks ready by Thursday, March 13, at 10 p.m. ET for the Food City 500.