After losing the Missouri-Illinois Dodge Dealers 250 200 yards from the finish line at Gateway International Raceway in July, it was fitting that Brad Keselowski drove his No. 22 Penske Racing Dodge to Victory Lane on Saturday in the 5-Hour ENERGY 250. He swapped the race lead with teammate and event polesitter Justin Allgaier late in the race, but was able to pull ahead in the final six-lap stretch after a late-race caution. Allgaier, a native of Riverton, IL and a area fan favorite, finished third, while former Camping World Truck Series champion Mike Bliss took runner-up honors. Jason Leffler and three-time GIR NASCAR Nationwide Series winner Carl Edwards rounded out the top five. Despite the final straightaway bump from Edwards during the race here in July, Keselowski said in Victory Lane that he had moved on. “I try not to hold grudges. I try not to think of that and just focus on our next race. That was key about winning today. You can’t panic about what happened in the last race. You have to move forward and move on with your life. Our team did that today.”
Allgaier won the pole with a speed of 135.131 mph, circling the 1.25-mile in 33.301 seconds earlier in the day and appeared to be the class of the field during the 200-lap race. A call on pit road for four tires after the sixth and final caution, however, doomed the No. 12 Dodge team’s chances for a victory in the final NASCAR event at Gateway.