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Brad Keselowski led only 24 laps to Kyle Larson’s 284 but got to Victory Lane thanks to a series of quick late-race caution periods. [AP/TERRY RENNA]

1. Perfect timing

Brad Keselowski beat race dominator Kyle Larson off of pit road on Lap 346 (of 367) and was able to pull away in clean air for his first NASCAR “crown jewel” victory. “We were running second and that last stop [ the pit crew] nailed it and got us out in the lead,” Keselowski said.

2. Three cautions

Three quick yellow flags, sandwiched into Laps 312 to 344, determined the outcome of the Southern 500. Keselowski should send Jeffrey Earnhardt (Dale Jr.’s nephew) a thank-you note for spinning on Lap 344 and bringing out the final and decisive caution period and restart.

3. 11th-hour sponsor

started slapping STP decals on the No. 43 Sunday morning after STP decided to sponsor the car in an 11th-hour agreement with “The King.” first sponsorship deal in 1972 and have enjoyed a fruitful relationship.

— Godwin Kelly, godwin.