BRISTOL, Tenn. ( AP) — Brad Keselowski used Bristol Motor Speedway last fall to cement his spot in NASCAR’s championship race.

Back at the track Sunday, Keselowski again made his way to Victory Lane.

And he again began to think about a Sprint Cup title.

Keselowski led a careerbest and race-high 232 laps, then held off Daytona 500 winner Matt Kenseth on a late restart to cruise to his first victory of the season.

“What can I say? I love Bristol and Bristol loves me,” said Keselowski, who immediately began taking pictures in Victory Lane to send to Twitter.

“The goal at Penske Racing is to win a Sprint Cup championship, and one win certainly doesn’t achieve that, but it’s a great step.”

The Chase for the Sprint Cup championship has a wild-card provisional for the winningest driver not otherwise eligible. Keselowski’s win at Bristol last August was his third of the season and gave him the provisional that allowed him to race for the title.

Keselowski narrowly escaped an early seven- car accident, worked his way toward the front, then settled in for a tight battle with Kenseth over the final third of the race. Kenseth beat Keselowski on one of their restarts — fans complained instantly on Twitter that Kenseth had jumped the start — and Keselowski had to run him back down to reclaim the lead.

But a late caution when Tony Stewart hit the wall put Keselowski’s win in jeopardy.

Kenseth settled for second in his Roush Fenway Racing Ford.

The three Toyotas from Michael Waltrip Racing capped an impressive day by rounding out the top five — a feat that marked a strong return to racing for Brian Vickers.

Martin Truex Jr. led the MWR contingent with a thirdplace finish and was followed by Bowyer and Vickers, who ran his first race of the season. Out of work since Red Bull Racing closed at the end of last season, Vickers was tabbed last week to run six of the races that MWR driver Mark Martin sits out this season.