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Hometown victory! Keselowski wins at Michigan

Nationwide Series
Sunday, August 16, 2009

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In his first victory at what he calls his hometown track, Brad Keselowski, driver of the No. 88 GoDaddy Chevrolet, celebrates winning Saturday's NASCAR Nationwide Series CARFAX 250
Harry How/Getty Images
It was a two-car race from the start between Brian Vickers and Kyle Busch until Rochester Hills, Mich., native Brad Keselowski decided to make it three with one lap remaining in the NASCAR Nationwide CARFAX 250 at Michigan International Speedway.

Keselowski, 25, led for only three laps, but the one that mattered was the last lap as he grabbed his third victory of the season in a wild, heated finish that led to some post-race verbal turbulence.

The green flag came out with six laps remaining following the fourth caution period of the race. Vickers took the lead with Busch close behind. The two had combined to lead a total of 110 laps in the 125-lap race.

With two laps remaining Vickers, Busch and Keselowski briefly ran three abreast. Vickers forced Busch to run below the white line on the bottom of the track, unaware Keselowski was winding up his No. 88 Chevrolet to make his outside-groove pass for the lead and his fifth victory in 92 Nationwide races.

Vickers, who led for a total of 78 laps, finished second followed by Busch, who was in front for a total of 32 laps.

“I saw them bobbling in turns three and four with one lap to go and I knew I had them,” said a beaming Keselowski. “I knew it. I knew I could get to the outside and get past the 32 (Vickers). I wasn’t sure about the 18 (Busch). I don’t know what happened to him.

“Oh my God, I won at home! I’m speechless. I can’t believe it. I’m usually terrible here and to win here is a major accomplishment. It’s so cool to win in front of my hometown fans. I don’t know what you guys saw but it was one heck of a show. I can’t believe I’m in Victory Lane at Michigan. I just can’t believe it. I’ve been coming here since I was four or five years old with my parents. I’m speechless. It’s amazing. It’s awesome. I can’t thank everyone enough who got me to where I am now.”

After the conclusion of the race, Busch pulled in front of a parked Vickers on an angle on pit road, hitting the right front panel of Vickers’ car in the process. Busch then climbed out of his car and walked over to Vickers’ car, leaned in and had a brief discussion.

Vickers climbed out of his car and the two stood toe-to-toe momentarily with Busch pushing up the visor on Vickers’ helmet before they separated.

“He (Vickers) hung on my right rear quarter panel all the way down the front stretch and gave the win to the No. 88 car (Keselowski),” Busch said. “He slowed us both down so much. He had no idea the 88 car was coming and the 88 just drove past both of us on the outside because Brian Vickers was trying to slow both of us down.

“Unfortunately, you race with idiots and I guess you’re going to have that some times. I’m sure I’m complaining, and I’m whining and I’m a crybaby but that’s uncalled for and it’s stupid. I would have run my own line instead of giving it to the third-place car.”

Vickers started from the pole after becoming the first driver at MIS to start from the pole for both weekend races, the Nationwide CARFAX 250 and Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup CARFAX 400.

“I’m so sorry. I forgot it was the Kyle Busch show,” said Vickers in response to Busch’s statements. “I thought we were racing for a win. I thought it was my job to hold him off. Apparently not. He came over to the car after the race, knocked our right fender in, which was unnecessary, and then started crying like a little baby. I asked him to give me a minute to get out and we could talk about it like men and if he wanted to fight that was fine with me, but he ran off.

“It’s a shame that it went down like that. We were racing hard and I thought it was a good race. Congratulations to the 88, he snuck around both of us. I didn’t see him coming. I let my guys down. We should have won the race but last I checked it wasn’t the Kyle Busch show it was a Nationwide race and I was supposed to race him for the win.”

Busch widened his Nationwide Series points lead to 339 over second-place Carl Edwards when Edwards was involved in a crash, coming in contact with Trevor Bayne on just the fourth lap of the race. It eliminated Edwards from the competition.

“I saw the replay and at first I thought they (the two cars next to him) must have gotten together and split up,” Edwards explained. “It definitely looks like I didn’t give Trevor enough room. We all went into the corner and I assumed that the car that was on the inside was going to go to the bottom. I was thinking about the rest of the corner, and I drove down in there and pinched him down.

“I hope his car is not torn up a lot. It’s too bad for my guys. It’s very frustrating. Man, it’s early in the race and I probably should have been a little more cautious.”

Next up is Sunday’s CARFAX 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup race. The race is scheduled for 2 p.m. Grandstand gates open at 8 a.m.; parking lots open at 6 a.m.

Results

FIN ST CAR DRIVER MAKE SPONSOR PTS/BNS LAPS STATUS
1 13 88 Brad Keselowski Chevrolet GoDaddy.com 190/5 125 Running
2 1 32 Brian Vickers Toyota Dollar General 180/10 125 Running
3 3 18 Kyle Busch Toyota NOS Energy Drink 170/5 125 Running
4 6 6 David Ragan Ford Discount Tire 165/5 125 Running
5 9 33 Kevin Harvick Chevrolet Jimmy John's Gourmet Sandwiches 155/0 125 Running
6 11 5 Ryan Newman Chevrolet Fastenal 150/0 125 Running
7 28 12 Justin Allgaier * Dodge Verizon Wireless 151/5 125 Running
8 10 16 Greg Biffle Ford CitiFinancial 142/0 125 Running
9 4 29 Jeff Burton Chevrolet Holiday Inn / Holiday Inn Express 138/0 125 Running
10 23 198 Paul Menard Ford Richmond / Menards 134/0 125 Running
11 22 38 Jason Leffler Toyota Great Clips 130/0 125 Running
12 21 1 Reed Sorenson Chevrolet Miccosukee Resort & Gaming 132/5 125 Running
13 18 15 Michael Annett * Toyota Pilot Travel Centers 124/0 125 Running
14 36 10 David Reutimann Toyota Beringer Vineyards 121/0 125 Running
15 14 66 Steve Wallace Chevrolet 5-Hour Energy 118/0 125 Running
16 19 214 Justin Lofton Toyota Lofton Cattle 115/0 125 Running
17 24 26 Michael McDowell * Dodge 2XL SoundGear / ConelyAuto.com 112/0 125 Running
18 39 70 Shelby Howard Chevrolet Foretravel Motorcoach 109/0 125 Running
19 37 2 Austin Dillon Chevrolet Richard Childress Racing 106/0 125 Running
20 12 27 Jason Keller Ford "Ford and the American Dream" / TeCoup 103/0 124 Running
21 17 81 J.J. Yeley Dodge MacDonald Motorsports 100/0 124 Running
22 20 28 Kenny Wallace Chevrolet U.S. Border Patrol 97/0 124 Running
23 5 20 Brad Coleman Toyota BigSpot.com 94/0 124 Running
24 34 23 Robert Richardson Jr. Chevrolet Mahindra Tractors 91/0 123 Running
25 29 150 Jeremy Clements Chevrolet Saxon Group / Diamond Pistons 88/0 123 Running
26 27 61 Matt Carter Ford Specialty Racing 85/0 123 Running
27 35 87 Mike Bliss Chevrolet NEMCO Motorsports 82/0 123 Running
28 40 24 Eric McClure Ford Hefty 79/0 123 Running
29 15 62 Brendan Gaughan * Chevrolet US Fidelis 76/0 123 Running
30 2 99 Trevor Bayne Toyota Aaron's Dream Machine 73/0 122 Accident
31 33 01 Danny O'Quinn Jr. Chevrolet Bank of Ann Arbor Mortgages 70/0 121 Running
32 8 11 Denny Hamlin Toyota Carfax 67/0 117 Running
33 41 234 Tony Raines Dodge Long John Silver's 64/0 74 Handling
34 43 52 Mike Wallace Chevrolet Means Racing 61/0 44 Vibration
35 42 40 Scott Wimmer Chevrolet Stop Repair Bills.com 58/0 42 Engine
36 16 49 Mark Green Chevrolet GetMoreVacations.com 55/0 32 Electrical
37 38 47 Chase Miller Toyota Construction Jobs.com 52/0 11 Overheating
38 26 91 Terry Cook * Chevrolet MSRP Motorsports 49/0 8 Overheating
39 32 90 Johnny Chapman Chevrolet MSRP Motorsports 46/0 6 Electrical
40 7 60 Carl Edwards Ford Save-A-Lot 43/0 2 Accident
41 31 31 Kevin Hamlin Chevrolet FastWax.com / Circle K Thirstbuster 40/0 1 Rear End
42 30 196 Dennis Setzer Dodge Dusty's Collision 37/0 1 Ignition
43 25 192 Willie Allen Dodge Holloway / Dusty's Collision 34/0 1 Vibration

* Denotes Rookie

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