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Allgaier Nips Keselowski For Bristol Win

NASCAR Nationwide Series race
Saturday, March 20, 2010

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It wasn't a hauler chat with NASCAR that kept Brad Keselowski from knocking Justin Allgaier out of the way in the closing laps of Saturday's Scotts Turf Builder 300 at Bristol Motor Speedway.

Instead, Keselowski, the polesitter, took one for the company—Penske Racing—as Allgaier, his teammate, led all 27 laps of the final green-flag run to notch his first NASCAR Nationwide Series victory.

The win came approximately eight hours after Keselowski, team owner Roger Penske, Carl Edwards and his team owner, Jack Roush, met with NASCAR about Edwards' retaliation against Keselowski on March 7 at Atlanta.

Allgaier grabbed the lead from Keselowski with an exceptional restart from the inside lane on Lap 274, and Keselowski gave his teammate room to clear Keselowski's No. 22 Dodge as the cars exited Turn 2.

Though Keselowski harried Allgaier through lapped traffic during the run to the finish—and on several occasions pulled alongside Allgaier's No. 12 Dodge—Allgaier ran mistake-free for the final laps and finished .178 seconds ahead of Keselowski.

Kyle Busch led 59 laps—second most to Keselowski's 72—and finished third. Edwards came home fourth and retained the series points lead by 26 points over Keselowski. Allgaier is third in the standings, 31 points behind Edwards.

Allgaier started 30th after a lackluster qualifying effort but quickly worked his way through the field. Staying out on old tires under caution on Lap 147, while many of the other lead-lap cars came to pit road for service, catapulted him to third for a restart on Lap 151, and Allgaier spent the rest of the afternoon in the top 10, finally taking the lead on Lap 274.

"It was pretty unbelievable," Allgaier said. "We had a great car in practice, and I screwed up qualifying and didn't get the run we really needed and had to start 30th. But (crew chief) Chad (Walter) told me, 'You'll be there all day long, and if you push it really hard, you'll be in victory lane.'

"I wasn't sure we were going to be able to hold off Brad there for the last couple of laps, but Brad drove a heck of a race and ran us really clean. I'm just excited to get a 1-2 for Penske Racing."

Keselowski, who drove for JR Motorsports last year and wrecked Allgaier at Bristol, cut his teammate some slack on the final restart.

"On the restart there, he ran me up pretty high, but I really had no room to be angry with him, because last year I wrecked him in a really similar instance," Keselowski said. "I lifted and let him in and lost the lead there. I thought I had a shot at getting it back, but I just didn't catch the right breaks, as far as boxing him out in lapped traffic.

"This (Penske) Nationwide program is really in its infancy stages. It has limitless potential, and it's important that—in order for that potential to grow—that we don't self-destruct."

Notes: Kevin Harvick spun Joey Logano on the final lap and finished fifth, his 123rd top five in the series, tying him for the career lead with Tommy Houston. … Allgaier's win was the first for Dodge in the NASCAR Nationwide Series since Aug. 24, 2007 at Bristol. It was the first 1-2 finish for Dodge in the series since July 30, 2005 at Gateway International Raceway.

Results

FIN ST CAR DRIVER MAKE SPONSOR PTS/BNS LAPS STATUS
1 30 12 Justin Allgaier Dodge Verizon Wireless 190/5 300 Running
2 1 22 Brad Keselowski Dodge Discount Tire 180/10 300 Running
3 6 18 Kyle Busch Toyota Z-Line Designs 170/5 300 Running
4 4 60 Carl Edwards Ford Copart 165/5 300 Running
5 13 33 Kevin Harvick Chevrolet Rheem 155/0 300 Running
6 5 27 Greg Biffle Ford Red Man Moist Snuff 155/5 300 Running
7 8 32 Reed Sorenson Toyota Dollar General 146/0 300 Running
8 41 40 Mike Bliss Chevrolet Key Motorsports 142/0 300 Running
9 10 10 Jason Leffler Toyota ABF Freight 143/5 300 Running
10 19 7 Scott Wimmer Chevrolet JR Motorsports 139/5 300 Running
11 28 98 Paul Menard Ford Richmond Water Heaters / Menards 130/0 300 Running
12 3 88 Kelly Bires Chevrolet Hellmann's 127/0 300 Running
13 27 43 Scott Lagasse Jr. Ford Baker Curb Racing 124/0 300 Running
14 2 20 Joey Logano Toyota GameStop 126/5 300 Running
15 17 05 Willie Allen Chevrolet 31-W Insulation 118/0 300 Running
16 11 87 Joe Nemechek Chevrolet Computer Works 115/0 300 Running
17 35 01 Mike Wallace Chevrolet Monster Diesel 112/0 300 Running
18 40 81 Michael McDowell Dodge Mobile-Shop 109/0 300 Running
19 31 28 Kenny Wallace Chevrolet Hot Rod Grills 106/0 298 Running
20 38 15 Michael Annett Toyota Pilot Travel Centers 103/0 298 Running
21 26 102 Andy Ponstein Chevrolet CarLocate.com 100/0 296 Running
22 25 34 Tony Raines Chevrolet Long John Silver's 97/0 295 Running
23 32 61 Josh Wise Ford Specialty Racing 94/0 295 Running
24 42 24 Eric McClure Ford Hefty 91/0 294 Running
25 24 6 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. * Ford Roush Fenway Racing 93/5 267 Running
26 14 21 John Wes Townley Chevrolet Zaxby's 85/0 265 Accident
27 36 35 Jason Keller Chevrolet TriStar Motorsports 82/0 265 Accident
28 43 73 Derrike Cope Dodge Stratus Racing Group 79/0 259 Running
29 23 11 Brian Scott * Toyota AccuDoc Solutions 76/0 256 Running
30 18 99 Trevor Bayne Toyota Diamond Waltrip Racing 73/0 244 Running
31 37 23 Coleman Pressley Chevrolet R3 Motorsports 70/0 227 Accident
32 7 38 Kasey Kahne Toyota Great Clips 72/5 188 Accident
33 22 62 Brendan Gaughan Toyota South Point Hotel & Casino 64/0 186 Accident
34 15 70 Shelby Howard Chevrolet Foretravel Motorcoach 61/0 185 Accident
35 34 89 Morgan Shepherd Chevrolet Fans for Faith 58/0 160 Handling
36 12 1 James Buescher * Chevrolet Phoenix Racing 55/0 109 Accident
37 20 16 Colin Braun * Ford Con-way Freight 52/0 89 Accident
38 9 66 Steve Wallace Toyota 5-Hour Energy 49/0 89 Accident
39 39 26 Brian Keselowski Dodge K-Automotive Motorsports 46/0 29 Accident
40 21 156 Kevin Lepage Chevrolet Mac Hill Motorsports 43/0 23 Transmission
41 16 90 Danny O'Quinn Jr. Chevrolet D'Hondt Humphrey Motorsports 40/0 21 Brakes
42 29 91 David Gilliland Chevrolet D'Hondt Humphrey Motorsports 37/0 16 Brakes
43 33 92 Johnny Chapman Dodge K-Automotive Motorsports 34/0 3 Rear End

* Denotes Rookie

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