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Keselowski dominates in Fontana

Nationwide Series
Saturday, October 16, 2010

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Brad Keselowski waves an American flag in Victory Lane to celebrate his Dollar General 300 win
Geoff Burke/Getty Images for NASCAR
New rubber. Old rubber. It didn’t matter to Brad Keselowski, who ran the final 56 laps of Friday night’s Dollar General 300 NASCAR Nationwide Series race on his last set of tires.

Track position, however, proved far more important at Charlotte Motor Speedway, where Keselowski picked up his first NASCAR Nationwide Series win at the 1.5-mile track, his fifth victory of the season and the 11th of his career.

Martin Truex Jr. ran second, followed by Justin Allgaier, Joey Logano and polesitter Clint Bowyer, whose winning chances disappeared with a pit-road speeding penalty on his last stop. Kyle Busch, Reed Sorenson, Aric Almirola, Ryan Newman and Kevin Harvick completed the top 10.

Keselowski widened his lead in the NASCAR Nationwide standings to 450 points over 13th-place finisher Carl Edwards.

“I might be biased, but I thought that was the best race I’ve ever seen in my life,” said Keselowski, who has won two of the four races in the new NASCAR Nationwide car this year. “And I was driving the car, so I can imagine what the fans saw—that was awesome.

“The decision to stay out … we had pitted just five laps before the yellow came out (on Lap 154) and felt really good about it. I knew that Paul (Wolfe), my crew chief, had made an adjustment right there at the end, on the last stop, and my car was just flying.

“We quite honestly weren’t very good on test day (Wednesday) and wasn’t very good the first half of the race, and I’ve got to give credit to Paul. That guy’s amazing. He gave me the car I needed to win with at the end. This Challenger flew.”

Keselowski’s ploy to stay out on old tires after the caution on Lap 154 paid immediate dividends. The driver of the No. 22 Dodge opened a lead of almost a second over Truex before Brian Scott’s spin through the frontstretch grass caused the seventh caution of the race on Lap 182.

On Lap 183, Harvick and Edwards pitted for fresh tires—from fifth and sixth, respectively—and restarted 11th and 12th on Lap 187, but the new tires failed to provide the desired advantage. The green-flag run was short-lived, however, as Steve Wallace turned across the nose of Trevor Bayne’s No. 17 Ford on Lap 188 and slammed into the backstretch wall.

Keselowski led the field to a restart with eight laps remaining and pulled away to beat Truex to the finish line by 1.137 seconds.

Notes: Danica Patrick posted a career-best 21st-place finish in her ninth NASCAR Nationwide start. … The Charlotte race was the fourth and final event with the NASCAR Nationwide Series new car this year, before it’s phased in full time in 2011.

Results

FIN ST CAR DRIVER MAKE SPONSOR PTS/BNS LAPS STATUS
1 3 22 Brad Keselowski Dodge Discount Tire 190/5 200 Running
2 5 100 Martin Truex Jr. Toyota Out! Pet Care 175/5 200 Running
3 9 12 Justin Allgaier Dodge Verizon Wireless 165/0 200 Running
4 4 20 Joey Logano Toyota GameStop 165/5 200 Running
5 1 21 Clint Bowyer Chevrolet Zaxby's 160/5 200 Running
6 10 18 Kyle Busch Toyota Z-Line Designs 160/10 200 Running
7 7 32 Reed Sorenson Toyota Dollar General 146/0 200 Running
8 15 88 Aric Almirola Chevrolet Hellmann's 147/5 200 Running
9 2 1 Ryan Newman Chevrolet Phoenix Construction 138/0 200 Running
10 14 33 Kevin Harvick Chevrolet Rheem Tankless Water Heaters 139/5 200 Running
11 21 62 Brendan Gaughan Toyota South Point Hotel & Casino 130/0 200 Running
12 19 11 David Reutimann Toyota Rexall 127/0 200 Running
13 11 60 Carl Edwards Ford Copart.com 124/0 200 Running
14 13 6 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. * Ford CitiFinancial 121/0 200 Running
15 24 38 Jason Leffler Toyota Great Clips 118/0 200 Running
16 30 10 James Buescher * Toyota AccuDoc Solutions 120/5 200 Running
17 25 17 Trevor Bayne Ford Roush Fenway Racing 112/0 200 Running
18 39 43 Josh Wise Dodge OTWcrew.com / Ingersoll Rand 109/0 200 Running
19 12 16 Colin Braun * Ford Con-way Freight 106/0 200 Running
20 34 34 Tony Raines Chevrolet Long John Silver's 103/0 198 Running
21 18 7 Danica Patrick Chevrolet GoDaddy.com 100/0 198 Running
22 23 25 Kelly Bires Ford Raybestos 97/0 198 Running
23 43 24 Eric McClure Ford Hefty Odorblock 94/0 198 Running
24 27 05 David Starr Chevrolet Cash America 91/0 197 Running
25 35 01 Mike Wallace Chevrolet TireBuyer.com 88/0 197 Running
26 31 81 Michael McDowell Dodge De Wafelbakkers / Red Line Oil 85/0 196 Running
27 42 28 Kenny Wallace Chevrolet Kengor Metals 82/0 195 Running
28 22 09 Brian Scott * Ford Shore Lodge 79/0 192 Running
29 16 66 Steve Wallace Toyota 5-Hour Energy 76/0 188 In Pit
30 38 27 Hermie Sadler Ford CruiseOne / enMotion 73/0 188 Running
31 40 40 Mike Bliss Chevrolet Westerman Companies 70/0 176 Running
32 37 35 Jason Keller Chevrolet BeAStock Car Driver.com 67/0 170 Running
33 41 23 Robert Richardson Jr. Chevrolet Pink and Blue for Two 64/0 130 In Pit
34 20 104 Jeremy Clements Chevrolet Boudreaux's Butt Paste 61/0 118 In Pit
35 6 98 Paul Menard Ford Goof Off / Menards 63/5 117 Out of Race
36 32 15 Michael Annett Toyota Valvoline 55/0 73 In Pit
37 17 99 Ryan Truex Toyota Out! Pet Care 52/0 72 In Pit
38 28 156 Kevin Lepage Toyota RaceDaySponsor.com 49/0 25 In Pit
39 29 70 Shelby Howard Chevrolet K21 Cancer Care Fund / Foretravel 46/0 19 In Pit
40 26 49 Mark Green Chevrolet Front Line Wraps.com 43/0 12 Out of Race
41 36 87 Joe Nemechek Chevrolet Gator.com 40/0 10 In Pit
42 33 136 Jeff Green Chevrolet TriStar Motorsports 37/0 4 In Pit
43 8 26 Parker Kligerman Dodge K-Automotive Motorsports 34/0 3 In Pit

* Denotes Rookie

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