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Keselowski naps 4th straight Nationwide win

Penske team 1-2 again
Sunday, August 11, 2013

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Four-for-four is a great day on the baseball diamond.

It’s an even better day on the race track. Just ask Brad Keselowski, who won his fourth straight NASCAR Nationwide Series race Saturday at Watkins Glen International.

Keselowski’s 1.418-second victory over Penske Racing teammate Sam Hornish Jr. in the Zippo 200 was his fourth in his last four NNS starts this season (though not in consecutive events) and the 24th of his career.

Brian Vickers ran third, followed by Regan Smith and Elliott Sadler. Hornish cut the series lead of 12th-place finisher Austin Dillon to three points as the drivers head for the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, the second straight road-course venue, next weekend.

Given the strength of his No. 22 Ford Mustangs, Keselowski feels he can win any time he gets behind the wheel, and Saturday’s result bore that out.

"You know they’re going to be fast, and it’s just a matter of getting through all the drama of the race weekend to try to persevere for a win," Keselowski said. "We did that today."

Keselowski also felt fortunate to hold off Hornish in the closing laps.

"I thought he was going to beat me," said Keselowski, who had never driven a road-course race until he came to NASCAR. "I’ll tell you what, he’s a hell of a road course racer. … I made a couple of little mistakes. I thought he would get me, to be quite honest. I was just trying not to make any huge ones, and it all came together."

Hornish, the Coors Light Pole Award winner, got close to his Penske Racing teammate in the final five laps but, despite applying consistent pressure, never got close enough.

"I actually got him either (to) wheel-hop or lock up a little bit into (Turn) 1 a couple of times but just was never close enough to where I could take advantage of anything," Hornish said. "And then with about three laps to go, I got really sideways through the bus stop (inner loop).

"It was a great day for the Penske organization, for sure -- a 1-2. We’ve done quite a bit lately, and one of these times we’ll get turned around where I’m the leading end of it."

NASCAR called the fifth caution of the race on lap 58 because of debris in the inner loop, and that deprived front-runners Joey Logano and Justin Allgaier of a 20-second advantage they held before the yellow, with pit stops looming for both drivers.

Allgaier brought his car to pit road under the caution, but Logano stayed out, needing another yellow to make it to the end of the race on fuel. After the restart on Lap 62, Logano led a three-car train of Penske Racing machines until both Keselowski and Hornish out-braked their teammate in Turn 1 on lap 66 to take over the top two positions.

With Logano saving fuel, Keselowski and Hornish streaked away to a lead of more than eight seconds and ran in that order to the finish. Logano ran out of gas on the final circuit at the 2.45-mile road course and finished 21st.

Note: Three drivers have won Nationwide races in five straight starts (though not in consecutive events): Ryan Newman, Mark Martin and Dale Earnhardt Jr. Keselowski will attempt to tie that mark when he races the No. 22 car Aug. 23 at Bristol… Kyle Busch wrecked in the first corner of the first lap and finished 24th, five laps down. As a result, Keselowski trimmed the lead of the No. 54 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota to five points over the No. 22 Ford in the owners’ standings. Both cars are raced by multiple drivers but are battling for the owners’ championship.

Results

Pos Car # Driver Make St Laps Status
1 22 Brad Keselowski Ford 5 82 Running
2 12 Sam Hornish Jr Ford 1 82 Running
3 20 Brian Vickers Toyota 8 82 Running
4 7 Regan Smith Chevrolet 4 82 Running
5 11 Elliott Sadler Toyota 11 82 Running
6 77 Parker Kligerman Toyota 9 82 Running
7 31 Justin Allgaier Chevrolet 6 82 Running
8 44 Cole Whitt Toyota 17 82 Running
9 30 Nelson Piquet Jr Chevrolet 7 82 Running
10 6 Trevor Bayne Ford 12 82 Running
11 2 Brian Scott Chevrolet 10 82 Running
12 3 Austin Dillon Chevrolet 14 82 Running
13 99 Alex Bowman Toyota 19 82 Running
14 33 Brendan Gaughan Chevrolet 16 82 Running
15 60 Travis Pastrana Ford 20 82 Running
16 40 Reed Sorenson Chevrolet 27 82 Running
17 4 Landon Cassill Chevrolet 24 82 Running
18 5 Kasey Kahne Chevrolet 13 82 Running
19 87 Kyle Kelley Chevrolet 22 82 Running
20 51 Jeremy Clements Chevrolet 26 82 Running
21 48 Joey Logano Ford 3 81 Running
22 43 Michael Annett Ford 18 81 Running
23 79 Bryan Silas Ford 28 81 Running
24 54 Kyle Busch Toyota 2 77 Running
25 24 Derek White Toyota 35 75 Radiator
26 53 Andrew Ranger Dodge 21 71 Rear Gear
27 19 Mike Bliss Toyota 25 71 Running
28 14 Eric McClure Toyota 30 67 Suspension
29 70 Tony Raines Toyota 33 47 Brakes
30 32 Kyle Larson Chevrolet 15 41 Engine
31 74 Carl Long Chevrolet 37 35 Engine
32 23 Anthony Gandon Ford 39 27 Running
33 52 Joey Gase Chevrolet 38 20 Electrical
34 75 Kenny Habul Toyota 32 15 Engine
35 89 Morgan Shepherd Chevrolet 40 12 Brakes
36 00 Blake Koch Toyota 36 7 Overheating
37 10 Jeff Green Toyota 29 4 Vibration
38 46 T.J. Bell Chevrolet 34 2 Electrical
39 42 Josh Wise Chevrolet 31 1 Brakes
40 01 Mike Wallace Chevrolet 23 0 Accident

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