Keselowski Overtakes Bowyer For Bristol Win One slip was all Brad Keselowski needed.
After a restart on Lap 226 of Friday night’s NASCAR Nationwide Series Food City 250 at Bristol Motor Speedway, Keselowski pressured points leader Clint Bowyer. On Lap 227, Bowyer slipped off Turn 2, giving Keselowski the opening he needed.
From that point, Keselowski kept the No. 88 JR Motorsports Chevrolet out front and beat Bowyer to the finish line by 1.025 seconds.
“We were dead equal -- Clint and I,” said Keselowski, who won his second race in the series from the 37th starting position. “I knew I needed a break, and he gave it to me. All I can do is force him to run hard, and he made a mistake. I’m lucky.”
Greg Biffle finished third, followed by polesitter Cale Gale and David Stremme. Scott Wimmer was sixth, and a late pit road mistake -- with No. 18 crew chief Jason Ratcliff serving the first race of his indefinite suspension for violations found last Saturday at Michigan -- dropped Kyle Busch to seventh.
David Reutimann was eighth, followed by Brian Vickers and Steve Wallace.
Bowyer took the lead from Dario Franchitti on Lap 106, passing to the outside through Turns 3 and 4. Bowyer stayed out front through a caution on Lap 186 -- the third of the race, after Brad Teague’s Chevrolet bounced off the frontstretch wall -- when the lead-lap cars came to the pits for their final stops.
The pit work to Busch’s car, under the supervision of substitute crew chief Doug Hewitt, cost Busch second position. Busch had to bring the No. 18 Toyota back to pit road to recover a missing lug nut.
On a Lap 212 restart after David Ragan spun his No. 6 Ford off Turn 4 and nosed into the inside wall on the frontstretch, Bowyer pulled away again.
The final green-flag run, however, proved Bowyer’s undoing. On Lap 220, a frontstretch accident involving Mike Wallace and Denny Hamlin caused the fifth and final caution. One lap after the subsequent restart on Lap 226, Bowyer slipped off Turn 2, allowing Keselowski to pass on the backstretch.
Keselowski kept the No. 88 Chevrolet out front the rest of the way.
“I just can’t believe it,” said Bowyer, who leads the series standings by 122 points over Keselowski. “I just got loose down there and made a mistake and gave it away.”
Notes: Carl Edwards was a victim of a Lap 86 wreck, when a flat tire sent his No. 60 Ford into the Dodge of Elliott Sadler. Edwards finished 37th, 90 laps down, and fell from second to third in the standings, 241 points behind Bowyer. ... With crew chief Dave Rogers suspended indefinitely from the No. 20 JGR team, Joey Logano crashed during qualifying, started from the rear of the field in a backup car but recovered to finish 16th.
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