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DATE News (chronologically)
03/08/14
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Keselowski over Busch in Vegas Nationwide race
Brad Keselowski
Getty Images for NASCAR
In the closing laps of Saturday's Boyd Gaming 300 NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Kyle Busch was close enough to make Brad Keselowski uncomfortable.

It didn’t help that Keselowski’s engine sputtered when the voltage in his battery dropped dangerously low.

But Keselowski built a big enough lead after a restart on Lap 168 of 200 to ward off Busch’s charge in the closing stages of the race.

Keselowski’s first win of the season, his first at LVMS and the 28th of his career left Busch, a Las Vegas native, frustrated in his 11th futile attempt to win a Nationwide Series race on home turf. Busch was runner-up for the second straight year and third time overall.

"Kyle's one of the best in the business, and he deserves a win here, and he’s been real close, just like we have," said Keselowski, who was leading on the final lap in 2011 before a blown tire knocked him back to third.

"These races aren’t getting any easier to win. I drove as hard as I could every lap, knowing that Kyle was coming there, especially at the end. We were having some troubles with the engine there, and I knew it was just a matter of time before he caught me. I was just trying to get through as much traffic as I could and extend that time and was counting down the laps. It felt good that everything worked out at the end."

Kyle Larson ran third, followed by Dale Earnhardt Jr. and rookie Chase Elliott. Matt Kenseth, Brian Scott, Trevor Bayne, Chris Buescher and Regan Smith completed the top 10, leaving Smith and Bayne tied for the series points lead.

Busch dropped to the rear for the start of the race, because his crew made an unapproved adjustment to the No. 54 Toyota after impound, replacing a frayed alternator belt. By Lap 12, however, Busch had cracked the top 10 and continued to advance through a 56-lap green-flag run to start the race.

When NASCAR slowed the field with a debris caution, Busch was third, having gained two positions during an exchange of pit stops under green.

But Keselowski was dominant during the middle third of the race, and after a restart on Lap 75 — a result of the second caution for Dylan Kwasniewski’s brush with the Turn 3 wall on Lap 70 — he drove away from Busch, who was running second.

A second cycle of green-flag stops put Busch in the lead on Lap 131. By then, there were seven cars on the lead lap.

Busch had a half-second lead when NASCAR called the third caution on Lap 148 because of debris in Turn 2. During pit stops under yellow, Keselowski overshot his pit stall, dropped three positions and restarted fifth on Lap 152, with Busch leading the field to green.

Seven laps later, after an intense battle for the lead, Kenseth spun in Turn 4 trying to keep pace with Busch but adroitly kept the No. 20 Toyota off the wall and saved the car from damage.

Keselowski rocketed into the lead moments after the subsequent restart on Lap 162 and held it the rest of the way. Busch picked the outside lane for that restart and immediately dropped positions to Keselowski and Elliott but didn’t consider that choice a decisive factor.

“I stepped on the gas, and it felt like I was holding a parachute, the way those guys went by me,” Busch said. “I was third before I even got to Turn 1. Junior was pushing me there for a little bit. I don’t know happened, if he fell off me or what, but… it just wouldn’t go.”

Results

Pos No. Driver Make Start Laps Laps Led Status.
1 22 Brad Keselowski Ford 2 200 144 Running
2 54 Kyle Busch Toyota 7 200 33 Running
3 42 Kyle Larson Chevrolet 4 200 9 Running
4 88 Dale Earnhardt Jr Chevrolet 3 200 0 Running
5 9 Chase Elliott Chevrolet 9 200 0 Running
6 20 Matt Kenseth Toyota 6 200 7 Running
7 2 Brian Scott Chevrolet 5 200 0 Running
8 6 Trevor Bayne Ford 17 200 0 Running
9 60 Chris Buescher Ford 12 200 0 Running
10 7 Regan Smith Chevrolet 10 199 0 Running
11 3 Ty Dillon Chevrolet 1 198 7 Running
12 33 Matt Crafton Chevrolet 11 198 0 Running
13 11 Elliott Sadler Toyota 13 198 0 Running
14 19 Mike Bliss Toyota 20 198 0 Running
15 16 Ryan Reed Ford 15 197 0 Running
16 62 Brendan Gaughan Chevrolet 16 197 0 Running
17 98 David Ragan Ford 19 197 0 Running
18 99 James Buescher Toyota 14 197 0 Running
19 01 Landon Cassill Chevrolet 24 196 0 Running
20 44 Blake Koch Toyota 18 195 0 Running
21 93 J.J. Yeley Dodge 25 195 0 Running
22 39 Ryan Sieg Chevrolet 22 195 0 Running
23 43 Dakoda Armstrong Ford 21 194 0 Running
24 31 Dylan Kwasniewski Chevrolet 8 193 0 Running
25 17 Tanner Berryhill Dodge 27 193 0 Running
26 28 Mike Wallace Dodge 28 192 0 Running
27 14 Eric McClure Toyota 30 192 0 Running
28 24 Ryan Ellis Toyota 38 191 0 Running
29 55 Jamie Dick Chevrolet 26 190 0 Running
30 87 Daryl Harr Chevrolet 37 190 0 Running
31 23 Robert Richardson Chevrolet 39 190 0 Running
32 51 Jeremy Clements Chevrolet 29 190 0 Running
33 4 Jeffrey Earnhardt Chevrolet 31 189 0 Running
34 74 Kevin Lepage Dodge 33 188 0 Running
35 70 Derrike Cope Chevrolet 35 178 0 Running
36 52 Joey Gase Toyota 36 133 0 Engine
37 40 Josh Wise Chevrolet 23 82 0 Suspension
38 46 Matt DiBenedetto Chevrolet 40 8 0 Electrical
39 76 Tommy Joe Martins Ford 34 8 0 Rear Gear
40 10 Jeff Green Toyota 32 3 0 Vibration

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