Matt Kenseth, driving the #18 Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing, won Saturday's Kansas Lottery 300 NASCAR Nationwide Series race at the Kansas Speedway. It was Kenseth's second series win of the season and 28th career win which moved him to sixth on the series' all time win list. Paul Menard, Regan Smith, Kyle Busch and Justin Allgaier completed the top five.
It was a frustrating day for series points leader Sam Hornish Jr. He started the race with a slim four point lead over championship rival Austin Dillon. He left Kansas second in the standings, eight points behind Dillon. Hornish finished 17th compared to Dillon's sixth place finish.
OH IF ONLY THIS STORY WAS THAT EASY TO TELL!
The race had 11 caution flags and 50 caution laps. However, its the final caution, on lap 188, that everyone will be talking about in the days to come. That's when Kyle Busch tapped Brad Keselowski and sent him hard into the front stretch wall. The post wreck comments were loud and proud. Here's some of the major bullet points:
In the waning laps of the race, Busch and Keselowski were racing hard for second well aware of the possibility that race leader Kenseth might not have enough fuel to make it to the checkers.
Busch said his car had an extreme tight condition as he approached Keselowski's rear bumper. "I got inside of his wake and got too close to him. It pulled me right into him. Once we touched he was gone," Busch said.
Keselowski exited his wrecked car and ran to the edge of pit road directly in front of Busch's pit stall, pointed at them and slapped his backside. It was the universal kiss my ass sign.
NASCAR officials were frantically attempting to get Keselowski inside one of the safety vehicles for the mandatory ride to the infield medical center and the mandatory check up. Instead, Keselowski removed his helmet and mysteriously started running to the medical center. It was quite a jog because the medical center is located at the entrance of pit road.
It's no secret that these two drivers have had their issues in the past. That was highlighted at last year's road course race at Watkins Glen Raceway where Busch honestly believes that Keselowski took him out which cost him a starting berth in the 2012 Sprint Cup Chase. After the Kansas race, Busch said "I'm a bigger man than he is" and pointed out that he had plenty of opportunity to retaliate last year but didn't do it.
Keselowski called Busch a dirty driver who seems to be cool with concept. He also said he has tried to show him respect to help repair their relationship from the past.
.Indicating that retaliation was coming, Keselowski said he felt sorry for Busch's crew members because "they're going to have to fix his crap. We were good, we had a solid year of racing each other and now we've got war. He started it and now he can have fun with the results. He's got a lot more to lose than I do. I guess that's the only good thing about me not being in the Chase."
Busch responded with "Brad Keselowski knows what dirty drivers are because he's done it plenty of times. I have yet to wreck a person on purpose." Busch also accused Keselowski of intentionally blocking him during the Kansas Nationwide race and said "he came down, blocked me and actually ran into me. I didn't appreciate that very much."
Busch also indicated that he has no plans to make the almost obligatory post race telephone call to Keselowski and pointed out that "he didn't call me after Watkins Glen" (last year).
Early Sunday morning there was a report, from Fox Sports 1 television that said Paul Wolfe, Keselowski's Sprint Cup crew chief, had asked his driver to "keep Nationwide Series issues on the Nationwide side of the garage."
It turned out that neither driver had anything to do with each other during the Kansas Sprint Cup race the following day. Each one was very busy with their own separate problems. Keselowski's fuel issue forced him to give up the race lead on lap 224 and ruined a strong effort towards winning the Hollywood Casino 400. Instead he had to settle for a 17th place finish.