NASCAR: Keselowski nips Vickers for Nationwide win
BROOKLYN, Mich. ó Brad Keselowski swooped past Brian Vickers and Kyle Busch to take the lead in the final turn Saturday, then held on to win the Nationwide series race at Michigan International Speedway.
Keselowski took two tires on his final pit stop, then took advantage of a furious battle for the lead between Vickers and Busch on the last lap. Vickers finished second and Busch third, and they exchanged some heated words on pit road afterward.
It was a rough afternoon for Carl Edwards, whose hopes of a championship in NASCAR’s second-tier series took a hit when he crashed early.
Busch and Vickers pitted with most of the lead-lap cars after a caution with 20 laps to go. They lined up in the second row for the restart behind Justin Allgaier, who stayed on the track, and Keselowski, who took only two tires, for a 12-lap dash to the finish.
Busch immediately took the lead when Vickers got hung up behind Allgaier, but came back to challenge and the two were side-by-side when another caution came out with 10 laps left.
Vickers chose the outside lane on the final restart with seven laps remaining, and appeared ready to run away with the race. Busch caught back up and the two appeared ready to fight it out on the final lap when Keselowski came seemingly out of nowhere.
Busch apparently bumped Vickers’ car pulling onto pit road and the two exchanged words, but the confrontation didn’t escalate.
The third-place finish brought an end to a remarkable streak for Busch, who hadn’t finished worse than second in his previous 10 Nationwide races. And even before Edwards’ wreck Saturday, Busch held a commanding lead in the standings.
Edwards was uninjured in his early crash with Trevor Bayne but had to take his damaged car to the garage. Bayne was able to continue.
“It definitely looked like I didn’t give Trevor enough room,” Edwards said.
Bayne, an 18-year-old driving for Michael Waltrip’s team, was making only his ninth career Nationwide start but was second-fastest in qualifying earlier Saturday.
“Man, just early in the race, and I probably should have been more cautious,” Edwards said.