The NASCAR notebook …
MEMPHIS, Tenn. ó Brad Keselowski held off points leader Kyle Busch on the final lap to win the Kroger On Track For the Cure 250 in a green-white-checker finish in Saturday’s Nationwide Series race at Memphis Motorsports Park.
Keselowski was leading when a caution came out with two laps to go because Stephen Wallace spun after tangling with Matt Kenseth. Wallace banged into Kenseth’s car after the race and the two had words on pit road.
Keselowski held onto the lead through the overtime segment. Busch finished second and leads Carl Edwards by 215 points in the standings.
Busch was on Keselowski’s rear bumper coming out of the final turn. Keselowski got loose but held on for his fourth Nationwide win of the year.
Jason Leffler finished third, while Mike Bliss and Brendan Gaughan completed the top five. Edwards, who won this race last year, was sixth.
MARTINSVILLE, Va. ó Jimmie Johnson hears the chatter in the garage and knows that some of his fellow drivers have grown weary of seeing him win races and championships.
And why not?
He’s won 23 races in the past three seasons, and claimed the points championship each year, too, becoming the only driver other than Cale Yarborough to win three straight.
And he’s probably not done. Johnson takes a 90-point lead over Hendrick Motorsports teammate Mark Martin into Sunday’s race on the paper clip-shaped oval of Martinsville Speedway, where Johnson does some of his best work. He’s has won five of the last six races here, including the last three in the fall during NASCAR’s 10-race playoffs.
“I pick that up from time to time with the guys,” he said of a feeling they have grown frustrated by his relentless success, “but in the end I’m really just trying to focus on trying to do my job and not spend time worrying about what other people are thinking.”
MARTINSVILLE, Va.ó ESPN broadcaster Bob Griese apologized twice Saturday for a remark he made about NASCAR driver Juan Pablo Montoya while announcing the Minnesota-Ohio State game.
During the broadcast, ESPN ran a graphic listing the top five drivers in NASCAR’s Chase for the championship points race. Fellow analyst Chris Spielman asked where was Montoya, who is Colombian. Griese replied that he was “out having a taco.”
As the game was wrapping up, Griese, the Pro Football Hall of Famer and former Miami Dolphins quarterback, apologized for the remark and said that Montoya is one of the best drivers in NASCAR.
At halftime of ESPN’s coverage of Florida-Mississippi State, Griese apologized again.
MARTINSVILLE, Va. ó Timothy Peters took the lead when Denny Hamlin pitted on the 117th lap Saturday and won the NASCAR truck series race at Martinsville Speedway.
It is the first career victory for Peters, who lives in nearby Danville.
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