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All night long it was Brad Keselowski, Kevin Harvick, and Kyle Busch battling up-front. The drivers exchanged the lead multiple times over the course of the race. When it was all said and done, Keselowski emerged victorious. All three drivers held the lead at some point with less than 35 laps to go, but the last pass for the lead Keselowski made with ten laps to go led him to victory. It wasn’t a dominant performance by Keselowski, but it was a good enough one to get him to victory lane.
Keselowski started the race on the pole, but soon he found himself in a three-wide battle for the lead with his teammate, Sam Hornish Jr., and Kyle Busch. Somehow, Hornish Jr. emerged to take-over the top spot and he stayed out front for a good part of the first 100 laps.
The first caution of the race came out on lap 24 for Dexter Stacey who dropped liquid down on the track and then spun in it and backed into the outside wall. His wreck caused a huge mess of oil in turn 1 which led to a short red-flag period. Once everything was cleaned up, the race resumed and Hornish Jr. remained in the lead.
Lap 88 was when Kevin Harvick got to the lead for the first time of the night after he passed Hornish Jr. Just one lap after that pass was made; Elliot Sadler was able to get around Harvick. Sadler held the lead until Harvick was able to get it back on lap 107. After a caution on lap 152, Keselowski made it to the front of the field once again, but he couldn’t hold of Harvick who regained the lead with 81 laps to go.
A wave of cautions occurred with around 40 laps to go and one major pile-up left two championship contenders with torn-up cars. While Justin Allgaier and Austin Dillon were battling each other for position, Dillon slid up the track in turn 3 and in to Allgaier. When Dillon slid up the track, he was hit by Brian Scott who assisted Dillon up into the outside wall. Dillon made hard contact with the wall and so did Justin Allgaier. Both Dillon and Allgaier were running in the top ten at the time and their chances of having a decent finish went up in smoke when the incident occurred.
Once the race stayed green for more than a few laps, a great battle for the lead came up. Kyle Busch got to the lead for the first time of the night with 25 laps to go. Busch’s car wasn’t as strong as Keselowski’s car was and that led to another pass for the lead with ten laps to go. After the eighth and final caution of the race, Keselowski made the final pass for the lead. He started to pull away in the final ten laps and he crossed the line first for his first Nationwide Series victory of the season.
While Keselowski celebrated in victory lane, a brawl broke out on pit road between Brian Scott and Nelson Piquet Jr. Scott wasn’t happy with the way Piquet Jr. raced him so after the race, Scott showed Piquet Jr. his displeasure by bumping him on the cool-down lap. Once the drivers climbed out of their cars, Scott approached Piquet Jr. who wasn’t interested in talking. Piquet Jr. then went on to push Scott away and kick him below the belt. These two drivers have had issues in the past and this race just lit the fire again.
As much as Keselowski would like to celebrate this victory, he has to focus on tomorrow’s race. A consistent Keselowski has been prominent in the Cup Series this season and a win could show how much strength he actually has this season. A weekend swept would be nice for Keselowski and tomorrow night, he’ll be focused on doing just that. Watch out for this hungry driver in tomorrow night’s Cup race at Richmond.