Keselowski denies Scott a perfect Nationwide race at Richmond
Richmond, VA (Sports Network) - Brian Scott had a flawless performance in
Friday night's Nationwide Series race until Brad Keselowski passed him for the
lead with 11 laps remaining and then went on to win at Richmond International
Scott, who is in his first season as driver of the No. 2 Chevrolet for Richard
Childress Racing, started on the pole and led the first 239 laps in what was
the 1,000th race in the history of NASCAR's second-tier series.
Following a restart on lap 240, Keselowski moved ahead of Scott for the lead
just before the seventh and final caution came for an accident involving
Landon Cassill, Johanna Long and Travis Pastrana.
Keselowski pulled away from Scott after the last restart with six laps to go.
He beat Scott to the finish line by 1.9 seconds for his 25th career Nationwide
After the race had concluded, a disappointed Scott argued that Keselowski had
pulled ahead of him before the restart zone on the last two restarts.
"Unfortunately, I didn't get a great restart on the one before the last, and
(Keselowski) beat me to the line," Scott said. "I was a little bit upset about
that call. And then on the final restart, he went two or three car lengths
early. I think it looked pretty obvious when I saw the replay on TV. That
never gave us a chance to put on a race for the fans and race side-by-side
into turn 1, which I think would have been a lot more interesting."
Prior to Richmond, Scott had led only 38 laps in his Nationwide career,
including 14 this season.
Keselowski has won five of his last six races in Nationwide, including a
victory at Richmond in April. He finished second two weeks ago at Bristol.
"Brian had been going really deep in the (restart) box, and I knew that was
going to be his tactic and knew what he was going to do when he was beside
me," Keselowski said. "As soon as I got to the box, it caught him just a
little bit off guard, and I was able to drive away."
A Sprint Cup Series regular has won the last 19 Nationwide races at Richmond.
Keselowski is starting third in Saturday's 400-lap Sprint Cup race here, which
is the last opportunity for several drivers to make it into the championship
Chase. Keselowski, the defending series champion, is 15th in the standings and
trails 10th-place Kurt Busch by 28 points.
Regan Smith passed Scott for second after the last restart, but Scott
reclaimed the position on the final lap. He was attempting to win his first
Nationwide race in his 134th start.
"I've seen people penalized for less questionable restarts than that, and I
don't understand why there wasn't a penalty for, one, beating me to the line
on the (second-to-last) restart and, two, jumping that (last) one. It sucks.
It took the win away from the best car."
Smith finished third, while Kyle Busch took the fourth spot. Trevor Bayne
completed the top-five.
Sam Hornish Jr.'s sixth-place run allowed him to increase his points lead to
16 over Austin Dillon, who finished 12th. Smith is 26 points behind the
Brian Vickers rebounded from a pit-road speeding penalty early in the race to
finish seventh. Elliott Sadler took the eighth spot, followed by Ryan Reed and
Sadler trails Hornish by 28 points.
09/06 23:45:23 ET
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