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Sparta, KY (Sports Network) - Brad Keselowski claimed his first Nationwide Series win of the season with an impressive performance in Friday night's Feed the Children 300.
Keselowski, the 2010 series champion, took the lead from Kevin Harvick after a round of pit stops under caution on lap 66. He then ran in front for 132 of the remaining 136 laps.
But Keselowski had to conserve fuel in the late-stages of the race. He last pitted for gas only with 66 laps to go. Keselowski held off Harvick at the finish by 1.2 seconds for his 13th career Nationwide win.
"This car was awesome," Keselowski said. "It looks like this team is really starting to come along. It feels great."
Harvick challenged Keselowski for the lead during the final 10 laps, but a miscommunication between Harvick and his crew chief, David Hyder, to pit for a splash of gas with six laps to go cost him the win. Harvick was slowing down before he reached pit road, but at the last second, Hyder instructed him to stay out, allowing Keselowski to build a then 2.5-second lead.
"Our car was good all night, but [Hyder] needs to make up his damn mind up on the [pit] box," a frustrated Harvick said. "It's confusing to all of us, and we just need to get some things straight."
Harvick led 56 of the first 65 laps before Keselowski took over.
"This deal here is all about strategy," Keselowski added. "Kevin and I race really well together. It's a lot of fun racing with him."
Kyle Busch had to start from the rear of the field but rallied for a third- place finish. Busch wrecked his primary car in qualifying and was forced to use a backup car. He also started last in Thursday's Camping World Truck Series race at Kentucky, but he went on to win that event.
Kasey Kahne finished fourth, while Elliott Sadler, the pole sitter, took the fifth spot. Sadler bounced back after suffering a track bar issue just past the halfway point. He had to pit multiple times under caution for repairs.
"We had a track bar mount issue, and it was rubbing the inside of the right- rear tire," Sadler said. "We came in and took our time to fix it. It was a great call by [crew chief] Ernie [Cope] and the guys to set up a pit strategy there at the end."
Sadler took over the points lead. He now holds a four-point advantage over Reed Sorenson, who finished 17th. Sorenson had a wrench attached to his car when he exited his pit stall during a mid-race caution. NASCAR forced him to pit again to remove the piece of equipment.
Sorenson also had to pit for fuel in the closing laps.
Kenny Wallace, Michael Annett, Carl Edwards, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Joey Logano finished sixth through 10th, respectively.
Logano, who was attempting to win his fourth straight Nationwide race at Kentucky, ran out of fuel on the last lap. He managed to cross the finish line as the last car on the lead lap.
07/08 23:34:35 ET
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