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Nationwide - fuel key to Keselowski win

Brad Keselowski made his final tank of gas last an impressive 61 green flag laps to claim victory in the Feed the Children 300 Nationwide series night race at Kentucky Speedway.
Fuel conservation was the critical factor during Friday night's Feed the Children 300 Nationwide series race at Kentucky Speedway, and it was Brian Keselowski who had it figured out the best.

He made sure he was playing the fuel strategy game right from the final restart on lap 139, and as a result just had enough gas in the tank to crawl over the finish line 61 laps later just ahead of his only real rival on the night, Kevin Harvick.

Keselowski's win thwarts Kyle Busch's hopes of claiming a triple crown this weekend at Kentucky. Busch had won Thursday night's UNOH 225 Camping World Truck Series race and is on pole position for Saturday night's Quaker State 400 Sprint Cup race after qualifying was rained off, but his trifecta hopes were dented when he crashed his Nationwide car in qualifying and ended up starting from the back of the field in a backup car. Even so, Busch battled back to finish in third place ahead of Kasey Kahne.

Elliott Sadler finishing fifth, having led from pole position for the first eight laps before Harvick took over for all but one of the next 56 laps; but once Keselowski took the lead on lap 68 no one could get past him except for brief overlaps during pit stop sequences, and he went on to lead for a grand total of 132 of the 200 laps.

Keselowski admitted that the clean air up front had been critical for him. "I certainly felt more comfortable once I got clean air," he said. "You get that clean air, and these cars are just phenomenal to drive, and mine was no exception. It was really, really fast."

As for managing to make the fuel last, know what speed he could get away with and still make it to the end of the race, Keselowski insisted that there was no special gadget or formula for working it out and it all came down to instinct - or, as he put it, flying by the seat of his pants.

"I like to say it's a special gauge we put in the car - I call it an assonometer," said Keselowski. "It's my ass. That's my gauge."

His fuel strategy left others shaking their heads and wondering what his and Penske's secret was.

"We had a car to win, we just are getting beat on this fuel mileage stuff every week," said Ricky Stenhouse Jr. who finished in ninth place. "We are just going to have to go to the shop and figure it out. They are just killing us on those and have the car to win, we just can't do it without the fuel mileage.”

The win is Keselowski's 13th in 156 Nationwide starts and his first at Kentucky in four starts. It's Penske's 17th series win and their first at Kentucky and also their first in 2011, emphasising once again just how much of a rebound they've pulled off in the past month across the board.




Related Pictures

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Jason Leffler, Kasey Kahne and Steve Wallace race three wide during the Feed the Children 300 at Kentucky Speedway Geoff Burke/Getty Images for NASCAR. [Picture Credit: Geoff Burke/Getty Images for NASCAR]
Brad Keselowski celebrates winning the Feed the Children 300 at Kentucky Speedway. [Picture Credit: Jared C. Tiltion/Getty Images for NASCAR]
Kevin Harvick and Brad Keselowski battle for the lead in the early stages of the Feed the Children 300 at Kentucky Speedway. [Picture Credit: Andy Lyons/Getty Images for NASCAR]
Pit strategy was key for Brad Keselowski as the #22 Discount Tire team put just enough fuel in the car to win the Feed the Children 300 at Kentucky Speedway. [Picture Credit: Tom Whitmore/Getty Images for NASCAR]
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy John`s Chevrolet, leads a pack of cars into the pits during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Crown Royal Presents The John Wayne Walding 400 at the Brickyard Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 27, 2014 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 Time Warner Cable Chevrolet, leads during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Crown Royal Presents The John Wayne Walding 400 at the Brickyard Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 27, 2014 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy John`s Chevrolet, and Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet, lead the field to the green flag for the start of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Crown Royal Presents The John Wayne Walding 400 at the Brickyard Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 27, 2014 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo Credit: Patrick Smith/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Ty Dillon, driver of the #3 Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet, and his team celebrate by kissing the bricks after winning the NASCAR Nationwide Series Lilly Diabetes 250 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 26, 2014 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Photo Credit: Rainier Ehrhardt/Getty Images)
Ty Dillon, driver of the #3 Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Nationwide Series Lilly Diabetes 250 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 26, 2014 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Ty Dillon, driver of the #3 Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Nationwide Series Lilly Diabetes 250 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 26, 2014 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Ty Dillon, driver of the #3 Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Nationwide Series Lilly Diabetes 250 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 26, 2014 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Ty Dillon, driver of the #3 Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet, stands on the grid with Haley Carey prior to the start of the NASCAR Nationwide Series Lilly Diabetes 250 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 26, 2014 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #54 Monster Energy Toyota, and Matt Kenseth, driver of the #20 Resers Toyota, lead the field at the start of the NASCAR Nationwide Series Lilly Diabetes 250 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 26, 2014 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo Credit: Andy Lyons/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Ty Dillon, driver of the #3 Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet, celebrates with brother and Sprint Cup driver Austin Dillon after Ty won the NASCAR Nationwide Series Lilly Diabetes 250 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 26, 2014 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/NASCAR via Getty Images)
The Richard Childress Racing #3 Chevrolet Nationwide Series car driven by Ty Dillon. (Photo Credit: Getty Images for NASCAR)
Ty Dillon with his team owner and grandfaster Richard Childress at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on March 7 2014. (Photo Credit: Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Miller Lite Ford, leads the field out of the pits during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Crown Royal Presents The John Wayne Walding 400 at the Brickyard Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 26, 2014 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo Credit: Rainier Ehrhardt/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy John`s Chevrolet, qualifies for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Crown Royal Presents The John Wayne Walding 400 at the Brickyard Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 26, 2014 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/NASCAR via Getty Images)

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