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Nationwide: Keselowski puts Penske on top

In a weekend of big motor races in the US, Brad Keselowski delivered Penske victory in the Nationwide Series History 300 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
A hot and humid Charlotte Motor Speedway saw the first Penske success of Memorial Day weekend - and team owner Roger Penske will be hoping that Brad Keselowski's intelligent, fuel-minded drive from tenth on the grid all the way to victory lane in the NASCAR Nationwide Series History 300 race is a good omen for things to come at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sunday afternoon.

Polesitter Joey Logano had got off to a good start when the green flag came out at just after 3pm local time, while behind him Sam Hornish Jr. and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. quickly took up the chasing positions after making short work of series rookies Austin Dillon and Danica Patrick for the time being.

After a brief yellow for a harmless spin by Travis Pastrana out of turn 4 on lap 6 in the loose-looking #99, racing resumed with Logano and Stenhouse making a break for it and only Kevin Harvick able to go with them at this stage. But the breakaway was shortlived, with the race quickly back under caution when Robert Richardson Jr.'s engine blew up, sending the car into a hard hit with the wall that left the fire extinguishers with some urgent work to attend to, and the track workers with a lot of oil to clean up.

That did at least give Pastrana the chance to get back on the lead lap, and Denny Hamlin the opportunity to come onto pit lane to get his carburettor replaced.

"I've been wondering where our speed was all weekend. We tried to change the carburettors, and that didn't fix it," said Hamlin. "[But] we got the handling [so that] it was at least drivable."

Racing resumed on lap 22, and this time Harvick was in charge of the outside line - not only stopping Logano from leaping away on the bottom, but actually managing to take the lead for himself and checking out from the pursuers. Kyle Busch also benefited by following Harvick through on the outside line to take second place from Logano, who kept on gradually falling back over the ensuing green flag laps as he also lost positions to Stenhouse and Kasey Kahne who were on their way to catch Busch for second.

Danica Patrick had just completed her first pit stop of the race under green, Mike Bliss and Sam Hornish were on pit road and Kevin Harvick looking to follow suit when the third caution of the night came out for Angela Cope's car coming to a smoking halt on the front stretch on lap 53. That dropped Danica back to 28th place for the restart, but at least she, Bliss and Hornish all got the wave-around back onto the lead lap. Meanwhile the pit stop was a slow one for Kyle Busch, who dropped seven spots to 11th.

Kevin Harvick lost the restart battle to Kasey Kahne, but the race was quickly back under caution when Travis Pastrana reprised his earlier unorthodox entry onto pit lane by spinning across the infield grass. That gave Stenhouse the opportunity to pit, having reported a problem with the #6 car that transpired to be a broken driveshaft that put him 22 laps down in 33rd place while repairs were effected.

Harvick was back in charge at the restart, with Brad Keselowski also edging in front of Kasey Kahne and Joey Logano looking comfortable in fourth place as the race approached mid-distance. and the second round of pit stops, this time a routine affair under green. Harvick continued to lead from there until the next caution came out on lap 127 for a spin by Tayler Malsam that sent him into a light brush down the wall in turns 3 and 4.




Related Pictures

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Joey Logano, driver of the #20 GameStop/Hitman Absolution Toyota, and Austin Dillon, driver of the No. 3 Bass Pro Shops/National Wild Turkey Foundation Chevrolet, lead the field to the green flag to start the NASCAR Nationwide Series History 300 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Saturday in Concord, N.C. (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/HHP - Pool/Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #33 Hunt Brothers Pizza Chevrolet, and Austin Dillon, driver of the #3 Bass Pro Shops/National Wild Turkey Foundation Chevrolet, lead a group of cars during the NASCAR Nationwide Series History 300 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Saturday in Concord, N.C. (Picture Credit: Jamey Price/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Jason Bowles, driver of the #81 American Majority Toyota, collides with Josh Richards, driver of the #39 NSW Kids Ford, during the NASCAR Nationwide Series History 300 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Saturday in Concord, N.C. (Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Wurth Ford, races Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet, during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series AAA 400 at Dover International Speedway on September 28, 2014 in Dover, Delaware.  (Photo Credit: Matt Sullivan/Getty Images)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet, leads Kyle Larson, driver of the #42 Target Chevrolet, during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series AAA 400 at Dover International Speedway on September 28, 2014 in Dover, Delaware.  (Photo Credit: Matt Sullivan/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick drives the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet back to pit road after cutting a tyre during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series AAA 400 at Dover International Speedway on September 28, 2014 in Dover, Delaware.  (Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet, pits during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series AAA 400 at Dover International Speedway on September 28, 2014 in Dover, Delaware.  (Photo Credit: Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, and Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 Interstate Batteries Toyota, lead the field to the start of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series AAA 400 at Dover International Speedway on September 28, 2014 in Dover, Delaware. (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #54 Monster Energy Toyota, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Nationwide Series Dover 200 at Dover International Speedway on September 27, 2014 in Dover, Delaware.  (Photo Credit: Nick Laham/Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Hertz Ford, and Chase Elliott, driver of the #9 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet, lead the field at the start of the NASCAR Nationwide Series Dover 200 at Dover International Speedway on September 27, 2014 in Dover, Delaware. (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #54 Monster Energy Toyota, celebrates after winning the NASCAR Nationwide Series Dover 200 at Dover International Speedway on September 27, 2014 in Dover, Delaware. (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #54 Monster Energy Toyota, crosses the finish line to win the NASCAR Nationwide Series Dover 200 at Dover International Speedway on September 27, 2014 in Dover, Delaware. (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Derrike Cope, driver of the #70 youtheory Chevrolet, and Jamie Dick, driver of the #55 VIVA Auto Group Chevrolet, spin out after an incident during the NASCAR Nationwide Series Dover 200 at Dover International Speedway on September 27, 2014 in Dover, Delaware. (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, stands on pit road during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series AAA 400 at Dover International Speedway on September 26, 2014 in Dover, Delaware. (Photo Credit: Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Wurth Ford, practices for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series AAA 400 at Dover sInternational Speedway on September 26, 2014 in Dover, Delaware.  (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 Interstate Batteries Toyota, during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series AAA 400 at Dover International Speedway on September 26, 2014 in Dover, Delaware. (Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, gets in his car during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series AAA 400 at Dover International Speedway on September 26, 2014 in Dover, Delaware. (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, gets ready to practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series AAA 400 at Dover International Speedway on September 26, 2014 in Dover, Delaware. (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/NASCAR via Getty Images)

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