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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)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford, receives a lobster in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on September 21, 2014 in Loudon, New Hampshire. (Photo Credit: Jonathan Ferrey/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford, takes the chequered flag to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on September 21, 2014 in Loudon, New Hampshire. (Photo Credit: Robert Laberge/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford, celebrates after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on September 21, 2014 in Loudon, New Hampshire.  (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford, celebrates in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on September 21, 2014 in Loudon, New Hampshire. (Photo Credit: Jonathan Ferrey/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet SS finished in fifth place and Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Designate A Driver Chevrolet SS finished in third place Sunday, September 21, 2014 in the Chase Challenger 16 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, New Hampshire. Both Johnson and Harvick are in the Chase which continues in next week`s Challenger 16 race. (Photo by Garry Eller/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Designate A Driver Chevrolet SS finished in third place Sunday, September 21, 2014 in the Chase Challenger 16 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, New Hampshire. Harvick is in the Chase which continues in next week`s Challenger 16 race. (Photo by Garry Eller/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kyle Larson, driver of the #42 Target Chevrolet SS finished in 2nd place and Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet SS finished in 26th place Sunday, September 21, 2014 in the Chase Challenger 16 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, New Hampshire. Gordon is in the Chase which continues in next week`s Challenger 16 race. (Photo by Christa L Thomas/HHP for Chevy Racing)
David Ragan, driver of the #34 Taco Bell Ford, and Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Ground Toyota, are seen on the track after crashing during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on September 21, 2014 in Loudon, New Hampshire. (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Miller Lite Ford, loses control of the car after making contact with Matt Kenseth, driver of the #20 Dollar General Toyota, during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on September 21, 2014 in Loudon, New Hampshire. (Photo Credit: Will Schneekloth/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Toyota, drives with damage to his car after crashing during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on September 21, 2014 in Loudon, New Hampshire. (Photo Credit: Robert Laberge/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford, leads Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Toyota, during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on September 21, 2014 in Loudon, New Hampshire. (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Miller Lite Ford, leads the field at the start of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on September 21, 2014 in Loudon, New Hampshire.  (Photo Credit: Sarah Glenn/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Brendan Gaughan, driver of the #62 South Point Chevrolet, takes the chequered flag to win the NSACAR Nationwide Series VisitMyrtleBeach.com 300 at Kentucky Speedway on September 20, 2014 in Sparta, Kentucky. (Photo Credit: Andy Lyons/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Brendan Gaughan, driver of the #62 South Point Chevrolet, celebrates in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Nationwide Series VisitMyrtleBeach.com 300 at Kentucky Speedway on September 20, 2014 in Sparta, Kentucky. (Photo Credit: Daniel Shirey/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Brendan Gaughan, driver of the #62 South Point Chevrolet, celebrates with his crew after winning the NASCAR Nationwide Series VisitMyrtleBeach.com 300 at Kentucky Speedway on September 20, 2014 in Sparta, Kentucky. (Photo Credit: Andy Lyons/NASCAR via Getty Images)

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