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Nationwide: Keselowski wins black flag drama

Brad Keselowski and Sam Hornish Jr. gave Penske Racing something to smile about, delivering a team 1-2 in the first ever Nationwide Series race at Indianapolis amid black flag controversy.
After the recent traumas surrounding Penske Racing's Cup squad and the indefinite suspension of driver AJ Allmendinger, the team at last had something to celebrate this weekend at Indianapolis Motor Speedway as Brad Keselowski and Sam Hornish Jr. achieved a one-two finish for Roger Penske in the first Indiana 225 Nationwide Series race.

"I've been watching races here since I was a kid in Michigan," said Keselowski after claiming the win. "Everybody knows how special Indy is, and any win you can have here, whether it's the 500 or the Brickyard here, the first Nationwide race. Every race is special."

It's the first time that Nationwide cars have joined the Cup series with a race at the famous speedway, giving Keselowski a place in the record books that can never be taken away. But Keselowski owed more than a little thanks to some ill-fortune that had hit his main rivals in the closing stages of the 100-lap event.

First there was a spin for Kyle Busch who had led 51 of the laps and who appeared to have the dominant car but an Achilles Heel on pit lane; and then Elliott Sadler surged away at the restart, only to get handed a drive-thru penalty for jumping the restart.

That was especially ironic given what had happened at the very start of the race: polesitter Kasey Kahne had got a sluggish exit from turn 4 approaching the green flag and found himself in third place behind Kyle Busch and Denny Hamlin as they crossed the starting line - much to Kahne's annoyance. However, no one on the race official side of things seemed to think that anything was amiss and instead insisted that it was Kahne's fault for not getting up to speed properly. Case closed.

All Kahne could do after that was hunker down in third place some two seconds off the leaders, and ahead of a fierce battle for fourth place between Ty Dillon - in only the Truck Series regular's second Nationwide outing - and Brad Keselowski, who finally passed the youngster for the position going down the frontstretch on lap 11.

That took the race through to lap 15, at which point there was a scheduled caution to allow the teams to check over the cars. That was because since the last time the cars had extended practice runs on the speedway, the track had been briefly converted to its road course configuration for Friday's Grand-AM endurance race.

There was some congestion on pit lane, with Kurt Busch running into the back of Kyle Fowler making hard contact twice, while Paul Menard and Mike Bliss had a near miss of their own. None of that affected the race leader, but it was a rather costly visit to pit lane for Kyle Busch who dropped four spots as his team took extra care over loading the maximum amount of fuel into the #54: Hamlin, Kahne and Keselowski all bumped up a position, with Elliott Sadler the biggest gainer with a lead up into fourth position in front of Busch for the restart.

It was a minor inconvenience for Busch, who hustled his way back to the front five laps later with Brad Keselowski being dropped in second place after a few laps in the lead. At the other end of the field, James Buescher was the last car on the lead lap in 34th position, having had to come back onto pit road on lap 29 after being one of a pack of cars that got down too low on the track and churned up the grass verge, clogging the front grille of the #30 resulting in spiralling water temperatures that sent him back in for a quick clean-up before things got serious.




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Brad Keselowski, driver of the #22 Snap-On Tools Dodge, races to the finish line to win the NASCAR Nationwide Series Indiana 250 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 28, 2012 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo Credit: Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #22 Snap-On Tools Dodge, kisses the bricks after winning the NASCAR Nationwide Series Indiana 250 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 28, 2012 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo Credit: Nick Laham/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Defending Sprint Cup Champion Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser/Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS, races to a second place finish, Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet SS finishes in sixth place, and Martin Truex, Jr., driver of the #78 Furniture Row/Visser Precision finishes in twelfth place Sunday, November 22, 2015 in the final race of the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida. This Chevrolet drivers finished 2nd, 3rd and 4th (respectively) in the Chase of the Cup Championship. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Series championship contenders Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 AXALTA Chevrolet, Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser/Jimmy John`s Chevrolet, Martin Truex Jr., driver of the #78 Furniture Row/Denver Mattress Chevrolet, and Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Crispy Toyota, take part in pre-race ceremonies for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 22, 2015 in Homestead, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, and Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Crispy Toyota, race during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 22, 2015 in Homestead, Florida (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser/Jimmy John`s Chevrolet, Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Crispy Toyota, Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 AXALTA Chevrolet, and Martin Truex Jr., driver of the #78 Furniture Row/Denver Mattress Chevrolet, race during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 22, 2015 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Crispy Toyota, crosses the finish line to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 22, 2015 in Homestead, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Jonathan Ferrey/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Crispy Toyota, celebrates winning the series championship and the race with a burnout after the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 22, 2015 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Crispy Toyota, celebrates winning the series championship and the race in Victory Lane after the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 22, 2015 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Crispy Toyota, celebrates winning the series championship and the race with his team after the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 22, 2015 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Crispy Toyota, celebrates with the trophy in Victory Lane after winning the series championship and the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 22, 2015 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #54 Monster Energy Toyota, and Daniel Suarez, driver of the #18 ARRIS Toyota, lead the field on the first lap of the NASCAR XFINITY Series Ford EcoBoost 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 21, 2015 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Austin Dillon, driver of the #33 Rheem Chevrolet, leads Kyle Larson, driver of the #42 Crest Chevrolet, during the NASCAR XFINITY Series Ford EcoBoost 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 21, 2015 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Sarah Crabill/Getty Images)
Kyle Larson, driver of the #42 Crest Chevrolet, races to the finish line to win the NASCAR XFINITY Series Ford EcoBoost 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 21, 2015 in Homestead, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Jonathan Ferrey/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Larson, driver of the #42 Crest Chevrolet, celebrates with the trophy in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR XFINITY Series Ford EcoBoost 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 21, 2015 in Homestead, Florida (Photo Credit: Jeff Curry/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Larson, driver of the #42 Target Plaid Chevrolet, practices for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 21, 2015 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Jonathan Ferrey/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Defending Sprint Cup Champion Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser/Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS, qualifies for thirteenth position Friday, November 20, 2015 for Sunday`s Championship 4, the final race of the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida. Harvick will be joined by Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet SS and Martin Truex, Jr., driver of the #78 Furniture Row/Visser Precision Chevrolet SS to compete for the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship. (Photo by Rusty Jarrett/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Martin Truex, Jr., driver of the #78 Furniture Row/Visser Precision Chevrolet SS, qualifies for eleventh position Friday, November 20, 2015 for Sunday`s Championship 4, the final race of the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida. Truex, Jr. will be joined by Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser/Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS and Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet SS to compete for the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship. (Photo by Rusty Jarrett/HHP for Chevy Racing)

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