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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.




Related Pictures

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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)
Austin Dillon, driver of the #3 Dow Chevrolet, spins out after an incident during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on March 1, 2015 in Hampton, Georgia.  (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, and Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Ground Toyota, lead the field to the green flag to start the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on March 1, 2015 in Hampton, Georgia. (Photo Credit: Sarah Glenn/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Larson, driver of the #4 Energizer Chevrolet SS qualifies in sixth position Friday, February 27, 2015 for Sunday`s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton, Georgia. (Photo by Garry Eller/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Team XTREME Racing #44 entry - driven in the Daytona 500 by Reed Sorenson (Photo Credit: Robert Laberge/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet SS races to a third place finish with Hendrick Motorsports teammate Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet SS who finishes in fifth place in the Daytona 500 Sunday, February 22, 2015 at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by HHP/Alan Marler for Chevy Racing)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet, Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Express Toyota, and Martin Truex Jr., driver of the #78 Furniture Row/Visser Percision Chevrolet, lead the field during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series 57th Annual Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway on February 22, 2015 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo Credit: Robert Laberge/Getty Images)
Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Express Toyota, Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet, and Clint Bowyer, driver of the #15 5-hour ENERGY Toyota, race three-wide during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series 57th Annual Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway on February 22, 2015 in Daytona Beach, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Ryan Reed, driver of the #16 Lilly/American Diabetes Association Ford, celebrates in victory lane after winning the NASCAR XFINITY Series Alert Today Florida 300 at Daytona International Speedway on February 21, 2015 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo Credit: Robert Laberge/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Ryan Reed, driver of the #16 Lilly/American Diabetes Association Ford, celebrates in victory lane after winning the NASCAR XFINITY Series Alert Today Florida 300 at Daytona International Speedway on February 21, 2015 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo Credit: Robert Laberge/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Chris Buescher, driver of the #60 Kellogg/Cheez-It Ford, races Brad Keselowski, driver of the #22 Discount Tire Ford, Kyle Larson, driver of the #42 ENEOS Chevrolet, and Ryan Reed, driver of the #16 Lilly/American Diabetes Association Ford, during the NASCAR XFINITY Series Alert Today Florida 300 at Daytona International Speedway on February 21, 2015 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo Credit: Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Erik Jones, driver of the #20 GameStop/Rock Candy Toyota, Darrell Wallace Jr., driver of the #6 Ford EcoBoost Ford, and Landon Cassill, driver of the #01 Flex Seal Chevrolet, race three-wide during the NASCAR XFINITY Series Alert Today Florida 300 at Daytona International Speedway on February 21, 2015 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
Ryan Reed, driver of the #16 Lilly/American Diabetes Association Ford, takes the chequered flag to win the NASCAR XFINITY Series Alert Today Florida 300 at Daytona International Speedway on February 21, 2015 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Denny Hamlin in the #11 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota at Daytona. (Photo Credit: Robert Laberge/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Ty Dillon, driver of the #33 Rheem/Gemaire Chevrolet, and Travis Kvapil, driver of the #94 Chargebacks 911 Chevrolet, lead the field to the green flag for the running of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series NextEra Energy Resources 250 at Daytona International Speedway on February 20, 2015 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo Credit: Jonathan Ferrey/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Larson, driver of the #42 Target Chevrolet, is interviewed in the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series 57th Annual Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway on February 19, 2015 in Daytona Beach, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Hendrick Motorsports team mates (left) Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet and (right) Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet celebrate in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Budweiser Duel 1 at Daytona International Speedway on February 19, 2015 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/NASCAR via Getty Images)

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