Brad Keselowski Dominant in Sta-Green 200 Victory

Brad Keselowski Dominant in Sta-Green 200 Victory

by July 13, 2014 0 comments

Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images

LOUDON, N.H. — In a dominating performance, Brad Keselowski (Team Penske) earned his second win of the Nationwide Series season by claiming the checkered flag for the Sta-Green 200 at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

Keselowski led 152 of the 200 completed laps to earn his second victory at New Hampshire’s ‘Magic Mile’ in the Nationwide Series and his 29th career series victory. The win by the No. 22 Discount Tire team is also notable for being Ford’s first win in the Nationwide Series at New Hampshire since 2006. For Keselowski, the win feels extra sweet considering the fact that both himself and his team have come so close to victory lane on multiple occasions this year.

“This is really satisfying,” Keselowski said. “This team has deserved to win a few races and things just haven’t quite gone their way and it is nice to put it together here at Loudon with a strong car and great team. Loudon is one of my favorite places to go race. That is why I am running the Nationwide race here. I really enjoy being out here. I want to thank the fans for coming out and we hope to see you tomorrow and hopefully we can do the same thing.”

Keselowski would lead the field to the green flag by virtue of earning the pole for the event but would be passed by Kyle Busch (Joe Gibbs Racing) on the very first lap. Two quick cautions flew early in the race with Trevor Bayne (Roush-Fenway Racing) spinning on Lap 6 and Josh Wise (The Motorsports Group) stalling out on the backstretch on Lap 14.

The race would then go through a long green-flag run with Busch leading the way until Lap 35 when Keselowski retook the lead. The lead would jump around between Keselowski and Kyle Larson (Turner Scott Motorsports) in the middle stages of the race with the arrival of green-flag pit stops late into the green-flag run. Two debris cautions would fly on Laps 93 and 103, bunching the field up for a Lap 107 restart that Larson took advantage of.

The field would not even make a full lap under green before a major incident in Turn 2 involving Elliott Sadler (Joe Gibbs Racing), Brian Scott (Richard Childress Racing), Austin Theriault (JR Motorsports), James Buescher (RAB Racing), Dakoda Armstrong (Richard Petty Motorsports), Paul Menard (Richard Childress), and Carlos Contreras (R3 Motorsports) would break out on Lap 108. None of the above drivers would take heavy damage and would be able to continue on in the race – some even being able to contend in the top-10.

Larson would lead the field to the green flag and would hold the lead for six laps before Keselowski would retake it on Lap 119. Keselowski would hold the lead until another debris caution flew on Lap 141. Chris Buescher (Roush-Fenway Racing) would grab the lead during the caution on a strategy gamble by crew chief Scott Graves but would lose the lead to Keselowski on the final restart. Keselowski would run away from the field and would cross the finish line ahead of Busch, Matt Kenseth (Joe Gibbs Racing), Larson, and Chris Buescher by 1.8 seconds.

Regan Smith (JR Motorsports) would be the winner of the first round of the Nationwide Series’ Dash 4 Cash and would pocket $100,000 by besting Ryan Reed (Roush-Fenway Racing), Ryan Sieg (RSS Racing), and Jeremy Clements (Jeremy Clements Racing) with his 10th-place finish. Smith, Chris Buescher, Sadler, and Scott will all head to the Chicagoland Speedway as the contestants in round two of the Dash 4 Cash.

Smith not only qualified for the second round of the Dash 4 Cash with his 10th-place effort, but he also escaped New Hampshire with the points lead still in his possession. Smith will take an eight-point lead over Sadler and a 13-point lead over Chase Elliott (JR Motorsports) to next Saturday’s 300.

Top-10 Finishers of the Sta-Green 200

  1. 22 – Brad Keselowski(i) – Ford – Team Penske
  2. 54 – Kyle Busch(i) – Toyota – Joe Gibbs Racing
  3. 20 – Matt Kenseth(i) – Toyota – Joe Gibbs Racing
  4. 42 – Kyle Larson(i) – Chevrolet – Turner Scott Motorsports
  5. 60 – Chris Buescher# – Ford – Roush-Fenway Racing
  6. 11 – Elliott Sadler – Toyota – Joe Gibbs Racing
  7. 2 – Brian Scott – Chevrolet – Richard Childress Racing
  8. 9 – Chase Elliott# – Chevrolet – JR Motorsports
  9. 6 – Trevor Bayne – Ford – Roush-Fenway Racing
  10. 7 – Regan Smith – Chevrolet – JR Motorsports

Top-10 in the Drivers’ Standings after Round 17 of 33

  1. 7 – Regan Smith – JR Motorsports – 611 | Leader
  2. 11 – Elliott Sadler – Joe Gibbs Racing – 603 | -8
  3. 9 – Chase Elliott# – JR Motorsports – 598 | -13
  4. 3 – Ty Dillon# – Richard Childress Racing – 577 | -34
  5. 2 – Brian Scott – Richard Childress Racing – 560 | -51
  6. 6 – Trevor Bayne – Roush-Fenway Racing – 553 | -58
  7. 62 – Brendan Gaughan – Richard Childress Racing – 493 | -118
  8. 60 – Chris Buescher# – Roush-Fenway Racing – 486 | -125
  9. 99 – James Buescher – RAB Racing – 470 | -141
  10. 16 – Ryan Reed# – Roush-Fenway Racing – 456 | -155

# = Rookie, (i) = Ineligible for NASCAR Nationwide Series points.

Kyle Pokrefky
Follow Kyle Pokrefky on Twitter at @KPokrefky

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