Friday, January 19, 2018
Sports

Keselowski takes Nationwide race at Richmond

RICHMOND, Va. — Brad Keselowski passed Brian Scott on a restart with 11 laps to go Friday night and pulled away after another restart with six laps remaining to win the Nationwide series race at Richmond.

Keselowski, who led only the final 11 laps, has five victories and a runnerup finish in his past six starts in NASCAR's second-tier series.

Scott, seeking his first victory in 134 series starts, led the first 239 of 250 laps before Keselowski made the outside groove work, overtaking Scott after a side-by-side battle on his way to his 25th career victory, and 19th in a row for a Sprint Cup regular at Richmond in this series.

Scott's team protested that Keselowski beat him to the line on the next-to-last restart in the College Savings 250, then got started too early on the final one, but to no avail, leaving Scott questioning why the rules exist.

"We deserved to win that race," he said just after climbing from the car as Keselowski celebrated on the track. "Just some restarts and some questionable calls got us there at the end."

He wound up second, followed by Regan Smith, Kyle Busch and Trevor Bayne.

"Unfortunately our whole night now is defined by the last two restarts," Scott said.

Keselowski said he thought he caught Scott off-guard.

"The restart box is a zone and we went right at the start of it and didn't give him a second to catch us," Keselowski said in Victory Lane. "That probably wasn't the key to victory, but it sure didn't hurt."

For most of the night, it looked as if the 1,000th race in Nationwide series history would be Scott's coming out party. He arrived having led all of 38 laps in 133 prior starts, and seemed on his way to getting that first victory in dominant fashion, easily pulling away on earlier restarts.

IndyCar: Driver Scott Dixon was fined $30,000 and placed on probation through the end of the year for disparaging comments after the Grand Prix of Baltimore. Last week, Dixon called for race director Beaux Barfield to be fired following a second consecutive frustrating race that affected Dixon's championship chances.

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