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Stenhouse wins race, closes in

HAMPTON, Ga. — Ricky Stenhouse used a late push from runnerup Brad Keselowski to pass Kevin Harvick and win the Nationwide race at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Saturday night.

After a restart with three laps to go, Harvick lost the lead on the final lap of the NRA American Warrior 300 as his car got loose coming out of Turn 2. Stenhouse, who was bumped by Keselowski on the front straightaway, went ahead for good in Turn 3.

Stenhouse, the defending series champion, raced to his fourth victory of the season in NASCAR's second-tier series, and moved within 12 points of leader Elliott Sadler.

Keselowski got into a heated argument after the race with fellow Sprint Cup star Harvick, who accused him of throwing a water bottle out of his car to cause an earlier caution flag.

Harvick, who led 157 of the 195 laps on the 1.54-mile track, failed to win a Nationwide race for the eighth time when leading the most laps.

Sadler finished fourth, followed by Justin Allgaier, Austin Dillion, pole winner Kyle Busch, Cole Whitt, Sam Hornish and Michael Annett.

INDYCAR: Defending race winner and series leader Will Power took the pole for today's Grand Prix of Baltimore with a lap at 94.184 mph around the 2.04-mile downtown street circuit. Power added a point to his lead and is 37 ahead of American Ryan Hunter-Reay; if the Australian leaves Baltimore with a 54-point lead he'll win his first championship. Mike Conway (93.494 mph) will start second and St. Petersburg resident Sebastien Bourdais (93.139) lines up fourth.

FORMULA ONE: Britain's Jenson Button earned the pole for today's Belgian Grand Prix in Spa-Francorchamps with a lap of 1 minute, 47.573 seconds. It's his eighth career pole and first since joining McLaren in 2010. In a surprise, Kamui Kobayashi of Japan and Pastor Maldonado of Venezuela qualified second and third, respectively.

NHRA: Spencer Massey led Top Fuel after the second of three days of qualifying with a run of 3.762 seconds at 324.51 mph at the U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis. Courtney Force (4.049 seconds, 317.27 mph) led Funny Car, Erica Enders (6.624, 208.84) topped Pro Stock and Andrew Hines (6.928, 194.21) led Pro Stock Motorcycle. The final two rounds of qualifying are today for the most prestigious event in the series, which holds eliminations Monday.

Stenhouse wins race, closes in 09/01/12 [Last modified: Saturday, September 1, 2012 10:59pm]
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