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Brad Keselowski outduels Kyle Busch to win rain-shortened Nationwide race

- jutter@charlotteobserver.com
Friday, Jun. 28, 2013

There was only one battle Brad Keselowski couldn’t win Friday night and that was against the weather.

That one didn’t matter, however.

After dueling head-to-head with Kyle Busch several times in the race, Keselowski was the leader when rain halted Friday night’s Feed the Children 300 at Kentucky Speedway 30 laps from the scheduled 200-lap finish.

“It might be rain but I’ll take it,” Keselowski said as he got out of his car after trying a celebratory burnout in the rain.

Elliott Sadler ended up second, Matt Crafton was third in his NASCAR Nationwide Series debut, Brian Vickers was fourth and Busch was fifth.

Series points leader Regan Smith had a bad day and had to make an early trip to the garage for repairs to his front suspension. He finished 30th but still holds an eight-point lead over Sam Hornish Jr.

Keselowski and Busch dueled much of the night for the lead but after pit stops, Matt Crafton led the way on a restart on Lap 146.

Sadler moved into the lead on Lap 148 but Keselowski – with four fresh tires – moved into the lead on Lap 157.

A caution for light rain was displayed on Lap 164 and the race never returned to green.

“We didn’t qualify like we wanted to but (crew chief) Jeremy Bullins and this team did a great job. We deserve these results,” Keselowski said. “I feel lucky to get to drive this car.

“It was just a great car tonight. This is the type of car you get once a year if you are lucky. Driving this car I feel like Jimmie Johnson, this is a rocket.”

Based on their finishes Friday night, four drivers became eligible for first of four chances at a $100,000 bonus provided by Nationwide’s Dash 4 Cash program.

The top finisher among Sadler, Vickers, Kyle Larson and Austin Dillon next weekend at Daytona will win the first $100,000 bonus. The three other races the bonus is available are New Hampshire, Chicagoland and Indianapolis.



Utter: 704-358-5113; Twitter: @jim_utter
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