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Brad Keselowski pads Penske lead with Nationwide Series win at Texas

- jutter@charlotteobserver.com
Saturday, Nov. 02, 2013

He may not be in the Chase for the Sprint Cup, but Brad Keselowski is still doing his best to win a championship this season.

Penske Racing’s No. 22 Nationwide Series team can still win the owner’s championship in that series, and Keselowski’s victory in that car for Saturday’s O’Reilly Challenge at Texas Motor Speedway helped pad their lead.

The No. 22 Ford team holds a 26-point lead over Joe Gibbs Racing’s No. 54 Toyota with two races remaining.

Keselowski made his way around then-leader Denny Hamlin with 14 of 200 laps remaining and held on for his sixth win of the season and 26th of his career. The win was the 12th for the No. 22 team this season.

“I wanted to compete for both championships. I didn’t want it to be just one, but it is what it is at this point,” Keselowski said. “I’ve had some great runs in the Nationwide car this year.

“I dug us a hole at Kansas after getting tangled up there (with Kyle Busch) and lost some points. We’ve come back from that hole, have a little bit of a lead. There’s still a lot of racing left.”

Keselowski is scheduled to drive the No. 22 next weekend at Phoenix while Joey Logano will drive the car in the season finale at Homestead, Fla.

With two races left this season, Austin Dillon still holds a six-point lead over Sam Hornish Jr. in the series’ driver’s championship race.

Hornish was in position at one point in the race to make up considerable ground in the points race but fell a lap down after making a commitment cone violation on a pit stop.

He rallied to finish third, while Dillon ended up fifth, allowing Hornish to gain two points on Dillon.

“We need a little more than that, but we will keep working hard doing the right things and I think we will have a great opportunity to continue to gain,” Hornish said.

“Phoenix is one of my favorite tracks for sure, and then we go to Homestead and I have had a lot of good memories there, too. I am looking forward to it.”

Dillon said the pressure is on Hornish. “He keeps making mistakes,” he said.

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