Keselowski Makes Strong RIR NNS Showing
Brad Keselowski maintained control of the NASCAR Nationwide Series championship lead by rebounding from a 12th-place Atlanta Motor Speedway finish with a second-place performance at Richmond International Raceway that marked his 19th top-five and 22nd top-10 showing of the season.
He will enter the series next race at Dover International Speedway with a 373-point lead over second-place championship contender Carl Edwards with just eight races remaining on this season's schedule.
Edwards picked up his 21st top-10 series finish of the season with a 10th-place finish and surrendered 41 points to the championship leader.
Keselowski rebounded from difficulties on pit road that sent him to mid pack, benefitted from a Lap 47 caution and raced his No. 12 car back to cross the finish line just 0.256 of a second behind race winner Kevin Harvick's No. 33 machine. Harvick earned his third victory of the season and first in the series' 2011 car design.
"Our car was really good for about 20 laps, really, really good. The yellow came out with 47 laps to go and I knew I had to pace my car if I was going to have any shot at Kevin," Keselowski said.
"I really paced it and saved had a lot of tire for the end. I still didn't think we were going to have enough for Kevin, but that traffic kind of changed things up a little bit and gave us a shot. We probably weren't fast enough to get by Kevin, but we still put on a great showing.
It really says a lot for my team to come back from all the adversity early in the race. We had a bad pit stop and racing luck. To come back, get to the front and have a shot to win, that's the sign of a really strong team," he added.
Trevor Bayne, Ricky Stenhouse, Jr., and Reed Sorenson completed the Richmond top five.
Keselowski will make his eighth career NNS start at Dover International Speedway next week. He earned a May 31, 2009 victory at the track has wheeled to a total of three top-five and six top-10 finishes on The Monster Mile. He placed seventh in the series first visit to the track this season on May 15 and has placed in a race top-10 in six straight NNS appearances there.
Edwards will make his 12th career NNS Dover start coming off of an 11th-place May finish at the track that ended his string of top-five finishes there at four. He snared a June 2, 2007 victory at the track and a total of six top-five and eight top-10 Monster Mile finishes.
Dover race coverage will begin at 3:00 p.m. on ESPN2, Motor Racing Network radio and Sirius XM 128. Visit our home page for the updated series standings.
Story by Mike Schmaltz