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Penske Cars Sweep Inaugural Indy Nationwide Race

Info Manager | , RacinToday.com Saturday, July 28 2012

Brad Keselowski got the Nationwide victory at Indy on Saturday. (RacinToday/HHP file photo by Gregg Ellman)

RacinToday.com

Roger Penske’s Indianapolis Motor Speedway magic trickled down to the NASCAR Nationwide Series Saturday as his cars finished first and second in the inaugural NNS race at IMS.

Brad Keselowski won the race and Sam Hornish Jr. finished second in Penske Racing Dodges.

The victory by Keselowski gives Penske his first NASCAR victory at the iconic speedway where his cars have won 15 Indianapolis 500s.

“Any victory is special here,” Keselowski said, adding that he was especially proud to get the victory for Penske.

“Just a special day. The Brickyard means so much to all of us as race car drivers and to the sport in general, and it transcends three different forms of auto racing, whether it’s IndyCar in the United States, F1 and their history here, and then obviously with stock cars and their initial time here to the current date, from ‘94 on, it transcends into a special victory or a special place to race I should probably say.

“I’m glad to be some small part of that with winning the inaugural Nationwide race here and hope I can be a big part of that history by being able to win tomorrow and pull off a double. That would be extremely special to me, and I would really enjoy that.”

Austin Dillon of Richard Childress Racing finished third.

Rounding out the top five were Denny Hamlin of Joe Gibbs Racing and Ty Dillon.

Kyle Busch dominated the first two-thirds of the 100-lap race, leading 51 of the first 63 laps. But a slow pit stop under caution cost him his lead and Hornish took the lead. Busch restarted on lap 67 ninth.

Hornish held the lead for seven laps before being overtaken by Keselowski.

A couple laps later, the caution came out again when Brian Scott lost control coming out of Turn 4.

On the restart, with 22 laps to go, Busch lost control in Turn 1 and the yellow flag waved again. Elliott Sadler moved to the lead on the restart but was black-flagged for jumping that restart. That put Keselowski back in the lead.

He cruised the rest of the way and got the historic win by 3.3 seconds over Hornish, an Indy 500 winner.

Rounding out the top 10 were Michael Annett, Joey Logano, Paul Menard, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Jeremy Clements.

Danica Patrick, who had an Indy 500 podium finish on her resume, crashed on lap 62 and DNF’d.

Sadler and his team were clearly not happy about the penalty issued to them for jumping the final restart.

“NASCAR just took the championship away from me,” Sadler said over his team radio as he headed into the pits to serve his drive-through penalty.

After the race, Sadler and owner Richard Childress stormed over to the NASCAR hauler to get an explanation on the decision to penalized Sadler for jumping the all-important restart.

Keselowski was asked about the restart.

“It happened really fast,” he said, “and I don’t have a complete picture of what happened, so it’s hard for me to make a statement about it. But I can tell you my perception of it was I got a push from Sam, and it was a little more than I could take, and certainly I wasn’t going full throttle but I was not in the zone when Elliott took off. It appeared that Elliott got a push from behind, as well, and maybe he just couldn’t slow down, I don’t know. I don’t know how it all played out.

“I think NASCAR has made it a point to say that they’re not going to measure down to a millimeter on who beats who to the restart line, they just want it to be close and fair. It was obvious that the 2 car I believe it was, which is kind of hard to say because it’s my number on the Cup side, that Elliott beat us by more than that. So that’s NASCAR’s call as far as how it all worked out in the box and so forth. It’s very difficult to say from my view, and I’d like to see a full replay to kind of verify some of the things that I saw.”

But obviously NASCAR saw something they didn’t like and made a call accordingly, and that’s their job.

RACE RESULTS

1. (8) Brad Keselowski, Dodge, 100, $58,225.

2. (13) Sam Hornish Jr., Dodge, 100, $51,293.

3. (3) Ty Dillon, Chevrolet, 100, $49,743.

4. (4) Denny Hamlin, Toyota, 100, $34,125.

5. (7) Austin Dillon, Chevrolet, 100, $38,343.

6. (21) Michael Annett, Ford, 100, $32,868.

7. (6) Joey Logano, Toyota, 100, $24,975.

8. (9) Paul Menard, Chevrolet, 100, $24,100.

9. (10) Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Ford, 100, $31,968.

10. (16) Jeremy Clements, Chevrolet, 100, $32,643.

11. (12) Mike Bliss, Toyota, 100, $28,393.

12. (14) Justin Allgaier, Chevrolet, 100, $28,143.

13. (19) Travis Pastrana, Toyota, 100, $27,868.

14. (15) Brian Scott, Toyota, 100, $27,543.

15. (5) Elliott Sadler, Chevrolet, 100, $28,518.

16. (24) Jason Bowles, Toyota, 100, $27,193.

17. (40) Cole Whitt, Chevrolet, 100, $27,043.

18. (28) Joe Nemechek, Toyota, 100, $26,893.

19. (26) Kenny Wallace, Toyota, 100, $26,693.

20. (23) Mike Wallace, Chevrolet, 100, $27,243.

21. (39) Jeffrey Earnhardt, Chevrolet, 100, $26,418.

22. (2) Kyle Busch, Toyota, 100, $22,025.

23. (37) Timmy Hill, Ford, 100, $26,143.

24. (34) Eric McClure, Toyota, 100, $26,018.

25. (1) Kasey Kahne, Chevrolet, 99, $23,375.

26. (25) James Buescher, Chevrolet, 99, $25,893.

27. (11) Ryan Blaney, Chevrolet, 99, $19,275.

28. (41) Tim Schendel, Chevrolet, 99, $19,200.

29. (22) Tayler Malsam, Toyota, 99, $25,568.

30. (17) Johanna Long, Chevrolet, 90, $25,793.

31. (42) Robert Richardson Jr., Chevrolet, 79, $25,393.

32. (29) Kyle Fowler, Ford, Engine, 72, $25,268.

33. (27) Reed Sorenson, Ford, Accident, 49, $18,740.

34. (18) Kurt Busch, Chevrolet, Electrical, 41, $18,705.

35. (20) Danica Patrick, Chevrolet, Accident, 38, $25,108.

36. (35) Jeff Green, Toyota, Vibration, 23, $18,580.

37. (38) Scott Riggs, Ford, Rear Gear, 18, $18,545.

38. (33) Erik Darnell, Chevrolet, Engine, 17, $18,461.

39. (43) TJ Bell, Chevrolet, Overheating, 10, $18,300.

40. (36) Kevin Lepage, Ford, Drive Shaft, 8, $18,190.

41. (30) Chase Miller, Chevrolet, Vibration, 6, $18,130.

42. (31) Josh Wise, Chevrolet, Electrical, 4, $18,100.

43. (32) Stephen Leicht, Chevrolet, Engine, 0, $18,035.

RACE STATISTICS

Average Speed of Race Winner: 126.05 mph.

Time of Race: 1 Hrs, 59 Mins, 00 Secs. Margin of Victory: 3.304 Seconds.

Caution Flags: 5 for 24 laps.

Lead Changes: 9 among 6 drivers.

Lap Leaders: K. Kahne 0; Kyle Busch 1-17; J. Green 18; D. Hamlin 19-22; B. Keselowski 23-26; Kyle Busch 27-36; K. Kahne 37-40; Kyle Busch 41-64; S. Hornish Jr. 65-71; B. Keselowski 72-100.

Leaders Summary (Driver, Times Lead, Laps Led): Kyle Busch 3 times for 51 laps; B. Keselowski 2 times for 33 laps; S. Hornish Jr. 1 time for 7 laps; D. Hamlin 1 time for 4 laps; K. Kahne 1 time for 4 laps; J. Green 1 time for 1 lap.

Top 10 in Points: E. Sadler – 704; A. Dillon – 703; R. Stenhouse Jr. – 691; S. Hornish Jr. – 676; J. Allgaier – 629; M. Annett – 607; C. Whitt – 577; M. Bliss – 524; B. Scott – 460; D. Patrick – 452.

(This story will be updated shortly)

Info Manager | , RacinToday.com Saturday, July 28 2012
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