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Dillon Wins NNS Championship

Info Manager | , RacinToday.com Saturday, November 16 2013

Austin Dillon finished 12th Saturday but that was good enough. (RacinToday/HHP file photo by Alan Marler)

Austin Dillon locked up the NASCAR Nationwide Series championship with a 12th-place finish in Saturday’s season-ending race at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

Sam Hornish Jr. finished eighth and was deprived of the title by three points.

Making up seven positions in three laps, Brad Keselowski surged to the lead with two laps left and went on to win Saturday night’s Ford EcoBoost 300.

Hornish’s Penske Racing teammate, Joey Logano, ran sixth to give Penske Racing’s No. 22 Ford the owners’ championship by a single point over the No. 54 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota driven by Kyle Busch.

“I was just glad to see the 12’s back bumper [after the final restart],” Dillon said. “I knew if I could see him and know where he was that I wasn’t going to give up till the end. I had a great start and tried to get the jump on him. It worked out.

“That’s all I can say. He was a great competitor, and he brought his stuff tonight, and we were able to capitalize at the end. Man, it was a hell of a race”

Kyle Larson ran second to secure the Sunoco Rookie of the Year title. Keselowski’s win gave Ford the NNS manufacturers’ championship.

The race ended with a major controversy.

A wreck brought out a caution with 17 laps to go. It took workers 12 laps to clean the wreck up.

Instead of bringing out the red flag in an effort to salvage a satisfying finish, the race stayed yellow and then restarted with five laps to go.

Roger Penske, owner of Hornish’s car, was clearly not happy with NASCAR’s decision.

“I felt very sorry for Sam,” Penske said. “I have to say I’ve never seen a race that was so important that you wait 15 or 16 laps before you have five laps to go. To me, that was very disappointing from the standpoint of the fans and certainly we as competitors came out fine, but when I think about it it could have gone any way.”

The victory was Keselowski’s seventh of the season but his first in the No. 48. Keselowski won his first six races in the No. 22 Logano drove on Saturday. Keselowski, the 2010 NNS champion, notched his 27th victory in the series.

With the race under caution due to Parker Kligerman’s spin on Lap 149, Hornish restarted 11th and Austin Dillon 16th on Lap 154, with brother Ty Dillon in the lead on old tires. Before the cars could complete a lap, a tap from Justin Allgaier’s Chevrolet sent Brad Sweet’s Camaro spinning into the wall.

Hornish had picked up four spots before the caution was called, while Dillon, trying to preserve any part of his eight-point advantage, had dropped back to 17th. But with a masterful restart on Lap 160, Dillon made up five spots and worked his way up to 10th before Justin Allgaier’s spin coming off Turn 2 caused the ninth caution of the evening.

That set up a restart on Lap 183, with Larson in the lead and both the drivers’ and owners’ championships still in the balance. One caution later, the result of a four-car wreck off Turn 4, Dillon sewed up the drivers’ title in a five-lap dash to the finish, and Logano propelled the No. 22 Ford to the owners’ championship by a single point.

“It was nerve wracking all the way down to the end. I’m not going to lie,” Dillon said, “I was nervous. Our car wasn’t the best today, but this is a testament to the entire No. 3 team the way we pulled together. We all stayed calm. I love these guys all like brothers. We are a team. We win and lose as a team. This means so much.”

“Obviously,” Keselowski said, “anytime you win it’s a great night, but to put those other things together and I’m sure some of you have heard it on TV, but we came here with four goals – win the driver’s championship with Sam Hornish, the owner’s championship with the 22, win the race and help Ford to secure the manufacturers’ title. We accomplished three out of four, which I guess ain’t bad, but I want to make the remark that I’m really proud of Sam and even though he came up a bit short I thought he put in a great effort tonight and this year, so I’m proud of him and happy to win the race.”

NASCAR Nationwide Series Race – Ford EcoBoost 300

Homestead-Miami Speedway

Homestead, Florida

Saturday, November 16, 2013

1. (3) Brad Keselowski(i), Ford, 200, $83475.

2. (8) Kyle Larson #, Chevrolet, 200, $77675.

3. (6) Kyle Busch(i), Toyota, 200, $49175.

4. (5) Matt Kenseth(i), Toyota, 200, $40860.

5. (9) Trevor Bayne, Ford, 200, $40380.

6. (4) Joey Logano(i), Ford, 200, $26580.

7. (16) Parker Kligerman, Toyota, 200, $28980.

8. (1) Sam Hornish Jr., Ford, 200, $32555.

9. (13) Cole Whitt, Toyota, 200, $26930.

10. (15) Nelson Piquet Jr. #, Chevrolet, 200, $27080.

11. (2) Blake Koch, Toyota, 200, $25880.

12. (11) Austin Dillon, Chevrolet, 200, $24330.

13. (19) Ryan Reed, Ford, 200, $23930.

14. (17) Ty Dillon(i), Chevrolet, 200, $23730.

15. (12) Drew Herring, Toyota, 200, $24220.

16. (18) Elliott Sadler, Toyota, 200, $24415.

17. (23) Michael Annett, Ford, 200, $23405.

18. (22) Travis Pastrana, Ford, 200, $23590.

19. (14) Justin Allgaier, Chevrolet, 200, $23030.

20. (29) Jeff Green, Toyota, 200, $23595.

21. (31) Johanna Long, Chevrolet, 200, $22810.

22. (39) Bryan Silas(i), Ford, 200, $22700.

23. (35) Timmy Hill(i), Chevrolet, 200, $22565.

24. (34) Dakoda Armstrong(i), Toyota, 200, $22450.

25. (36) Jamie Dick, Chevrolet, 199, $16790.

26. (30) Joe Nemechek, Toyota, 198, $22185.

27. (33) Dexter Stacey #, Ford, 194, $16070.

28. (28) Mike Wallace, Chevrolet, Accident, 184, $21955.

29. (25) Regan Smith, Chevrolet, Accident, 183, $21850.

30. (32) Jeremy Clements, Chevrolet, Accident, 183, $22040.

31. (7) Brad Sweet, Chevrolet, 175, $21930.

32. (10) Brian Scott, Chevrolet, 173, $21665.

33. (21) Landon Cassill, Chevrolet, 163, $21460.

34. (20) Corey Lajoie, Ford, 148, $15395.

35. (24) Kevin Swindell #, Ford, Accident, 127, $21356.

36. (38) Ryan Ellis, Toyota, Vibration, 102, $20150.

37. (27) Mike Bliss, Toyota, Electrical, 49, $14085.

38. (37) TJ Bell, Chevrolet, Vibration, 20, $19994.

39. (40) Josh Wise, Chevrolet, Electrical, 5, $13735.

40. (26) Michael McDowell(i), Toyota, Overheating, 5, $13700.

Average Speed of Race Winner: 109.025 mph.

Time of Race: 2 Hrs, 45 Mins, 06 Secs. Margin of Victory: 1.126 Seconds.

Caution Flags: 10 for 49 laps.

Lead Changes: 19 among 7 drivers.

Lap Leaders: S. Hornish Jr. 1-4; B. Keselowski(i) 5; S. Hornish Jr. 6-38; K. Larson # 39-48; K. Busch(i) 49-51; M. Kenseth(i) 52; K. Busch(i) 53; M. Kenseth(i) 54-61; K. Busch(i) 62-65; B. Keselowski(i) 66-82; J. Logano(i) 83-102; K. Busch(i) 103-121; B. Keselowski(i) 122-125; K. Larson # 126-133; J. Logano(i) 134-150; T. Dillon(i) 151-159; K. Larson # 160-166; K. Busch(i) 167-168; K. Larson # 169-197; B. Keselowski(i) 198-200.

Leaders Summary (Driver, Times Lead, Laps Led): K. Larson # 4 times for 54 laps; S. Hornish Jr. 2 times for 37 laps; J. Logano(i) 2 times for 37 laps; K. Busch(i) 5 times for 29 laps; B. Keselowski(i) 4 times for 25 laps; M. Kenseth(i) 2 times for 9 laps; T. Dillon(i) 1 time for 9 laps.

Top 10 in Points: A. Dillon – 1,180; S. Hornish Jr. – 1,177; R. Smith – 1,108; E. Sadler – 1,090; J. Allgaier – 1,090; T. Bayne – 1,086; B. Scott – 1,053; K. Larson # – 1,001; P. Kligerman – 993; B. Vickers – 970.

Info Manager | , RacinToday.com Saturday, November 16 2013
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