Keselowski Scores First Road Course Win
WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. -- Brad Keselowski has always had a fondness for Watkins Glen International, and that fondness just grew a bit more.
The reigning Sprint Cup champion, who had finished second three times in the past two years at The Glen, led 49 laps in the Nationwide Zippo 200 and finally notched that elusive first career road course victory Saturday.
"I don't know, it's hard to explain. I can remember coming here with my dad (in the 1990s), just always having a love affair with this track," said Keselowski, runner-up to Marcos Ambrose in the past two Cup races at the track. "There's something about this track. I have a very deep appreciation for it. It's been a great race track for me."
Keselowski passed Joey Logano for the lead with 16 laps to go, then held off Sam Hornish Jr. in a dominant performance for Penske Racing.
Keselowski, who finished second to Carl Edwards despite leading more than half of this race a year ago, won for the fourth straight time over five months in NASCAR's second-tier series. It was his 24th career Nationwide win, tying him with Tommy Houston for eighth place on the career list.
Brian Vickers was third, followed by Regan Smith and Elliott Sadler. Logano finished 21st after running out of gas on the final lap, his team's fuel strategy backfiring.
Hornish won the pole and set sail with Keselowski at the outset after Kyle Busch crashed on the first turn of the 82-lap race.
Busch started second but lost control of his No. 54 Toyota, sliding sideways after apparently tapping the rear bumper of Hornish as they drove through the first turn, a downhill 90-degree right-hander. Busch's spotter had just cleared him to make a move under Hornish.
Busch briefly touched the Armco barrier that lines the track and was OK, but Mike Wallace, in midpack and unaware Busch was there, pulled right to make a pass and slammed the left front of Busch's car.
After that, it was a show between Hornish and Keselowski as the three Penske Fords combined to lead all but nine laps.
Hornish managed to close on Keselowski's back bumper with six laps remaining, but that was as close as he got. Keselowski pulled away over the final two laps and won by 1.4 seconds.
Hornish closed to within three points of the series lead behind Austin Dillon, who struggled with a sputtering car and finished 11th.
The solid day moved Penske within five points of Joe Gibbs Racing for the owners' points lead.
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