Keselowski picks up second win in Nationwide race

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NEWTON, Iowa - Brad Keselowski passed Kyle Busch with eight laps left and held on to win the inaugural Nationwide Series race at Iowa Speedway on Saturday.

Keselowski stayed on the track during a caution flag late in the race, a risk that paid off with his second victory of the year. He also won at Dover on May 30.

Busch, who started at the back after spending the morning in Pennsylvania practicing for the Sprint Cup race Sunday at Pocono, finished second after leading 84 laps. He has nine consecutive top-two finishes, tying the series record set by Jack Ingram in 1983.

Jason Leffler was third, followed by Carl Edwards and Kelly Bires.

The race was essentially a duel between Busch, the series leader and a six-time winner this year, and Keselowski, the top Nationwide regular.

In the end, Keselowski took the checkered flag.

Keselowski and Busch broke free from the rest of the field with about 60 laps to go. Busch then slipped past Keselowski with 25 laps left and looked to be in the clear. But the 12th caution flag of the day came with just 10 laps later, as Justin Allgaier, Erik Darnell and Steve Wallace got in a three-way wreck, with Darnell getting caught wedged between the two in the corner.

Keselowski made his move shortly after the restart, slipping past Busch for the win.

As an added bonus, Keselowski picked up an extra $75,000 by taking the Dash 4 Cash bonus offered to Nationwide regulars at stand-alone races.

Nationwide rookies Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Allgaier posted identical qualifying times earlier Saturday, but Stenhouse was awarded the pole on owner's points. Allgaier grabbed the early lead and kept it for 35 laps, by far the most of his young Nationwide career, but he was bumped on pit row and Keselowski surged ahead.

It didn't take long for Busch to catch the leaders. Busch quickly vaulted from 43rd to fourth, and he grabbed the high groove and zipped past Darnell for the lead about a third of the way through the race.

Though a few other drivers threatened from time to time, Keselowski and Busch combined to lead all but 45 of the 250 laps.

This was a very important weekend for the Iowa Speedway, which in just its third full season landed IndyCar, Camping World Truck Series and Nationwide series races, and it couldn't have had better weather or crowds.

The temporary stands erected for Saturday's race were full, pushing attendance to over 56,000, and temperatures in the mid 70s greeted fans who've waited a long time to see a major NASCAR event in their backyard.

According to NASCAR records, it was the highest-level NASCAR points race run in Iowa since Herb Thomas won at Davenport Speedway in 1953.

But the 0.875-mile Rusty Wallace-designed oval was new to most of the drivers. That unfamiliarity contributed to 12 yellow flags and 56 laps under caution.


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