LOUDON, N.H. – Brad Keselowski was in a league of his own Saturday at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, dominating the NASCAR Nationwide Series Sta-Green 200 en route to his second victory of the season.
Keselowski started on the pole of Saturday’s event, but gave up the lead on the initial start to Kyle Busch. It took Keselowski 35 laps to retake the top spot from Busch, but once he did he was nearly untouchable.
The Michigan native ended up leading 153 of the 200 laps at the 1.058-mile oval, beating Busch to the checkered flag by 1.881 seconds.
“It was actually very hard fought there at the end,” said Keselowski after his second career Nationwide victory at New Hampshire. “I think Kyle was just a little bit faster. His team did a great job of taking advantage and making adjustments. He was really good. I didn’t think I was going to be able to hold him off.
“This Hertz Ford Mustang was good all day. It was really good at the start. Jeremy Bullins (crew chief) and everyone on the team did an excellent job. Seems like every time I drive the Hertz car we win,” Keselowski said.
Busch did everything he could to catch Keselowski in the late laps. With 13 to go Busch made contact with the lap machine of James Buescher down the backstretch while trying to gain ground on Keselowski, but he was unable to close the gap.
“The Monster Energy Camry was a second-place car all weekend,” said Busch. “I’m glad we could get what we could get out of it today. It was just a hard fought battle there at the end just trying to get everything I could out of it. I came close, but I couldn’t maneuver around anywhere.”
Matt Kenseth finished third, followed by Kyle Larson and Chris Buescher.
Regan Smith finished 10th to claim the $100,000 Dash 4 Cash bonus for NASCAR Nationwide Series regulars. His closest competitor for the bonus, Ryan Reed, finish a few seconds behind him in 11th.
“I wasn’t so much worried about where he (Reed) was, just why my car wouldn’t go as good as I wanted it to,” said Smith. “We struggled a lot with the TaxSlayer car today. Really the only point where I was happy with it was when we had a little bit of clean air up towards the front. We got some work to do there. We’ve run really good in a lot of these Dash 4 cash races and never been a part of them. So I’m happy to be a part of this one and I’m happy to win it.”
Smith will attempt to pick up more Dash 4 Cash bonus money next weekend at Chicagoland Speedway. Other qualifiers for the Dash 4 Cash next week were C. Buescher, Elliott Sadler and Brian Scott.