Saturday, August 1, 2009

Keselowski Wins Iowa Inaugural

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

Busch had pitted for two tires under the race's 10th caution, while Keselowski chose to keep his No. 88 Chevrolet on the track. The race went green on Lap 219 of 250, and Busch needed six laps to pass Keselowski.

But after another caution, Keselowski stormed back to take the lead and earn his second win of the season. And with the victory, Keselowski won an extra $75,000 via Nationwide Insurance's Dash 4 Cash program, honoring full-time Nationwide drivers who win select races, with Iowa being one of the four.

"It sure means a lot to win this race," Keselowski said. "The Dash 4 Cash program that Nationwide has, to be the guy that wins that ... and to be a full-time Nationwide guy that wins it that doesn't run full time in the Cup Series, it kind of feels like you stake a claim for the series by winning that.

"The inaugural race here at Iowa for the Nationwide Series and, really, for NASCAR, and to win here in front of a crowd we had here [Saturday], that's pretty awesome.
"And it was a good race, too. Just everything about [Saturday], I couldn't ask for more. I couldn't ask for a better finish."

Keselowski ended up leading four times for 121 laps.

Nationwide rookies Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Justin Allgaier posted identical qualifying times earlier Saturday, but Stenhouse was awarded the pole on owners' 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.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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