Keselowski gets by Busch for second
The No. 5 JR Motorsports Chevrolet of Kevin Harvick looked to be in the process of passing the No. 54 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota of Kyle Busch when the seventh and final caution came out with just under 10 laps to go in the John R. Elliott HERO Campaign 300 NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta on Friday nights. When the race returned to green with five laps remaining, Harvick was able to complete the pass of Busch and drive on to his second win of the season and his second-career Nationwide win at Kentucky.
"Once we got up front, it really took off," Harvick said. "His (Busch's) car must've gotten tighter."
The No. 22 Team Penske Ford of Brad Keselowski also got by Busch in the waning laps to finish second, and Busch wound up third.
Keselowski dominated the race, leading 138 laps of the 200 that made up the race. Prior to a green-flag pit stop with 52 to go, he had led all but 10 laps, mostly under caution and early laps after a restarts after losing positions on pit road. But when pitting with 52 laps remaining, Keselowski was caught speeding on pit road and, as a result, dropped back to 17th in the running order. "I definitely put us behind with that," Keselowski said. "We had a great Discount Tires Ford. I just put us behind with that speeding penalty."
After a caution for debris on lap 157, Busch restarted with the lead, while Harvick restarted fourth and Keselowski 17th. Harvick made his way up to second as soon as the reace returned to green, and Keselowski quickly returned to the top-10.
Busch and Harvick ran first and second for the remainder of the race, through three additonal restarts, including one following a caution on lap 169 for a wreck involving The No. 7 JR Motorsports Chevrolet of Regan Smith, the championship points leader heeading into the race.
As a result of Smith's troubles, Elliott Sadler, driver of the No. 11 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota, took the points lead by four points over new second-place driver Chase Elliott, driver of the No. 9 JR Motorsports Chevrolet. Sadler becomes the first non-JR Motorsports driver to hold the points lead this year, 15 races into the season. Sadler finished the race 10th, while Elliott was 12th and Smith 28th.
"We've got a long ways to go," Sadler said. "We're only halfway there."
The No. 33 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet of Paul Menard was fourth, and the No. 12 Team Penske Ford of Ryan Blaney rounded out the top-five. Three more Richard Childress Racing Chevrolets, the No 62 of Brendan Gaughan, the No. 3 of Ty Dillon and the No. 2 of Brian Scott finished six through eighth, giving RCR four entries in the top-10. The No. 42 Turner Scott Motorsports Chevrolet of Kyle Larson finished ninth.