The No. 22 Penske Racing Dodge of Brad Keselowski dominated the Kansas Lottery 300 NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Kansas Speedway on Saturday, leading 173 of the 200 laps en route to the win.
“This Dodge Challenger just hauled all day,” Keselowski said. “I wish I could take this car to (the Hollywood Casino 400 Sprint Cup Series race at the track) tomorrow.”
This Dodge Challenger just hauled all day.
Carl Edwards finished second in the No. 60 Roush Fenway Racing Ford, 2.7 seconds behind Keselowski. Elliott Sadler was third in the No. 2 Kevin Harvick Inc. Chevrolet.
“That seals it for me,” Edwards said after the race. “I don’t want to hear him (Keselowski) complain anymore about our (Roush Fenway Racing) cars being fast.”
Edwards started on the pole with Keselowski alongside in second. The two drivers raced side-by-side in the opening laps. Keselowski had the lead by the time the first caution of the race came out on lap four.
Edwards retook the lead when he beat Keselowski off pit road during a caution that came out on lap 40, but Keselowski was back up front on lap 48.
Keselowski kept pulling away from the rest of the field, only to have his large leads erased by cautions. He did lose several positions during a caution that came out on lap 88 when he stalled his car on pit road and returned to the track in 14th position.
It only took Keselowski four-and-a-half laps to make his way back to the front, and he began to pull away again. He had a lead of nearly 11 seconds by the time the next caution came out with 60 laps remaining.
When the final caution of the race came out with 27 laps to go, pit strategies varied. Jason Leffler stayed out in the No. 38 Turner Motorsports Chevrolet, and Michael Annett in the No. 62 Rusty Wallace Racing Toyota and Kenny Wallace in the No. 09 RAB Racing Toyota took only two tires to restart second and third.
“That last caution killed me,” Sadler said. We were catching the 60.”
Leffler dropped back and Edwards and Keselowski made their ways back up to the front when the race returned to green -- Edwards on four new tires and Keselowski on scuffs.
Edwards assumed the lead with 22 laps to go. He and Keselowski, who was back in second by that time, pulled away from the rest of the field to battle it out for the win. Keselowski reassumed the lead with 14 laps remaining and sailed on to the win.
Paul Menard finished fourth in the No. 33 Kevin Harvick Inc. Chevrolet, and series points leader Ricky Stenhouse Jr. rounded out the top-five in the No. 6 Roush Fenway Racing Ford.
“I was up and down, but we did what a championship team needs to do,” Stenhouse, who gave up two points to Sadler, said.