Brad Keselowski's dominance continued in the Lone Star State on Saturday.
After winning the pole in Sprint Cup qualifying on Friday, Keselowski won the O'Reilly Auto Parts Challenge Xfinity Series race.
Keselowski led 62 laps for his 34th career NXS win and his second (2013) at Texas Motor Speedway. The eighth victory of the season for the No. 22 Ford clinched the owner’s title for the Team Penske crew.
This is the third consecutive NXS title for Roger Penske — and his fourth title overall. Team Penske leads the No. 54 Joe Gibbs Racing team by 98 points.
“Kyle Larson was going to run away with this thing before he had this flat,” said Keselowski, who took the lead from Austin Dillon with 11 circuits remaining in the race. “I didn’t know what to expect, but I didn’t give up. That was a big part of it.”
Kevin Harvick, Austin Dillon, Erik Jones and Ty Dillon rounded out the top-five finishers in the 200-lap romp, which ran two hours and 11 minutes after the race was delayed due to weepers on the track.
Larson had the dominant car in the closing stages of the race but ignited the fourth and final caution after blowing a left rear tire on Lap 175 — just after being passed by Harvick. Larson led 50 laps prior to retiring on Lap 182. Keselowski had the lead for the restart but was passed by Austin Dillon. Four circuits later, Keselowski regained the point and held off Harvick by 1.137-seconds at the finish line.
Keselowski was grateful for the additional track time prior to Sunday’s AAA 500 — the eighth race in the Chase for the Sprint Cup.
“Winning never hurts,” Keselowski said. “It builds confidence.”
Buescher maintains points cushion
Xfinity Series points leader and Prosper, Texas native Chris Buescher finished 11th and lost ground to defending champion Chase Elliott, who finished eighth. Buescher entered the race with a 27-point advantage but with two races to decide the title, his lead has dropped to 24.
"It isn't comfortable yet," Buescher acknowledged after the race. "It is a cushion that we have a I guess you average that out to 12 spots per race. So if we go out and finish top-10 the last two, we should be in good shape.
"That would be cutting it too close for comfort but we need to just have some solid runs the next two weeks."
Trouble for Kyle Busch
Defending race winner Kyle Busch endured drama on Saturday as he broke a shifter rod before the second round of pit stops. Busch restarted 18th on Lap 83 after the team made repairs but was forced to drop to the rear of the field for having too many men over the wall servicing the No. 54 Toyota. He quickly moved up to ninth prior to a falling sign on the race track forced the third caution.
With the car stuck in fourth gear, the No. 54 Joe Gibbs Racing crew had to push Busch out of the pits. He restarted eighth on Lap 121 but dropped to 18th. Busch was running fifth when he was busted for speeding on pit road on Lap 165. He served the penalty four circuits later. Busch dropped to 18th on the final restart and salvaged a 14th-place finish.