2011-06-09 / Entertainment

Keselowski Stretches Fuel For Kansas Win

By Gerald Hodges
THE RACING REPORTER


Brad Keselowski Brad Keselowski KANSAS CITY, Kan. – Brad Keselowski assumed the lead on lap 258 with just nine laps remaining in Sunday’s STP 400 at Kansas Speedway after his teammate, Kurt Busch, had to pit for fuel with 10 laps to go.

“I knew we were close on fuel and I was trying to save all I could,” said Keselowski. “We’ve had some good cars, but we always needed the big break, and we got it today. I didn’t know I was leading until about two laps left. I looked up at the leader board and saw my number on top and started shaking.”

His first and only other Cup win came 75 races ago at Talladega.

“We lacked track position today,” said Dale Earnhardt Jr. the second-place finisher. “We’ve had good cars, but haven’t been able to be where we needed to be. I’m happy with the cars and our program. Second is a lot better than some past races.”

Denny Hamlin, Jeff Gordon, Carl Edwards, Matt Kenseth, Jimmie Johnson, Tony Stewart, Kurt Busch, and Greg Biffle were the remaining top-10 finishers.

In addition to being the polesitter, Kurt Busch led the most laps and dominated the race until he had to stop for fuel with 10 to go.

“It’s all right,” said Busch. “This team has run well and I’m proud of it. There was something in the back of my mind before the race, telling me that we weren’t going to win. But I’m happy for Brad.”

Top-12 Chase contenders after 13 of 36: 1. Edwards- 485, 2. Johnson-445, 3. Earnhardt 444, 4. Harvick-442, 5. Kyle Busch- 425, 6. Kurt Busch-414, 7. Kenseth-412, 8. Stewart-393, 9. Boyer-391, 10. Newman-382, 11. Hamlin 381, 12. Biffle-377

Allgaier coasts to Nationwide victory

JOLIET, Ill. – Justin Allgaier coasted across the finish line to win Saturday night’s Nationwide race, despite running out of fuel after passing Carl Edwards on the final lap as Edwards also ran out of fuel.

“Coming off Turn 2, I didn’t know if I’d have the time to catch him,” Allgaier said. “Then he started wiggling, and I got a big grin.”

Both were traveling about 50 mph when they rolled across the finish line, even as Daytona 500 winner Trevor Bayne was barreling toward them from behind.

Edwards and Elliott Sadler dueled for most of the last 50 laps. First Edwards was in control, then Sadler. Then Edwards, the Cup Series points leader, forced the issue and retook the lead with 25 laps remaining.

“ I thought I’d saved about a lap of fuel,” Edwards said. “With five or six laps to go, Justin really started coming, so I laid it down.”

Allgaier drew even, and as he did, his engine went silent. It was a coast to the finish, and Allgaier would win it. He led only the final lap.

The difference by 1.719 seconds brought Allgaier his first win since last year at Bristol, and the second win in the last three races by a NASCAR Nationwide Series driver championship contender.

Trevor Bayne, the Daytona 500 winner finished third after a six-week absence for an illness that baffled the doctors at Mayo Clinic. He told ESPN during the race he “felt like an astronaut” with all of the air hoses blowing on him. He started 31st and ran as high as sixth after 57 laps. Then he held steady until the final laps, when drivers, including Sadler, had to pit for a splash of fuel.

“Man, I should have started going six laps earlier,” Bayne said. “You can always say ‘Shoulda.’”

Aric Almirola finished fourth, followed by Jason Leffler, Reed Sorenson, Kenny Wallace, Kelly Bires, Michael Annett and Danica Patrick.

Top-10 leaders after 14 of 34: 1. Sorenson- 488, 2. Sadler-486, 3. Stenhouse- 482, 4. Allgaier-477, 5. Almirola 442, 6. Leffler-437, 7. K. Wallace-417, 8. S. Wallace- 385, 9. Scott-366, 10. Annett- 346

Bowyer gets first truck win

KANSAS CITY, Kan. – Clint Bowyer won his first Camping World Truck Series race of the season in dominating fashion.

“We’ve come close here,” Bowyer said. “We’ve had good runs here, but we just haven’t been able to seal the deal. To finally be able to do a burnout on the frontstretch in front of that crowd is big, man. It’s a good feeling.”

Bowyer, from Emporia, Kan., beat Johnny Sauter to the finish line by 1.695 seconds to claim his third victory in 11 starts in the series. Todd Bodine ran third, followed by James Buescher and Joey Coulter, who passed Kyle Busch on the last of 167 laps for the fifth spot.

After the checkered flag, Busch drove up beside Coulter and bumped the No. 22 truck.

Top-10 leaders after 7 of 24: 1. Sauter-302, 2. Whitt- 290, 3. Dillon-272, 4. Crafton- 270, 5. Peters-255, 6. Hornaday 246, 7. Buescher-243, 8. Kligerman-228, 9. Bodine- 224, 10. Gaughan-215

Don’t mess with Richard

There was a confrontation after Saturday’s truck race between Richard Childress, owner of Coulter’s truck, and Kyle Busch.

NASCAR spokesman Kerry Tharp confirmed that NASCAR was looking into the rumors of an altercation that happened in the garage area about 30 minutes after the conclusion of the race.

According to reports, Childress took off his jewelry before approaching Busch in the garage area and struck him with his fist. The two were separated, traded insults and then Childress grabbed Busch in a headlock and struck him again before the incident was broken up.

Bill Janitz, Busch’s PR person said, “There won’t be any comment.”

NASCAR President, Mike Helton said on Sunday, “And what will happen today is that Richard will operate as the owner of Richard Childress Racing with some restrictions attached to it as to where he may go or not go.”

Helton said NASCAR would look at other sanctions or fines against Childress.

Weekend racing schedule: The Cup teams are at Pocono Speedway’s 2.5-mile track, while the Camping World Trucks are at the 1.5- mile Texas Motor Speedway in Ft. Worth, Texas. The Nationwide teams are off.

Fri., June 10, Camping World Trucks, race 8 of 24, Starting time: 9 p.m.; TV: SPEED.

Sun., June 12, Sprint Cup Pocono 500, race 14 of 36, Starting time: 1 p.m.; TV: TNT.

Racing trivia question: Which driver helped bring car owner Richard Childress to racing prominence?

Last week’s question: Which NASCAR series is Elliott Sadler competing in this year? Answer. He is driving the No. 2 Kevin Harvick Chevrolet in the Nationwide Series.

Contact the Racing Reporter at hodges@race500.com

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