Keselowski wins NNS at Richmond

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Kyle Busch’s recent assault on the NASCAR Nationwide Series was halted tonight at Richmond International Raceway, as Brad Keselowski took the lead from him with nine laps to go and held on to win the ToyotaCare 250 at “The Action Track.”

Busch was aiming for his fourth consecutive NNS victory and fifth of the season, but was unable to hold back Keselowski and Kevin Harvick, who attempted to muster a final charge against Keselowski before settling for the runner-up position. Behind the third-place Busch was Brian Vickers in fourth and Regan Smith in fifth.

Keselowski, Busch and Harvick dueled heavily for the win in the final stages of the race, with Harvick pulling ahead of Keselowski briefly after a restart on Lap 221. A few laps later, Busch managed to pass them both but couldn’t stop Keselowski from taking the point for good at Lap 241.

After the race, short-track tempers flared on pit road between Brian Scott and Nelson Piquet, Jr., which culminated in a personal confrontation that saw Piquet appear to kick Scott below the belt. Both drivers were called to the Nationwide hauler for the incident, which drew plenty of comments along the Twittersphere.

Among the more humorous tweets was one from Sprint Cup driver Clint Bowyer, who chimed in: “A guy might need to think about using a “cup” while driving in the @NASCAR_NNS series from here out. #hieeyah Fellow Cup star Denny Hamlin also had a good one: “I can just picture Brian walking up and Nelson is in a full on crane stance just waiting to drop the hammer”

Position of F1 start lights altered to compensate for safety halo

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MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — The position of start lights will be altered on Formula One tracks this season, in a bid to ensure the drivers’ line of vision is not impeded by the controversial halo protection device.

The halo is a titanium structure introduced this year in a bid to ramp up driver safety, forming a ring around the cockpit top. It is designed to protect the drivers’ head from loose debris and offer better safety during eventual collisions.

Although drivers largely understand the need for it, very few like it. They are worried it impedes visibility, it looks ugly and also that fans will no longer be able to identify a driver properly from his race helmet. Drivers also take longer to climb in and out of their cars.

Formula One’s governing body has addressed concerns and asked every circuit “to make the lights at a standard height above the track,” FIA race director Charlie Whiting said.

“Pole position seems to be the worst case scenario with the halo,” Whiting added at the season-opening Australian GP. “Maybe the driver can’t quite see the lights, or see only half of them, and he might have to move his head too much.”

The new start lights were positioned lower for Friday’s first two practice sessions at Albert Park. Drivers were also allowed the rare chance to rehearse grid starts at the end of both sessions.

“We haven’t normally allowed practice starts on the grid here because it’s quite a tight timetable,” Whiting said. “What I thought would be a good idea was to give the driver sight of those lights, rather than for the first time on Sunday evening.”

A repeat set of lights has been moved from its usual position halfway up the grid to a more convenient position to the left.

“Those repeat lights were normally halfway up the grid, and they were fitted round about 2009, when the rear wings became higher on the cars,” Whiting said. “But now the wings have been lowered, there’s no need for those halfway up the grid.”