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”
Sunday’s United States Grand Prix could go down as a memorable race in Formula 1 history as both Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes bid to clinch their fourth world championships (live on NBC and NBC Sports app from 2pm ET).
Hamilton gave his chances of wrapping up the drivers’ title and re-claiming the crown he lost to Nico Rosberg in 2016 a world of good by charging to pole position on Saturday at the Circuit of The Americas.
However, with chief rival Sebastian Vettel starting second for Ferrari and a 16-point swing required, it seems likely that the title race could continue to next weekend’s Mexican Grand Prix.
Nevertheless, here are the permutations for Lewis Hamilton to win his fourth F1 world title on Sunday in Austin, Texas.
- If Lewis Hamilton wins the race (25 points) and Sebastian Vettel finishes sixth or lower (maximum eight points), he is world champion.
- If Hamilton finishes second (18 points), Sebastian Vettel finishes ninth or lower (maximum two points), and Valtteri Bottas does not win the race, he is world champion.
While Hamilton’s coronation seems likely to be postponed until the next race in Mexico, Mercedes looks nailed-on to wrap up its fourth consecutive constructors’ championship in Sunday’s USGP.
The German marque currently leads Ferrari by 145 points in the teams’ standings, and requires a lead of 129 after the race to clinch the crown.
As a result, a double top-four finish from Hamilton and Bottas would be enough for Mercedes to wrap up the title, regardless of how Ferrari fares.
The success would see Mercedes become just the fourth team in F1 history take four straight constructors’ titles, following Red Bull (2010 to 2013), Ferrari (1999 to 2004) and McLaren (1988 to 1991).
The United States Grand Prix is live on NBC and the NBC Sports app from 2pm ET on Sunday.