Keselowski wins rain-shortened NNS race at Kentucky

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Brad Keselowski was declared the winner of tonight’s NASCAR Nationwide Series event at Kentucky Speedway after a thunderstorm forced NASCAR’s hand in calling the race after 170 of the scheduled 200 laps. The race had been under a short red-flag period for precipitation at the time of NASCAR’s decision.

Keselowski was eighth off of pit road after a wave of stops under caution at Lap 143, but quickly charged up to the front. He got past Matt Crafton for second at Lap 150, then chased down Elliott Sadler in a few extra laps to take the lead for good.

At Lap 163, the yellow flag emerged again for rain and on Lap 170, the cars were called down to pit road in what would eventually prove to be the end of the event.

“It’s certainly been a great race for us – I didn’t want it to end this way, but what a great car,” Keselowski told ESPN in Victory Lane. “We drove it to the front – didn’t qualify where we wanted, but [crew chief] Jeremy Bullins and the team did a great job.

“I feel like I need to drive this car. The last two drivers before me have won races in it…This is the type of car that you get once a year if you’re lucky. Driving this car, I feel like Jimmie Johnson – it’s just a rocket.”

Upon receiving word that he was the winner, Keselowski drove the No. 22 Penske Racing Ford onto the tri-oval portion of the speedway and proceeded to do a celebratory burnout. His efforts, however, yielded no plumes of smoke from the rain-soaked track.

Sadler finished second, followed by Crafton in third, Brian Vickers in fourth and Kyle Busch in fifth.

Verstappen doesn’t want F1 season to end after recent run of form

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Max Verstappen says he is not ready for the 2017 Formula 1 season to come to an end after enjoying a run of strong form through the closing stages of the campaign.

Verstappen endured a rocky run of form through to the end of the European season that saw him suffer a number of reliability issues and score just a single podium finish, taking third in China back in April.

However, the Dutchman has rallied to score more points than any other driver in the last five races, including victories in Malaysia and Mexico, as well as a podium finish in Japan.

Verstappen heads into next weekend’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix chasing a third win of the year to sign off, but joked he does not want the season to end just as he’s got into a good groove.

“We will, of course, try and end the season with a strong result in Abu Dhabi,” Verstappen said. “Last year was actually quite a good race after skipping a pit stop following a spin at Turn 1, it was hard to manage the tires to the end of the race but we did it and finished fourth.

“I would say that my favorite part of the track is at Turns 2 and 3, the fast left, right. It’s also very cool driving underneath the hotel and racing in the darkness with all the lights.

“The final sector at Yas Marina is actually quite technical so you have to be really precise there, but it should also be our strongest part of the track.

“There are quite a few overtaking opportunities to make the race interesting, before the long straight at the hairpin and then at the end of the straight under braking for the next chicane section.

“Abu Dhabi is the last race on the calendar, but I don’t actually want the season to end. I’m really fired up at the moment and I just want to keep going.

“The nice thing will be to spend some time with friends and family over the winter break and then I will look ahead to January and get back into training before it all starts again.”