Brad Keselowski wins NNS at Iowa

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Brad Keselowski will be taking a trophy with him back to Pocono Raceway. The reigning Sprint Cup champion overcame an early outside tire violation on pit road and overheating issues to win tonight’s NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Iowa Speedway.

Keselowski was seventh on a restart at Lap 206, but quickly moved toward the front and then took the lead at Lap 215.

A spin from Richard Harriman brought out another yellow at Lap 223, but on the subsequent restart, he held off a brief challenge from Brian Vickers and went on to win by half a second over Penske Racing teammate Sam Hornish Jr.

With the first part of a busy weekend complete, Keselowski will look for a critical victory on the Cup side in tomorrow’s 400 at the “Tricky Triangle.” But while his Iowa celebration will be short, he was still happy to put the No. 22 Penske Racing Ford in Victory Lane.

“I knew it was going to be about that last restart being really aggressive,” he told ESPN in Victory Lane. “And it was! But that’s what it’s gonna take to win these races, when you have to overcome adversity.

“This Ford Mustang was fast. We just needed to get up to the front, and when we were able to do that, it was ours to win.”

Vickers fell back to third at the finish, followed by Austin Dillon in fourth, and Kyle Larson in fifth.

NHRA Gatornationals: John Force has another spectacular motor explosion

Photo courtesy NHRA
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Legendary NHRA Funny Car driver John Force endured yet another spectacular motor explosion – his third in the NHRA’s first three national event races – during Friday’s qualifying at the Amalie Motor Oil Gatornationals in Gainesville, Florida.

It’s the kind of consistency the 16-time NHRA Funny Car champ could do without.

The 68-year-old Force came to Gainesville hoping to break the jinx that saw him endure explosions in both the season-opening Winternationals and the second race of the season in Phoenix.

Both motor explosions sent Force to the hospital for examination before he returned to the race track.

Friday, even though the motor in his Chevrolet Camaro blew up again (in the second round of qualifying), at least this time, Force didn’t wind up in the hospital.

He did have his right hand bandaged from a cut suffered in the explosion, but did not have to go to the hospital this time.

He even joked about not having to add yet another ambulance bill to the nearest Gainesville hospital.

But the explosion still proved costly.

“That was another body and that hurts the financial (bottomline),” Force said. “I was out $500,000 to $600,000, and now we are probably out $800,000, going on a million. In drag racing, you have to be tough.”

He ended the day qualifying 14th, not a very comfortable position with two more rounds of qualifying set for Saturday.

Force continues to be mystified why the motors keep exploding.

“I really thought we had it, I thought we were there,” Force said. “In the first round we drove it 500 feet and shut it off. It looked great. We ran it again that run and I was only going to drive it 800 feet even if we didn’t make The Show.”

Force will attempt to improve his qualifying spot during Saturday’s final two rounds to make Sunday’s eliminations.

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