Brad Keselowski wins pole for today’s Nationwide race in N.H.

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Brad Keselowski saved the best for last in NASCAR Nationwide Series qualifying at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

With less than 30 seconds remaining, Keselowski knocked Kyle Busch off the pole position for today’s Sta-Green 200 (3:30 p.m. ET, check local listings) and then improved on his final qualifying lap for good measure.

The Team Penske driver officially claimed his 17th career Nationwide pole with a lap of 130.304 mph.

“We just missed it by a little bit on our first run during the second [round], and it didn’t seem like anything was going our way in the first [round]”, Keselowski told Fox Sports.

“We had someone spin out when we were running our lap, but the guys kept working on the car and gave me more opportunities, and we were able to capitalize at the end. I’m really proud of their effort.”

Keselowski added that everyone on the No. 22 team wanted to take another crack at the pole late in the second round.

“We all were thinking the same thing and that’s what a great team does,” he said. “They jell and they think the same thing together.”

In five Nationwide starts this season, Keselowski has won once (Las Vegas) and earned Top-3 finishes in all of them, including three second-place results.

Two more Cup regulars, Matt Kenseth and Kyle Larson, will make up the second row for today’s race, followed by Nationwide regulars Brian Scott and Chase Elliott in Row 3. Paul Menard and Trevor Bayne are in Row 4, and Chris Buescher and Dylan Kwasniewski are in Row 5.

Nationwide points leader Regan Smith, who leads Elliott Sadler by 12 points going into today, is starting 12th on the outside of Row 6 with Brendan Gaughan. Sadler did not make the second round of qualifying, and will start 16th.

NASCAR NATIONWIDE SERIES AT NEW HAMPSHIRE – QUALIFYING RESULTS

Hamilton: McLaren could help create four-team F1 title fight in 2018

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Lewis Hamilton says the Mercedes Formula 1 team cannot afford to let up in its push to improve ahead of a fiercer fight at the front of the field in 2018 – potentially including former team McLaren.

Hamilton clinched his fourth F1 drivers’ title in Mexico at the end of October as Mercedes continued its perfect record of championships since the introduction of the new V6 turbo hybrid engines in 2014.

The team faced a stiffer challenge in 2017 thanks to a resurgent Ferrari, while Red Bull also posed a threat towards the end of the season, setting the stage for another close fight next year.

Hamilton is expecting both Ferrari and Red Bull to remain a force at the front of the pack, but also feels McLaren could join the fight after ditching Honda in favor of a Renault engine supply for 2018.

“When I’m training and preparing for a new season, I firmly believe that we can be contenders for the next championship. It may turn out to be not possible, but you have to have that mindset,” Hamilton said.

“If you go in with expectations of finishing fifth, it’s not going to work. You’ve got to gear yourself up to win.

“Next year, McLaren will have Renault engines, then we may see four teams fighting for the championship. I think Red Bull will be quicker and Ferrari for sure will be fast again.

“We can’t stand still – we have to keep moving forwards.”

Hamilton started his F1 career with McLaren back in 2007, winning his maiden world title in 2008 before leaving the team for Mercedes at the end of the 2012 season.