Keselowski wins rain-shortened NNS race at Kentucky

Leave a comment

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.

INDYCAR: Newgarden, Sato quickest in first of 2 Friday practices at Road America

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Josef Newgarden was quickest in the first of Friday’s two INDYCAR practice sessions at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin.

The 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series champion covered the 4.048-mile, 14-turn course with a best lap of 1:43.0477, followed by Takuma Sato (1:43.4729), Alexander Rossi (1:43.5603), Robert Wickens (1:43.5774) and Marco Andretti (1:43.8825).

Sixth-quickest was Tony Kanaan (1:44.0429), followed by Spencer Pigot (1:44.1080), Zach Veach (1:44.1306), Scott Dixon (1:44.1643) and Matheius Leist (1:44.2963).

Alfonso Celis Jr., making his Verizon IndyCar Series debut and with Juncos Racing, was 22nd quickest in the 23-car field at 1:44.9164, while Gabby Chaves was the slowest driver on the course at 1:46.4485.

While there were no significant incidents during the 45-minute session, a number of drivers struggled in several turns, primarily due to some lingering puddles from overnight rain, as well as on rumble strips that threw their cars into adjacent grass areas.

The second practice session today takes place at 4:15 p.m. ET.

A third practice kicks off Saturday’s busy day at Noon ET, followed by qualifying at 4 p.m. ET, the second round of qualifying at 4:40 p.m. ET and the third and final round of qualifying at 5 p.m. ET.

The weekend’s main event, Sunday’s KOHLER Grand Prix, takes the green flag shortly after 1 p.m. ET. Make sure to tune in to NBCSN for the live telecast of the race.

We’ll have the full practice grid and driver quotes shortly. Please check back soon.

Follow @JerryBonkowski