Brad Keselowski sails past Ryan Blaney and on to checkered flag in NNS race at Charlotte

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CONCORD, N.C. – Brad Keselowski passed Penske Racing teammate Ryan Blaney with 14 laps to go and sailed on to victory in Friday night’s Drive for the Cure 300 Nationwide Series race at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Overcoming tire issues, Keselowski earned his fourth win in the NNS this season, his 31st career NNS win and also his third NNS win in his career at CMS.

What’s more, Keselowski has now made nine starts in the NNS this season and has a finishing average of 1.9. His lowest finish in that nine-race stretch has been fourth.

“That was looking to be a long night, but we got it tuned in there,” Keselowski told ESPN in a post-race interview.

Later in the CMS media center, Keselowski added, “It was a night of adversity. We all got really nervous, then we lost a tire and I thought this was going to be a downward spiral, but my hat’s off to Jeremy (crew chief Jeremy Bullins) and the crew because they got us back in it.”

Fellow Sprint Cup regulars Kyle Busch and Matt Kenseth finished second and third, respectively.

“Our competition was just better than us and beat us,” Busch said of Keselowski.

Added Kenseth, “It was okay, probably the most competitive we’ve been this year with me driving the No. 20. I wanted to win the race, but I was close.”

Blaney hung on to finish fourth, followed by Cup rookie Kyle Larson.

Sixth through 10th were Chris Buescher, Trevor Bayne, NNS points leader Chase Elliott, Elliott Sadler and Brian Scott.

“I’m disappointed with it, I really don’t like where we finished,” Elliott said. “We still have some work to do and hopefully we can find it by Texas.”

Regan Smith overcame early rear suspension problems to finish 11th.

“We’re not happy with 11th, but I think we can take a lot from it,” Smith said. “We had a race car that at times was capable of being up front. We lost some track position and earned some back.”

Alex Bowman was 12th, followed by Ryan Sieg, Dylan Kwasniewski, Ryan Reed, Brendan Gaughan, Landon Cassill, Mike Bliss, Dakoda Armstrong and David Starr.

Ross Chastain was 21st, followed by Jeremy Clements, Kevin Swindell, Corey LaJoie, Derrike Cope, Joey Gase, Jamie Dick, Chad Boat, Carlos Contreras and Ty Dillon.

Wrapping up the 40-driver field were James Buescher in 31st, followed by Eric McClure, Cale Conley, Timmy Hill, Jeff Green, Matt Dibenedetto, Tanner Berryhill, Will Kimmel III, JJ Yeley and Jeffrey Earnhardt.

The 200-lap race around the 1.5-mile fast track was marred by two big wrecks.

The first occurred on the opening lap, right after the green flag fell to start the race, and involved 12 cars.

MORE: No sooner does green flag fall, NNS race has 12-car wreck

The second big wreck was a six-car affair 75 laps into the race. It was an especially costly mishap for Ty Dillon, who came into the race ranked third in the NNS standings.

MORE: Another big wreck in NNS race; Ty Dillon to likely take big hit in points

Dillon finished 30th in the race and dropped to fifth in the overall season standings, now 64 points behind Dillon.

As for the rest of the NNS standings, Elliott retains his stranglehold on the top spot, and also opened a more significant lead, posting a 42-point edge over second-ranked Regan Smith.

Brian Scott moved up one spot in the rankings to third, 61 points back, while Elliott Sadler also moved up one position to fourth, 63 points behind Elliott.

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Travis Pastrana leads flag-to-flag in Nitro Rallycross as the series returns to America

Pastrana Nitro Rallycross
Barry Chin / Getty Images
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Travis Pastrana waited until the final trip around ERX Motor Park to take his Joker Lap – a longer way around the course that all drivers must do at least once in a race – and came out cleanly to win his first Nitro Rallycross race of 2022. With this win, Pastrana is the third driver to visit Victory Lane in the first three rounds of the 2022-23 season.

“This is the closest to a motocross track,” Pastrana told Katie Osborne on Peacock. “Thank you so much for a beautiful facility. It’s been a rough start to the season and I’m so thankful to be back out here. We had a good run in the side-by-side and now for this. This is much needed.”

Another thing needed was the sense of improvement. And Pastrana earned that affirmation each time he completed a lap around the course.

“I get my lap times read out and they said ‘fastest time of the week,’ ‘fastest time of the week’ (each time around) ” Pastrana said. “This is really special. We’re a long way behind in the championship, but welcome to America.”

In a pre-race press conference, Pastrana said that as Nitro Rallycross heads back to America, it was time for an American to win and he made good on his promise. Pastrana took the early lead over Robin Larsson and let the back of his Subaru hang out, taking risks he might not otherwise take if not for his need to win.

How to Watch Nitro Rallycross

Larsson’s second-place finish completed a perfect sweep of the podium in three rounds. In fact, he has not yet finished worse than second after winning the opening round at Lydden Hill in the United Kingdom and finishing second at Strangnas in Sweeden.

Fraser McConnel rounded out the podium for his best result of the season. He finished fourth in each of the first two rounds.

Last year, Pastrana finished second in this race to Scott Speed before narrowly edging his teammate for the championship.

Andreas Bakkerud crashed in prelims, but rebounded to finish just off the block in fourth. Bakkerud won the second round ahead of his teammate Larsson.

Oliver Bennett completed the top five.

Minneapolis is the first of three rounds scheduled in the United States. Next on the schedule is Glen Helen, Calif. on Octo 30 and then Phoenix at Wild Horse Pass on November 12th. Nitro Rallycross will then head to Saudi Arabia in December to continue their 2022-23 season.