Keselowski Claims Sta-Green 200 Victory

Photo - Kyle Magda

Photo – Kyle Magda

Brad Keselowski found victory lane at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in the NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) race Saturday.

Keselowski kick-started his perfect Saturday by leading Sprint Cup Series practice and then winning the pole for the NNS Sta-Green 200.

“Cup car was fast this morning,” Keselowski said.  “Nationwide car in qualifying, we had a lot of adversity and we fought through that and got the pole which was very rewarding.”

Kyle Busch started to run Keselowski down late, but the No. 22 Ford had enough to hold off the late charge from behind.

“Car was really fast at the beginning,” Keselowski said of the race.  “Seemed like we level off to Kyle (Busch) the very last run.  I thought he might have been a little bit faster than we were.  It was all about getting through lapped traffic which was a bit of a dogfight.”

Busch led the first 34 laps before being passed by Keselowski on the first green-flag run of the race.

The Nevada driver started to reel-in the No. 22 Ford late in the race, but couldn’t get by towards the end.

“We got what we could out of our Monster Energy Camry,” Busch said.  “We felt good that we’d be a solid top-five car and should be a second-place car here this weekend and that’s where we ended up.”

The No. 22 team is starting to slowly chip away at the No. 54 Joe Gibbs Racing team’s lead in the owner standings.

A nice surprise in today’s race was Roush-Fenway Racing rookie driver Chris Buescher, who wheeled his No. 60 Ford to a fifth-place finish in Saturday’s race.

“It was pretty awesome for us,” Buescher said. “I’m excited.  Our Ford EcoBoost Mustang was really good all day.  We had a good piece under us, it was just a matter of track position.”

Buescher’s crew chief Scott Graves left the driver out on track during the last caution of the race and the No. 60 Ford had enough fuel for the good finish.

“They made a call that was very questionable to a lot of people.” Buescher added. “We were able to pull it off which was awesome and gained a lot of track position which we didn’t have early (in the race).”

Buescher will battle with points leader Regan Smith, Elliott Sadler and Brian Scott in the next Dash-4-Cash at Chicagoland Speedway this Saturday.

“It’s definitely a cool opportunity,” Buescher said of the honor.  “It’s something I was never able to participate in and should be a lot of fun.”

Smith won the first Nationwide Dash-4-Cash race at New Hampshire and pocketed an extra $100,000.

“It feels happy when I get it,” Smith said.  “That’s good.  After our day, it was kinda nice to still be able to take care of it of that and get to Chicagoland and do it as well.”

Saturday’s race was also Brad Keselowski’s first NNS start at the Magic Mile since 2012, a race in which he won.

Ryan Preece ran triple-duty this weekend by competing in both NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Events on Friday and Saturday, as well as the NNS race.  Preece came home in the 14th position in the Sta-Green 200 for Tommy Baldwin Racing.

The NASCAR Nationwide Series will head to Chicagoland Speedway this Saturday night for a 300-mile race.  Joey Logano is the defending race winner.                                                                                                                                                                  Sta-Green 200 Results

#22 Brad Keselowski

#54 Kyle Busch

#20 Matt Kenseth

#42 Kyle Larson

#60 Chris Buescher (R)

#11 Elliott Sadler

#2 Brian Scott

#9 Chase Elliott

#6 Trevor Bayne

#7 Regan Smith

#16 Ryan Reed (R)

#3 Ty Dillon (R)

#31 Dylan Kwasniewski (R)

#36 Ryan Preece

#01 Landon Cassill

#62 Brendan Gaughan

#28 J.J. Yeley

#39 Ryan Sieg

#33 Paul Menard

#51 Jeremy Clements

#5 Austin Theriault

#99 James Buescher

#4 Jeffrey Earnhardt (relieved by Matt DiBenedetto)

#55 Brennan Newberry

#44 Matt Frahm

#14 Eric McClure

#17 Tanner Berryhill (R)

#70 Derrike Cope

#52 Joey Gase

#43 Dakoda Armstrong (R)

#86 Jake Crum

#19 Mike Bliss

#74 Kevin Lepage

#87 Josh Reaume

#23 Carlos Contreras

#93 Ryan Ellis

#72 Harrison Rhodes

#40 Josh Wise

#10 Blake Koch

#46 Matt DiBenedetto