Penske Racing finally got to victory lane in NASCAR at the Indianapolis Saturday afternoon in the Nationwide Series when Brad Keselowski pulled into victory lane. Penske had won numerous races at Indy in the Indy Car Series but now Brad Keselowski delivered a victory to the captain in NASCAR. In the inaugural Nationwide Series race at Indy, we had a race full of action. Not a race full of carnage but NASCAR had a say in the race outcome which created action. On the final restart, Elliot Sadler was supposed to restart second but when Austin Dillon gave him a push from behind; Sadler went ahead of Keselowski before they crossed the line and NASCAR black flagged Sadler.
That forced Sadler to serve a pass through penalty and that ruined Sadler’s chances of kissing the bricks at the end of the race. Following the race, NASCAR officials addressed the media and said Sadler did not jump the restart but now they can’t reverse the outcome. The start of the race had some questions flying when Kyle Busch and Denny Hamlin crossed the line first before pole-sitter Kasey Kahne. NASCAR did not black flag Busch because they said Kahne didn’t go when the green-flag dropped.
Kyle Busch went on to lead the very first lap in a Nationwide Series race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The competition caution came out on lap 15. The leaders pitted, and Hamlin led won the race off pit road to inherit the lead. On lap 24, Brad Keselowski took the lead for the first time when he passed Denny Hamlin. Kyle Busch stormed back to the front after falling back during pit stops and took the lead again on lap 28.
On lap 39, the second caution came out for a wreck involving Danica Patrick and Reed Sorenson. Patrick went into turn one too hot and got into the back of Sorenson, turning Sorenson around. When Sorenson came back up the track, he got into Danica and Danica slammed the wall hard, ending her day. Danica said in an interview with ESPN that “I didn’t mean to take him out.” Under caution, Kurt Busch driving the No.1 car for Phoenix Racing stalled on the track and eventually took his car behind the wall. Busch ended the day finishing 34th. At the halfway point in the race, Kyle Busch led followed by Brad Keselowski, Ty Dillon, Joey Logano and Sam Hornish Jr.
With 37 laps to go, the yellow flag flew for debris. The leaders pitted and strategy shook the field up. Drivers like Sam Hornish Jr and Michael Annett took two tires and came off pit road first. The leader coming into the pits was Kyle Busch and when Busch took four tires, he fell back to the ninth position. Hornish Jr led on the restart and with 29 to go, his Penske Racing teammate Brad Keselowski took the lead from him. With the race winding down, Keselowski looked like he had this race won if it stayed green but the caution came out on lap 73. Brian Scott got loose coming off of turn four and spun his car around but he didn’t hit anything.
On the restart, Brad Keselowski was the leader but when Austin Dillon gave teammate Sadler a shove from behind, Sadler crossed the line before Keselowski did. NASCAR officials black flagged Sadler because of that and that cost Sadler the race and likely the ‘Dash 4 Cash’ prize of $100,000. After the race, NASCAR officials admitted they were wrong and shouldn’t have penalized Sadler but they can’t fix the outcome now. That call cost Sadler the race and it cost him a shot at history. After Sadler went down pit road to serve his penalty, Brad Keselowski became the new leader.
Keselowski cruised to the finish and became the first driver to win a Nationwide Series race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Keselowski’s Penske Racing teammate Sam Hornish Jr finished second making it a Penske one-two finish. After years of Roger Penske trying to win a NASCAR event at Indianapolis, he finally did this afternoon and did it in one-two fashion. The same way Penske won his first Daytona 500. This victory was also Penske’s 100th NASCAR win.
A great run by Jeremy Clements gave him a tenth place finish, his second top ten finish of 2012. Truck regular Ty Dillon also posted a nice finish of third. Ty also beat his brother Austin, which is a major accomplishment for Austin’s younger brother. The Nationwide ‘Dash 4 Cash’ 100,000 dollars went to Michael Annett who finished sixth. To round out the ‘Dash 4 Cash’ results, Stenhouse Jr finished second, Allgaier third and Sadler fourth. Next week at Iowa is the ‘Dash 4 Cash’ finale and the drivers competing will be Sam Hornish Jr, Austin Dillon, Michael Annett and Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
A great day for Penske Racing ends in triumph, now Penske Racing and the rest of the Sprint Cup Series teams will go out and try to win the Cup Series race tomorrow at Indianapolis.
Results via Nascar.com
|1||8||22||Brad Keselowski||Dodge||Discount Tire||0||100||Running|
|2||13||12||Sam Hornish Jr.||Dodge||Alliance Truck Parts||43/1||100||Running|
|4||4||18||Denny Hamlin||Toyota||Sport Clips||0||100||Running|
|5||7||3||Austin Dillon *||Chevrolet||AdvoCare||39/0||100||Running|
|6||21||43||Michael Annett||Ford||Pilot Flying J / M&M’s Snack Mix||38/0||100||Running|
|7||6||20||Joey Logano||Toyota||GameStop / Damage Inc.||0||100||Running|
|8||9||33||Paul Menard||Chevrolet||Menards / Rheem||0||100||Running|
|9||10||6||Ricky Stenhouse Jr.||Ford||Sam’s Club / Cargill||35/0||100||Running|
|11||12||44||Mike Bliss||Toyota||Bandit Chippers||33/0||100||Running|
|12||14||31||Justin Allgaier||Chevrolet||Brandt / PT&E||32/0||100||Running|
|13||19||199||Travis Pastrana||Toyota||Boost Mobile||31/0||100||Running|
|14||15||11||Brian Scott||Toyota||Dollar General||30/0||100||Running|
|15||5||2||Elliott Sadler||Chevrolet||OneMain Financial||29/0||100||Running|
|16||24||81||Jason Bowles *||Toyota||American Majority||28/0||100||Running|
|17||40||88||Cole Whitt *||Chevrolet||TaxSlayer.com||27/0||100||Running|
|18||28||87||Joe Nemechek||Toyota||AM / FM Energy Wood & Pellet Stoves||26/0||100||Running|
|19||26||124||Kenny Wallace||Toyota||Family Farmers||25/0||100||Running|
|20||23||01||Mike Wallace||Chevrolet||G&K Services||24/0||100||Running|
|22||2||54||Kyle Busch||Toyota||Monster Energy||0||100||Running|
|23||37||41||Timmy Hill||Ford||Rick Ware Racing||21/0||100||Running|
|24||34||14||Eric McClure||Toyota||Hefty / Reynolds Wrap||20/0||100||Running|
|25||1||38||Kasey Kahne||Chevrolet||Great Clips||0||99||Running|
|28||41||52||Tim Schendel||Chevrolet||Better Business Bureau||16/0||99||Running|
|29||22||19||Tayler Malsam||Toyota||G-Oil / Noah’s Light Foundation||15/0||99||Running|
|30||17||70||Johanna Long *||Chevrolet||KeenParts.com / Riley||14/0||90||Running|
|31||42||23||Robert Richardson Jr.||Chevrolet||North Texas Pipe||13/0||79||Running|
|32||29||108||Kyle Fowler||Ford||Randy Hill Racing||12/0||72||Engine|
|33||27||198||Reed Sorenson||Ford||Shelby Engine Co.||11/0||49||Accident|
|36||35||10||Jeff Green||Toyota||TriStar Motorsports||9/1||23||Vibration|
|37||38||15||Scott Riggs||Ford||Rick Ware Racing||0||18||Rear Gear|
|38||33||40||Erik Darnell||Chevrolet||Key Motorsports||6/0||17||Engine|
|39||43||50||T.J. Bell||Chevrolet||Beaver Bail Bonds||5/0||10||Overheating|
|40||36||86||Kevin Lepage||Ford||Deware Racing Group||4/0||8||Drive Shaft|
|42||31||42||Josh Wise||Chevrolet||Key Motorsports||0||4||Electrical|
|43||32||47||Stephen Leicht||Chevrolet||Key Motorsports||0||0||Engine|