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From the Marbles

Brad Keselowski strikes late to score Nationwide win at LOR

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CLERMONT, Ind. — A decidedly clean race Saturday night turned wild in time for Brad Keselowski to grab the lead and later the checkered flag in what is possibly the last hurrah for the Nationwide Series' original short tracks.

Keselowski restarted on the outside of the front row on a Lap 199 restart after leader Ricky Stenhouse Jr. chose the opposite, powered by and held on to win the Kroger 200 at Lucas Oil Raceway. The .686-mile bullring is losing its 30-year-old date on the Nationwide Series schedule next year.

"I've never missed a race here as a fan, as a kid, as a mechanic or as a driver," Keselowski said, before noting he had some family and friends from Michigan in the stands. "It's a privilege to win around people you grew up with and you know."

Stenhouse dominated most of the way Saturday night, leading 189 of the 204 total laps. He looked like he'd drive off in to the proverbial Indiana sunset, as laps were clicking off fast enough for the race to finish before the sun was completely down. Then, Michael Annett and Tim Andrews tangled in Turn 3. {ysp:more}

As the wrecked cars sat against the turn three wall, Annett's Rusty Wallace Inc. Steve Wallace teammate lost control at full speed and slid passenger door-first into Annett's front-end, demolishing both cars. The impact spewed debris and fluid across the Turn 3 pavement and forced a 12-minute red flag.

After the restart, Stenhouse was chased by teammate Trevor Bayne before Bayne's engine expired and dropped fluid to bring out a caution. Under the same yellow, as NASCAR gathered the cars the double-file restart, the new second-place driver of Justin Allgaier watched helplessly as his front end caught fire. Allgaier pulled off and hurried out, giving Keselowski — in fourth — an advantage over third-place Elliott Sadler.

NASCAR rules call for the individual lines to move forward once the field is bunched forward if a car pulls off to avoid using more laps under caution to re-sort the field.

Keselowski used the advantage to complete the pass of Stenhouse during the first lap back green, and then held on again for a green-white-checkered after the two Kevin Harvick Inc. machines crashed on Lap 199.

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