Late race caution allows Keselowski to steal the win
Kyle Busch was left empty handed after dominating the Nationwide race.
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Brad Keselowski passed Kyle Busch on the final lap of a green-white-checker in the Nationwide race at Phoenix International Raceway to claim the win Saturday.
"Looked like Kyle slid up in three and four, but I don't know," Keselowski said. "I wasn't thinking. I was just going."
Busch finished second, Elliott Sadler third, and Ty Dillon fourth.
"Everything was fine. My car just wouldn't turn well after the restarts," Busch said. "Just wouldn't take off on the restarts."
While Keselowski won the race, Chase Elliott clinched the 2014 Nationwide Series championship with a fifth-place result. With the title, Elliott made series history by becoming the youngest-ever Nationwide Series champion. Also, a lock for the Rookie of the Year, Elliott became the first driver to win ROTY and a championship in the same year. It's also the first driver's title for JR Motorsports.
"I'm honestly in disbelief right now," Elliott said. "This is really a dream come true."
Elliott came into the race with a 48-point lead over JR Motorsports teammate Regan Smith. Only needing that margin to clinch at PIR, Elliott just needed to finish ahead of Smith to lock it up. Smith finished 10th. Smith remained in front of Elliott in the running order until he fell back in the final 25 laps.
Kyle Busch dominated the race, leading 187 laps. He started on the pole and only lost the lead through pit strategies under caution until the pass from Keselowski at the very end.
"I feel bad for Kyle. He dominated this race and deserved to win," Keselowski said. "It just didn't work out that way."
Busch first lost the lead when a handful of drivers including Smith took only two tires during the second caution of the race on lap 83.
A few laps after the restart, Busch was back up front, and he led the way until Keselowski, Elliott Sadler and Alex Bowman stayed out after a caution with 34 to go. Busch quickly got up to second as soon as the race returned to green and took the lead from Keselowski soon after, easily passing the driver of the No. 22.
Bowman ran out of gas, bringing out the fifth caution of the race that resulted in the green-white-checker attempt, raising questions of whether or not he had enough fuel to make it to the finish. Some drivers were not happy with the caution, including Kyle Busch, saying NASCAR threw it for no reason other than to try to stop him.
"I was kind of hoping those boys would rough each other a little bit," Sadler said of Busch and Keselowski.
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