Kenseth wins as Busch, Keselowski clash in Kansas Nationwide race
Kansas City, KS (SportsNetwork.com) - Matt Kenseth won the Kansas Lottery 300, but Kyle Busch and Brad Keselowski captured the headlines in Saturday's Nationwide Series race at Kansas Speedway after they tangled in the closing laps.
Busch and Keselowski forced the 11th and final caution in this 300-mile race when Busch bumped Keselowski from behind and spun him out coming out of turn 4 on lap 188. Both drivers were battling for second place at the time of their incident.
After climbing out of his heavily-damaged car, Keselowski jogged towards pit road while pointing his finger at Busch's No. 54 Joe Gibbs Racing crew members to express his displeasure.
"I got wrecked by a dirty driver," Keselowski said. "There is no other way of putting it. I have raced him really cool over the last year to be respectful to him and try to repair our relationship. I've watched him wreck my trucks and cost him from winning race. He put me in the fence in Chicago in the truck race, and the Nationwide races, he has been pulling this (stuff). It is not gonna last I can tell you that."
Finishing fourth, Busch pointed out after the race that his contact with Keselowski was not intentional.
"It was hard racing," Busch said. "There were a lot of moments where I felt a little crowded. I just got real tight coming off of (turn) four. I was tight underneath him, behind him and everything else. I thought I had a run at him and stayed on the gas, so I could get a run on him and get to his quarter. I side-drafted him down the straightaway. I got too tight and inside his wake. It was just too close to him, and I spun him out."
Keselowski hinted at possible retaliation, particularly in the Sprint Cup Series where Busch is currently third in the Chase point standings. Keselowski did not make the Chase after winning the Sprint Cup championship last year.
After the last restart with five laps to go, Kenseth pulled away from the field and then scored his second Nationwide win of the season and the 28th of his career. Kenseth passed Keselowski to take the lead for good with 35 laps remaining.
"We had a fast car the whole time," Kenseth said. "We had to battle a lot of different problems and lost track position and everything, but it all worked out at the end."
On Sunday, Kenseth will attempt to win a Sprint Cup race at Kansas for the third consecutive time. He won last year's Chase event here in his final season with Roush Fenway Racing. The April 21 Cup race at this track marked his second victory as driver of the No. 20 Toyota for JGR. Kenseth qualified seventh on Friday. He presently holds an eight-point lead over Jimmie Johnson and a 12-point advantage over his teammate Busch.
Paul Menard finished second after he overtook Regan Smith for the position on the final lap. Smith, who led the most laps with 81, finished third. Justin Allgaier completed the top-five.
Austin Dillon's sixth-place run coupled with a 17th-place finish for Sam Hornish Jr. allowed Dillon to take an eight-point lead over Hornish in the Nationwide championship standings. Hornish entered this race with a four-point advantage over Dillon.
Regan Smith is 35 points out of the lead, as four races remain.
10/05 22:04:19 ET