Keselowski triumphs at Kroger 200

CLERMONT, Ind. — Everything had to go right for Brad Keselowski to chase down Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

Keselowski stayed close to the leaders all night and then got the luck he needed when a late accident tightened the field and he ran strong on the two green-white-checkered laps at the end to win the NASCAR Nationwide Series Kroger 200 on Saturday night.

After the field endured a series of problems in the late laps, Elliott Sadler crashed out in lap 198 while battling Keselowski and Stenhouse for the lead, bringing out another caution and setting up the shootout to the finish.

That played to Keselowski's strength.

"It certainly was a key factor in winning the race," he said. "I knew if I could get to the front row with the short-run speed that my car had, and knowing that Ricky was kind of struggling with long-run speed, I knew that was going to be a huge deciding factor in my favor."

Keselowski had earned the pole in his previous two races but hadn't won. This time he qualified second, put himself in position to challenge, then finished.

"It was an amazing break, an amazing opportunity, and as a team, we were able to capitalize on it and close out," he said.

It was a good overall day for Keselowski, who earlier in the day qualified fifth for today's Brickyard 400.

James Buescher finished second after finishing second in the Trucks Series race on Friday night.

"It was a really solid weekend," he said.

Stenhouse led more than 180 laps and threatened to run away from the field before finishing third. He led by nearly four seconds in lap 175 before an accident brought out a yellow flag.

"Coming to a short track as a driver, you really think you can make a lot of things happen, and we didn't make that last thing happen like we needed to," Stenhouse said.

Stenhouse still moved ahead of Reed Sorenson into the points lead. Sorenson finished ninth.

Action sports star Travis Pastrana was supposed to race on Saturday, but he fell at the X Games on Thursday night and broke his right foot and ankle.

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