For only the second time, the stars of the NASCAR Nationwide Series strapped into the Nationwide Series next generation car. They were first seen in Daytona for the Fourth of July weekend night race won by Dale Earnhardt Jr. Junior wouldn’t be running at the Michigan International Speedway. That left the door wide open for someone else to take their first win in the new car. This win would be all the more important because of the bragging rights that come from winning in the backyard of the American automotive industry.
NASCAR.com Live Blog
Pre-Race: Brad Keselowski is on the pole for the fifth time in 2010 after turning in a lap at 179.556 mph during qualifying earlier today. Ryan Truex — Martin’s brother — will start second today just a few weeks after making his Nationwide Series debut at Gateway. Colin Braun is third, Jason Leffler fourth and Ryan Newman fifth. Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Justin Allgaier, Trevor Bayne, Joey Logano and Kyle Busch round out the top 10.
Johnny Chapman failed to qualify for the race.
[SM: There were 44 cars that attempted to qualify for the race and the driver of Morgan Shepard’s #89 was the only one who DNQ’ed.]
Pre-Race: Today’s race marks the second appearance of the next-generation Nationwide Series car.
Pre-Race, 1:20 p.m.: Skies around the track are heavily overcast. It’s not raining at the moment, but weather is going to be a concern this afternoon.
Pre-Race, 2 p.m.: Pastor Doug Bradshaw is giving today’s invocation.
Pre-Race, 2:01 p.m.: Mike Quick sings the National Anthem.
Pre-Race, 2:03 p.m.: A B-17 and a B-25 from a nearby aviation museum do today’s fly-over.
[SM: Actually, only the B-25 was there. If there was a B-17, it was invisible.]
Pre-Race, 2:08 p.m.: Matthew Stamm and the band Saving Abel give the command to fire engines.
2:11 p.m.: Cars are beginning to roll off pit road.
2:18 p.m.: Green … green … green!!!
Lap 1: Cars are three- and four-wide through the first couple of corners, and they try it again at the other end of the track.
Lap 3: Because of the new car, handling in traffic is a concern as the race gets under way. So far, so good …
Lap 3: Ryan Newman and Paul Menard slap doors as they enter turn one.
Lap 4: Ryan Newman is on pit road, suspecting that he has a tire going down due to the contact with Paul Menard.
Lap 13: Brad Keselowski has eased out to a 3.3-second lead over runnerup Ryan Truex.
Lap 18: Ryan Truex has chopped a little more than a second off Brad Keselowski’s advantage. Truex is now about 2.1 seconds behind Keselowski.
Lap 26: Jeremy Clements has a tire go down right in front of leader Brad Keselowski, but there’s no caution.
[SM: Clements lost a right-rear and almost spun into the #22. Very close call for Keselowski.]
Lap 31: A lap down, Danica Patrick brings her JR Motorsports Chevrolet to pit road for service.
[SM: She screwed up coming back onto the track. She pulled right onto the race track instead of coming up to speed on the apron. That earned her a drive-through penalty.
Lap 35: Ryan Truex is pitting.
Lap 37: Trevor Bayne is in his stall.
Lap 38: Brad Keselowski, Brian Scott, Justin Allgaier and Kyle Busch are pitting. Allgaier’s car is showing damage along the right side of his car.
Lap 39: Jason Leffler and Joey Logano get their cars serviced.
Lap 40: Paul Menard, Kevin Harvick, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Carl Edwards drop off the track and onto pit road. The gas can gets stuck on Harvick’s car.
Lap 41: Colin Braun pits.
Lap 42: Elliott Sadler brings his car into its space. Kevin Harvick is serving a pass-through penalty for leaving his pit stall with the gas can stuck.
[SM: And a crew member attached to the can.]
Lap 43: Brad Keselowski is back on top of the leaderboard with a 5.9-second lead over Ryan Truex. After the cycle of stops, Jason Leffler, Paul Mneard and Trevor Bayne are third through fifth. After serving his penalty, Kevin Harvick is shown back in 21st place.
Lap 51: Good news, bad news for Paul Menard … the good news is that he’s moved up to second place. The bad news is that he’s still about 10 seconds behind leader Brad Keselowski.
Lap 62 — CAUTION FLAG NO. 1: Chase Austin’s car is smoking, and coasting on the backstretch hoping to make it back around to pit road. Leader Brad Keselowski’s cushion over second-place Paul Menard was 11.3 seconds when the yellow flag came out.
Lap 63: Chase Austin’s car has stopped near the entrance to pit road, so NASCAR keeps it closed this time around.
Lap 64: The leaders are pitting. Leader Brad Keselowski stalls as he tries to leave his pit stall, costing him what appears to be a few spots.
[SM: Keselowski’s clutch was in rough shape so getting going from pit stops was very difficult for him.]
Lap 65: Kyle Busch is back on pit road, his crew going to work on the splitter area of his car.
[SM: They changed his left-front shock to keep the splitter from bottoming out and replaced the splitter because of how badly banged up it was from bottoming out against the road.]
Lap 67 — GREEN FLAG: Paul Menard, Brad Keselowski, Trevor Bayne, Joey Logano and Ryan Truex lead the field to the restart.
Lap 67: Joey Logano dives under Paul Menard for the lead as they enter turn three.
Lap 68: Carl Edwards, Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano go three wide for second place.
Lap 69: Brad Keselowski and Carl Edwards are side by side for second place.
Lap 70: Brad Keselowski and Carl Edwards are still working each other over for second, but they appear to be giving each other all kinds of space.
Lap 71: Jason Leffler is slow on the backstretch.
Lap 72: The top-three cars — Paul Menard, Carl Edwards and Brad Keselowski — are all over each other.
Lap 74: Fourth-place Joey Logano is catching the lead pack.
Lap 75: Carl Edwards goes to the high side to try to get around Paul Menard for the lead.
Lap 78: Kevin Harvick has moved around Paul Menard for third place. Carl Edwards leads, with Brad Keselowski in second.
Lap 81: Brad Keselowski is looking low in the turns, trying to find a way around leader Carl Edwards.
Lap 84: Brad Keselowski takes the lead from Carl Edwards as they head down the backstretch and into turn three.
Lap 86: Elliott Sadler drops onto pit road.
[SM: He had a piece of plastic on his grill so he came in to clear it off and fuel to the end.]
Lap 90: The battle up front has settled down for the time being. Brad Keselowski has opened up a cushion over second-place Carl Edwards of about half a second.
Lap 97: Third-place Kevin Harvick is closing on the front-two cars.
Lap 100: Lapped traffic has caused the front three to close up on each other dramatically.
[SM: As in Keselowski, Edwards and Harvick running nose to tail.]
Lap 101: Kevin Harvick gives up third place to pit.
Lap 102: Ryan Truex and Kyle Busch are on pit road.
Lap 103: Taylor Malsam, Michael Annett and Carl Edwards are getting their cars serviced.
Lap 104: Colin Braun and Trevor Bayne pit.
Lap 105: Leader Brad Keselowski brings his Dodge onto pit road. Fighting a clutch problem, Keselowski briefly stalls as he leaves his stall.
Lap 106: Justin Allgaier and Trevor Bayne are stopping.
Lap 108: Carl Edwards, Brad Keselowski, Trevor Bayne, Kevin Harvick and Paul Menard run first through fifth after the cycle of green-flag stops.
Lap 111 — CAUTION FLAG NO. 2: Robert Richardson slaps the wall coming off turn two following a nudge from behind by Steve Wallace.
[SM: Before the caution, Keselowski was catching Edwards at a rate of half-a-second a lap and was less than four seconds behind. This just sped up the inevitable.]
Lap 113: Kevin Harvick has hit a piece of debris — the right-side window covering off Robert Richardson’s car.
[SM: And that debris punctured his front grill.]
Lap 114: Kevin Harvick, Kyle Busch, Trevor Bayne and several others use the caution to come down pit road.
Lap 116 — GREEN FLAG: Carl Edwards, Brad Keselowski, Paul Menard, Justin Allgaier and Joey Logano lead the charge to the restart. After slowing just before the caution and then pitting, Kevin Harvick has dropped back to 16th place.
Lap 116: Brad Keselowski easily clears Carl Edwards for the lead. Brendan Gaughan’s car is trailing a huge plume of smoke after apparently blowing an engine. There’s no caution yet.
Lap 120: Brad Keselowski is moving out to a relatively comfortable lead of about a second.Lap 122: Justin Allgaier dips low between turns one and two, but can’t get position under Carl Edwards for second.
Lap 123: Kyle Busch flies by Justin Allgaier for third place on the frontstretch.
Lap 125: Carl Edwards and Kyle Busch are locked side by side for second place.
Lap 125: Brad Keselowsi takes the victory, with Carl Edwards nipping Kyle Busch for second place at the finish line. The win is the fourth of the season for Keselowski, and the 10th of his career in the Nationwide Series. Because of his clutch problem, Keselowski is unable to do the now-traditional winner’s burnout.
Tweets From Drivers
Kevin Harvick (@KevinHarvick) – Had a lot of things go wrong today so we went and played golf and got bit by a minimum of 50 mosquito.
Danica Patrick (@DanicaPatrick) – Bummed I didn’t have a better day in the beautifully designed hot wheels car but its back to the catchy green go daddy hot rod! Thanks nascar fans!!!
[SM: Don’t you just love that she hardly talks about her race and plugs her sponsors instead.]
Eric McClure (@ericmcclure) – Have back spasms per the med team. Wonderful. Team worked hard this w/end. Didnt run gr8 but tried best
Brendan Gaughan (@Brendan62) – Had a chance to have a good finish today, but that’s racin… Never get mad about motors, they rarely have issues and we abuse them! Bummer
- #22 Brad Keselowski
- #60 Carl Edwards
- #18 Kyle Busch
- #12 Justin Allgaier
- #98 Paul Menard
- #20 Joey Logano
- #88 Elliott Sadler
- #32 Reed Sorenson
- #16 Colin Braun
- #33 Kevin Harvick
- #99 Trevor Bayne
- #00 Ryan Truex
- #6 Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
- #10 Taylor Malsam
- #11 Brian Scott
- #15 Michael Annett
- #09 John Wes Townley
- #66 Steve Wallace
- #40 Mike Bliss
- #01 Mike Wallace
- #87 Joe Nemechek (-2 laps)
- #70 Shelby Howard (-2 laps)
- #35 Jason Keller (-2 laps)
- #34 Tony Raines (-2 laps)
- #04 Jeremy Clements (-2 laps)
- #49 Mark Green (-2 laps)
- #7 Danica Patrick (-4 laps)
- #81 Michael McDowell (-4 laps)
- #28 Kenny Wallace (-4 laps)
- #24 Eric McClure (-4 laps)
- #68 Carl Long (-6 laps)
- #62 Brendan Gaughan (-9 laps, Engine)
- #23 Robert Richardson (-13 laps, Accident)
- #38 Jason Leffler (-54 laps, Fuel Pump)
- #43 Chase Austin (-66 laps, Engine)
- #1 Ryan Newman (-82 laps, Accident)
- #21 Morgan Shepard (-105 laps, Start and park)
- #26 Brian Keselowski (-115 laps, Start and park)
- #73 Derrike Cope (-115 laps, Start and park)
- #27 Josh Wise (-121 laps, Start and park)
- #07 Danny Efland (-122 laps, Start and park)
- #56 Kevin Lepage (-123 laps, Start and park)
- #05 Willie Allen (-123 laps, Start and park)
- #22 Brad Keselowski 3704 Pts.
- #60 Carl Edwards -347 Pts.
- #18 Kyle Busch -503 Pts.
- #12 Justin Allgaier -645 Pts.
- #33 Kevin Harvick -796 Pts.
- #98 Paul Menard -812 Pts.
- #66 Steve Wallace -969 Pts.
- #99 Trevor Bayne -1133 Pts.
- #62 Brendan Gaughan -1217 Pts.
- #38 Jason Leffler -1254 Pts.