Brad Keselowski wins at Madison

Updated: October 24, 2010, 2:20 AM ET
Associated Press

MADISON, Ill. -- Brad Keselowski finally got a chance to celebrate in the winner's circle at Gateway International Raceway.

Keselowski captured the NASCAR Nationwide 5-Hour Energy 250 on Saturday, using a well-timed pit stop to roll past Reed Sorenson with two laps remaining at Gateway International Raceway.

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Keselowski's sixth victory of the season and No. 12 for his career came three months after he lost a race at the suburban St. Louis oval on a last-lap tangle with rival Carl Edwards. Keselowski has a near-insurmountable 485-point lead over Edwards in the series standings with three races remaining.

The Nationwide stop likely was the final race at Gateway. Dover Motorsports, owner of the track, has put the property up for sale and has not requested any racing dates for 2011.

Mike Bliss finished second, followed by pole-sitter Justin Allgaier, who led 70 laps in the 200-lap event. Jason Leffler finished fourth followed by Edwards in fifth. Sorenson placed sixth.

NASCAR rookie Danica Patrick finished 22nd, one position behind her career-best effort last weekend in Charlotte.

The victory helped Keselowski erase the memory of a 14th-place finish in the Missouri-Illinois Dodge Dealers 250 on July 17 at Gateway. He took the lead on the final lap by bumping Edwards, who responded by wrecking Keselowski for the victory.

The two exchanged words after the race and Keselowski's father, Bob, a former ARCA champion, accused Edwards of trying to "kill his son" in a post-race rant.

Keselowski said before Saturday's race that the incident was in the past and Edwards graciously shook Keselowski's hand after the victory.

"I'm not thinking about what happened before, whether it was good or bad," Keselowski said. "I just wanted to come out and try to run the perfect race."

Keselowski did just that. He came into the pits and took on four new tires with 10 laps remaining. The fresh rubber allowed Keselowski to rally from fifth place with five laps remaining.

"I don't know that we had the best car," said Paul Wolfe, Keselowski's crew chief. "But we executed well. That call at the end is what we needed to win the race."

Keselowski finished 0.227 seconds ahead of Sorenson for his first career win at Gateway. Bliss, who took two tires in a late pit stop, ran well but came up short.

Allgaier, who grew up in Riverton, 100 miles from the track, led the first 47 laps of the race. He was in front with 10 laps remaining but his second rough pit stop of the day pushed him off the lead.

"Every time we came in the pits we came out a lot further behind than we were when we came in," Allgaier said. "It was frustrating."

Patrick, who started 41st, ran well most of the race. She spun into the wall on the 190th lap after taking a slight bump from Steve Wallace, causing the yellow that allowed Keselowski to go to the pits. Patrick did not talk with reporters after the race.

An 11-car wreck midway through the race forced nine cars to the garage. The red-flag delay lasted just over 20 minutes.

Notes
There were six cautions for 26 laps in the race which featured 12 lead changes among six drivers. ... The race lasted 2 hours and 20 minutes. ... Keselowski finished third in the Nationwide series standings each of the past two years. ... Brandon McReynolds, 19, finished 19th in his debut on Saturday. His father, Larry McReynolds, won the Daytona 500 twice as a crew chief. ... Allgaier captured his third pole in 71 career races. ... Gateway opened in 1997. Before the race, fans were allowed on the track to sign the wall in the homestretch. The crowd estimated at 19,000.


Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press