Brad Keselowski took victory at the ToyotaCare 250 with a 10-lap dash to end Kyle Busch‘s NASCAR Nationwide Series winning streak.
Keselowski took the lead from Busch with just nine laps left, followed a lap later by Kevin Harvick, who challenged Keselowski to the line, ending up just 0.718 seconds off the Penske driver at the drop of the checkered flag.
“It’s very gratifying” said Keselowski, who took his first win in either Nationwide and Sprint Cup Series for 2013. “We’ve had a lot of seconds this year, and we’ve been really close on the Cup side. We just haven’t been able to get that win. We’ve struggled at Richmond, too, both in the Cup and Nationwide cars, so it’s great to get that turned around and finally get to Victory Lane in a Ford.”
Harvick took the bonus point for leading the most laps, spending 96 of the 250 laps at the top of the field.
“Our car was pretty good on the longer runs” said Harvick, “Brad was really good for the short runs, and I had to try and fend him off as good as I could. All in all it was a fun night, I enjoyed the race back and forth. I always want to win, but it was still enjoyable.”
The field showed their intentions for the day from the very start, as Keselowski, Busch and championship leader Sam Hornish, Jr. battled three-wide on only the third lap of the race.
“It was good.” added Busch. “Certainly there were some tense moments there, we were fighting for everything we could get.”
Harvick, Busch and Keselowski continued to battle throughout the race, with Keselowski taking the lead off Harvick in the early stages of a green flag run, before Harvick would regain the top spot, a pattern that lasted for most of the race.
Busch took the lead from the battling cars on lap 225, before the seventh caution of the day slowed the field down on lap 228, setting up a thrilling close to the evening.
The action continued on pit road after the checkered flag, however, as Brian Scott and Nelson Piquet, Jr. were involved in a scuffle, with Scott accusing Piquet of kicking him below the belt. Both drivers were called to the officials for further discussions.
Hornish, Jr. retained his lead in the championship with a seventh place finish, although Regan Smith‘s fifth place closed the gap to Hornish to just one point.