Saturday, October 23, 2010

Keselowski Finds Link Pass Bliss to Gateway Victory Lane

Photo Credit: John Sommers II/Getty Images for NASCAR

By Tim Tuttle
Special to the Sporting News NASCAR Wire Service

(October 23, 2010)

MADISON, Ill.—Brad Keselowski made a triumphant return to Gateway International Raceway Saturday, passing Mike Bliss with less than two laps remaining to win the 5-hour Energy 250 NASCAR Nationwide Series race. It was the final NASCAR race at the 1.25-mile track.

Keselowski was 200 yards from victory in the July race at Gateway when he was knocked into the wall by Carl Edwards and finished 14th. Keselowski started in the back of the field Saturday after arriving after qualifying from the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event in Martinsville, Va., but still was able to lead 83 of the 200 laps en route to his second consecutive victory and sixth of the year.

Keselowski was running second to Penske Racing teammate and Illinois native Justin Allgaier with 10 laps remaining when the final caution came out. Allgaier, Keselowski and third-running Edwards pitted and took four tires. When they came out, they were behind Reed Sorenson and Josh Wise, who stayed out, and Bliss and Jason Leffler, who took two tires. Keselowski was fifth, Edwards sixth and Allgaier sixth for the restart on Lap 196.

Sorenson jumped into the lead, but Bliss passed him and had the lead halfway through the 199th lap.

Coming through Turn 4, Keselowski got a strong run on the outside and passed Bliss for the lead within sight of the white flag. Keselowski pulled ahead by a couple of car lengths and won by .227 seconds over Bliss. Allgaier finished third after capturing the pole, followed by Leffler and Edwards.

Keselowski, the NASCAR Nationwide Series standings leader, was unable to clinch the 2010 driver title early at this event, but could do so in two weeks at Texas. Keselowski is 485 points ahead of second-place Edwards and needs to leave Texas with a 391-point lead over second place in order to claim his first NASCAR national series title.

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