…One for the Money
Brad Keselowski won his first Nationwide Series championship and delivered racing icon Roger Penske his first NASCAR Championship (photo courtesy: Getty Images Sport)
Saturday’s race results brought smiles from Kyle Busch. He closed out the Camping World Truck Series owners’ crown Friday night with a Ford 200 race win. He continued the winning streak by, again, finishing first during the Nationwide Ford 300 and giving Joe Gibbs the Nationwide owners’ Championship. Busch has the opportunity to pull off the triple by winning tomorrow’s Ford 400. Busch starts 33rd in tomorrow’s Sprint Cup Series Championship Ford 400.
“I feel like we’ve got a good race car,” Busch said. “We worked awful hard [in Saturday’s Cup practice] on changing a lot of things and seeing what we could learn. The heat of [Sunday], though, is going to be pretty crazy.”
With his 13th victory in 29 starts this season, Busch extended his single-season win record. The victory was his 43rd in the Nationwide Series, leaving him five behind all-time leader and fan favorite Mark Martin. Martin will be among the many NASCAR stars appearing in fan-hospitality areas during Ford Championship Weekend in Miami.
Under sunny skies and temperatures in the low 80s, Busch’s Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Denny Hamlin will start with a 15-point lead over four-time reigning Champion Jimmie Johnson and just a 46-point margin over Kevin Harvick, the closest Sprint Cup Series championship in Chase history. Tickets for NASCAR Championship Sunday are STILL available. Hamlin will have to fight his way through the field to get to the front after qualifying 38th.
Busch will try to sweep a full race weekend for the second time this season. He won races in all three NASCAR series races at Bristol in August - the first weekend triple in NASCAR history. Busch likes his chances to win his third race of the weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
“I always feel like I do better at night than I do in the daytime, so with the daytime race tomorrow, it’ll be a little hectic. We have to work as hard as we can to try to win the race, first of all. Secondly, we’ll work toward trying to make sure we do everything we can to get Denny Hamlin a championship.”
Even prior to the green flag dropping for the Nationwide Ford 300 Saturday afternoon at Homestead-Miami Speedway, Brad Keselowski had not only won his first Nationwide Series championship but also delivered racing icon Roger Penske his first NASCAR Championship. Keselowski finished third grab his 26th Top 5 finish which is a Nationwide Series record.
“It’s been a long ride to get here and it’s been a good ride,” said Keselowski. “It’s been pretty amazing to come from just a few years back not having a job in this sport and really thinking I was going to have to get a real job.”
2010 Nationwide Series Champion Keselowski will switch over to his No. 12 Penske Dodge on Sunday to compete in the closest Sprint Cup Championship race in Chase history. Parking is FREE at Homestead-Miami Speedway all weekend, and fans can bring their own food and drink into the Speedway in a cooler not to exceed 14x14x14 inches.
Danica Patrick qualified fifth, pitted early and led four laps - her first of the season – and finished a career-best 19th in her 13th Nationwide Series start. Patrick was agitated after failing to pass Brian Scott in the closing laps.
"Why am I so upset? I don't know. Because I was working my (butt) off to get by the 09 car, and I couldn't get by him," she said. "And so I'm mad. Because when you're running where I'm running, it's not like I'm running for a win and I was mad.
"I have to find like little victories in everything. So I was faster than him and I just couldn't get by him. It's not like it's that big a deal, it's not like finishing 18th versus 19th is going to change the world."
Motorsports’ first lady is back in South Florida on the heels of her 2nd place finish at Homestead-Miami Speedway during the Oct. 2 IndyCar Championship finale.
Tickets for Ford Championship Weekend are STILL available starting at $55 for more information call (866) 409-RACE. Parking is FREE at Homestead-Miami Speedway all weekend, and fans can bring their own food and drink into the Speedway in a cooler not to exceed 14x14x14 inches.