KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Brad Keselowski has a ready answer when fans ask him why he runs the Nationwide Series instead of concentrating solely on the Sprint Cup.
It isn’t for the money, he says, and it isn’t for a chance to test for Cup competition.
It’s so his Nationwide crew, led by Todd Gordon, won’t fall victim to the economic crunch that shadows even NASCAR’s money-making machine. Call it “Occupy Pit Road,” if you will – or in this case, “Occupy Victory Lane.”
“Todd, without this program, would be laid off on unemployment,” Keselowski said after winning Saturday at Kansas Speedway. “Because of (owner) Roger Penske, because of Discount Tire and all of us putting this program together, these guys are all out there working in tough times right now. It makes me very proud to be a part of this program.”
Keselowski dominated, leading all but 27 laps on his way to victory.
“I think that car was spectacular,” said second-place finisher Carl Edwards, who briefly held a late lead before Keselowsi pulled ahead for the last time. “He did a good job, too. I thought we were going to have a chance to race there pretty hard at the end, but once he got by me I couldn’t do anything.”
Keselowski, the Sprint Cup winner at the track in June, fell behind Edwards after a late caution, but pulled ahead with 11 laps to go and won by 2.795 seconds. Elliott Sadler was third, followed by Paul Menard, points leader Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Kevin Harvick, Joey Logano, Brian Vickers, Trevor Bayne and Ryan Truex.
FORMULA ONE: In Suzuka, Japan, Red Bull driver Sebastian Vettel has earned pole position for the Japanese Grand Prix, putting himself in the perfect place to claim the Formula One championship in today’s race.
Vettel extended Red Bull’s perfect streak of poles to all 15 races this season with a lap of 1 minute, 30.466 seconds at the Suzuka circuit, edging McLaren’s Jenson Button by just .009 seconds. Button’s McLaren teammate Lewis Hamilton was third despite not setting a time in his final run.
Vettel needs only one point in today’s race – or Button to fail to win – to become the sport’s youngest two-time winner.
Felipe Massa will start from fourth after the rare feat of outqualifying his Ferrari teammate Fernando Alonso.