It was a big day for the relatively new Penske Racing Nationwide program. Keselowski led 72 laps, some of them with Allgaier on his bumper. Allgaier sprinted to the lead on a restart with 27 laps to go and stayed in front the rest of the way to score his first series victory.
“I’m happy for Justin,” Keselowski said. “There’s nothing like a first-time winner in NASCAR.”
Keselowski was close enough to Allgaier over the final laps to execute the bump-and-run and take the lead, but, largely because they’re teammates, he didn’t use the move.
“On the restart there he ran me up pretty high, but I really had no room to be angry at him because I wrecked him here before,” Keselowski said. “I lifted and let him in. I thought I had a shot at getting it back, but I didn’t catch the right breaks as far as lapped traffic.
“I erred on the side of caution. The last thing I need is to wreck either one of us. It’s still a relatively new program. That’s the last thing we need.”
Allgaier called the win “unbelievable. That battle with Brad was awesome. I couldn’t be happier to see two Penske cars up there running for the win.”
Although Keselowski, whose aggressive driving has been criticized by other NASCAR drivers, chose not to push Allgaier from the lead in the final miles Saturday, Kevin Harvick had other thoughts in the fight for fifth place. Harvick popped Joey Logano’s car in the left rear in the final turn on the final lap, sending Logano into the wall and dropping him from fourth to 14th.
“He kept chopping me and chopping me,” said Harvick, who had tried to pass Logano for a long series of laps. “I got into him a little bit. I hate that it happened. You got to do what you got to do.”
Logano stomped off after the race without comment.
The first half of the event was marred by two nasty accidents.
On lap 91, contact between Scott Wimmer and Brian Scott resulted in a spin by Colin Braun, and Braun’s car was slammed in the rear by the following car of Steve Wallace. The impact shot Braun’s car into the air, and Wallace’s car came to a stop partially underneath it as fire erupted. There were no injuries.
A few laps later, James Buescher tapped Trevor Bayne’s car in the second turn, and both cars slid through the turn. Coleman Pressley spun out as he slowed behind them.
Mike Hembree is NASCAR Editor for SPEEDtv.com and has been covering motorsports for 28 years. He has written several books on NASCAR, including "NASCAR: The Definitive History of America's Sport" and "Then Tony Said To Junior: The Best NASCAR Stories Ever Told". He is a six-time winner of the National Motorsports Press Association Writer of the Year Award.