Published April 27, 2013
| Sports Network
Richmond, VA – Brad Keselowski won Friday night's 250-lap Nationwide Series race at Richmond International Raceway after making a late- race pass on Kyle Busch for the lead.
Keselowski pulled ahead of Busch, his fellow Sprint Cup Series competitor, just after the final restart with 10 laps to go. Kevin Harvick then passed Busch for second position a few laps later. Keselowski beat Harvick at the finish by 0.718 seconds.
It was Keselowski's first Nationwide victory of the season and the 21st of his career. His first win at this 0.75-mile track came in April 2010, when he dominated that event with 189 laps led.
"The car was really strong, and Kyle got a little loose in (turns) three and four, and that just gave me a little bit of a run that I needed to move on him," Keselowski said. "You're doing something right when you beat Kyle here."
Harvick led a race-high 96 laps. He holds the record for most Nationwide wins at Richmond with six, including a victory here last September.
"(Keselowski) was just so good for about 15 or 20 laps after those restarts," Harvick said. "He could get on the outside or inside and really lay the throttle down. I was a little bit too loose that last run compared to where I was the rest of the night. It was a good race."
Busch's Nationwide winning streak came to an end with a third-place finish. He had won four of the first six races this season, including victories in the three previous events -- Bristol, California and Texas.
"Tonight, it just wasn't meant to be," Busch said. "We just didn't have enough, not enough turn and not enough drive off of the corner. Those guys (Keselowski and Harvick) would just drive away from me."
Nationwide regulars Brian Vickers and Regan Smith finished fourth and fifth, respectively. Virginia-native Elliott Sadler took the sixth spot, followed by Sam Hornish Jr., who had led 83 of the first 87 laps, and rookie Kyle Larson. Travis Pastrana and Reed Sorenson completed the top-10. Pastrana made his Nationwide debut at this track one year ago.
Hornish now holds only a one-point lead over Smith.
Jeffrey Earnhardt scored his career-best finish in the series with a 17th- place run, driving the No. 5 Chevrolet for JR Motorsports, which is co-owned by his uncle, Dale Earnhardt Jr., and aunt, Kelley Earnhardt Miller.
After the race had concluded, Brian Scott and Nelson Piquet Jr. were involved in a physical altercation on pit road. Both drivers made contact with each other while battling for position after the final restart. The two have had an on-going feud.
"(Piquet) decided he was going to move me with 12 laps to go for 15th-place, which there's no need to do," Scott said. "He could have easily passed me clean, but we have a history. He doesn't like me for whatever reason. He chose to move me, and I got into the outside fence. It cost me a couple of points.
"More than anything, it's just an accumulation of a lot of racing together. He's always racing me dirty. When I went to talk to him, he shoved me and then kicked me below the belt. I guess that just shows his character to hit somebody below the belt."
Crew members from Scott and Piquet's teams as well as race officials separated the two drivers. Scott and Piquet were both summoned to the NASCAR hauler to discuss their altercation with officials.
"A few laps to the end, (Scott) slid in front of me, and I touched him," Piquet said. "We both nearly spun. I passed him. That was it. At the end of the race after the checkers, I was slowing (on the backstretch), and he door- banged me. I'm not going to take any (expletive)."
Piquet placed 14th, while Scott's finish of 20th put him 23 points behind Hornish.