Richmond, VA – Brian Scott had a flawless performance in Friday night's Nationwide Series race until Brad Keselowski passed him for the lead with 11 laps remaining and then went on to win at Richmond International Raceway.
Scott, who is in his first season as driver of the No. 2 Chevrolet for Richard Childress Racing, started on the pole and led the first 239 laps in what was the 1,000th race in the history of NASCAR's second-tier series.
Following a restart on lap 240, Keselowski moved ahead of Scott for the lead just before the seventh and final caution came for an accident involving Landon Cassill, Johanna Long and Travis Pastrana.
Keselowski pulled away from Scott after the last restart with six laps to go. He beat Scott to the finish line by 1.9 seconds for his 25th career Nationwide victory.
After the race had concluded, a disappointed Scott argued that Keselowski had pulled ahead of him before the restart zone on the last two restarts.
"Unfortunately, I didn't get a great restart on the one before the last, and (Keselowski) beat me to the line," Scott said. "I was a little bit upset about that call. And then on the final restart, he went two or three car lengths early. I think it looked pretty obvious when I saw the replay on TV. That never gave us a chance to put on a race for the fans and race side-by-side into turn 1, which I think would have been a lot more interesting."
Prior to Richmond, Scott had led only 38 laps in his Nationwide career, including 14 this season.
Keselowski has won five of his last six races in Nationwide, including a victory at Richmond in April. He finished second two weeks ago at Bristol.
"Brian had been going really deep in the (restart) box, and I knew that was going to be his tactic and knew what he was going to do when he was beside me," Keselowski said. "As soon as I got to the box, it caught him just a little bit off guard, and I was able to drive away."
A Sprint Cup Series regular has won the last 19 Nationwide races at Richmond.
Keselowski is starting third in Saturday's 400-lap Sprint Cup race here, which is the last opportunity for several drivers to make it into the championship Chase. Keselowski, the defending series champion, is 15th in the standings and trails 10th-place Kurt Busch by 28 points.
Regan Smith passed Scott for second after the last restart, but Scott reclaimed the position on the final lap. He was attempting to win his first Nationwide race in his 134th start.
"I've seen people penalized for less questionable restarts than that, and I don't understand why there wasn't a penalty for, one, beating me to the line on the (second-to-last) restart and, two, jumping that (last) one. It sucks. It took the win away from the best car."
Smith finished third, while Kyle Busch took the fourth spot. Trevor Bayne completed the top-five.
Sam Hornish Jr.'s sixth-place run allowed him to increase his points lead to 16 over Austin Dillon, who finished 12th. Smith is 26 points behind the leader.
Brian Vickers rebounded from a pit-road speeding penalty early in the race to finish seventh. Elliott Sadler took the eighth spot, followed by Ryan Reed and Jamie McMurray.
Sadler trails Hornish by 28 points.