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Keselowski holds off Busch for Las Vegas Nationwide win

Las Vegas, NV (SportsNetwork.com) - Brad Keselowski bounced back from a pit road mishap, dealt with an alternator issue and then held off a hard-charging Kyle Busch in the closing laps to win Saturday's Boyd Gaming 300 Nationwide Series race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Keselowski, the 2012 Sprint Cup Series champion and 2010 Nationwide titleholder, put on a dominating performance at this 1.5-mile racetrack, leading 144 of 200 laps. But Keselowski overshot his pit stall during a round of stops late in the race, which dropped him to fifth in the running order. He was experiencing electrical problems at the same time.

With pushing help from rookie Chase Elliott, Keselowski grabbed the lead from Kyle Busch, his fellow Sprint Cup competitor, following a restart with 38 laps to go and then held it from there.

"We found every way we could to make it hard," Keselowski said. "[Crew chief] Jeremy Bullins and this [No. 22 Team Penske Ford] team did a great job, and this Ford was flying today. I didn't feel that good about it in practice, but when they dropped the green flag, it was just an amazing car.

"It looked like Kyle and I were pretty equal. These races aren't getting any easier to win. I drove as hard as I could every lap, knowing that Kyle was coming there, especially at the end."

Busch chased down Keselowski during the final 10 laps, but Keselowski held him off at the finish by 0.35 seconds for his 28th career Nationwide win. Busch, a Las Vegas native, has yet to win a Nationwide event at his hometown track in 11 starts. He finished runner-up to Sam Hornish Jr. in last year's race here.

"I don't know what caused us to lose the lead, but it was unfortunate," Busch said of the late-race restart where Keselowski passed him. "I think that was the race."

Busch had to start the 300-mile event from the rear of the field since his Joe Gibbs Racing team made unapproved adjustments to his backup car after qualifying, which was held earlier in the day. He wrecked his primary car during Friday's practice. Busch led a total of 33 laps.

"Kyle is one of the best in the business, and he deserves a win here," Keselowski said. "He's been real close. But it was just our day, and it was meant to be."

It's the first time Keselowski has won a Nationwide race at Las Vegas.

Kyle Larson finished third, while Dale Earnhardt Jr. took the fourth spot. Elliott, the 18-year-old son of former Cup Series champion Bill Elliott, scored his first top-five finish in Nationwide with a fifth-place run. It came in just his third start in the series.

Matt Kenseth took the sixth spot, followed by Brian Scott and Trevor Bayne. Chris Buescher, a rookie this season, and Regan Smith completed the top-10.

After the third race of the season, Smith holds a three-point lead over Bayne and a nine-point advantage over Elliott Sadler, who finished 13th.