Carl Edwards and Brad Keselowski kept it clean. Kyle Busch kept on winning.
Busch held off Edwards on a late restart to win the NASCAR Nationwide race at O’Reilly Raceway Park on Saturday night, collecting his eighth victory of the season while sending a friendly reminder about who drives the dominant car in NASCAR’s No. 2 series.
Busch led 144 laps and had enough at the end to fend off Edwards, who wasn’t about to send Busch into the wall a week after punting Keselowski on the final lap in St. Louis, a move that punished when NASCAR officials docked him 60 points and fined him $25,000.
“It was good, hard clean racing,” Busch said. “That’s what happens when you race each other cleanly over time and with respect, you get respect back.”
Busch has certainly earned it. His fifth win in his past six Nationwide starts gives him 38 for his career. Only Mark Martin with 48 has more.
Aric Almirola finished third, followed by pole-sitter Trevor Bayne and Reed Sorenson. Keselowski faded late to finish eighth.
A week after their run-in moved NASCAR officials to step in and say each crossed the line, Keselowski and Edwards were on their best behavior at the crowded 0.686-mile oval in Clermont, Ind.
The rivals found themselves running within a couple car lengths of each other for a long stretch early in the race and again on a late restart. This time each driver made sure to give the other a wide berth.
MONTOYA ON POLE
Juan Pablo Montoya is in a familiar spot at Indianapolis Motor Speedway – out front.
A year after a late speeding penalty denied him a victory at the Brickyard, he’s hoping it sticks this time.
Montoya has steadfastly denied any lingering bitterness from last year’s near-miss, or any notion that the Brickyard owes him one. Instead, the pole-sitter for today’s race is treating this visit as an entirely new opportunity.
“It’s given me a lot, so I don’t complain,” said Montoya, who won the Indianapolis 500 for team owner Chip Ganassi in 2000.
Will Power, going for his third consecutive win in IndyCar, will start from the pole today in the Honda Edmonton (Alberta) Indy. … Pro Stock driver Allen Johnson earned the No. 1 qualifier spot while breaking the track speed record at the Mile-High Nationals in Morrison, Colo. Johnson had an elapsed time of 6.981 seconds at a record 198.64 mph at Bandimere Speedway. … The IRL placed struggling driver Milka Duno on probation for the rest of the year for failing to consistently meet minimal performance standards.