By Hank Kurz Jr.
RICHMOND, Va.: Brad Keselowski passed Brian Scott on a restart with 11 laps to go Friday night and pulled away after another restart with six laps remaining to win the NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Richmond.
Keselowski has five victories and a runner-up finish in his past six series starts.
Scott, seeking his first victory in 134 starts in the series, led the first 239 laps before Keselowski made the outside groove work for him, overtaking Scott after some side-by-side battling on his way to his 25th career victory in the series, and the 19th in a row for a Cup Series regular at Richmond.
Scott’s team protested that Keselowski beat him to the line on the next-to-last restart, then got started too early on the final one, but to no avail, leaving Scott questioning why the rules exist.
“We deserved to win that race,” he said just after climbing from the car as Keselowski celebrated on the track. “Just some restarts and some questionable calls got us there at the end.”
He wound up second, followed by Regan Smith, Kyle Busch and Trevor Bayne.
“Unfortunately our whole night now is defined by the last two restarts,” Scott said.
Keselowski said he thought he caught Scott off-guard.
“The restart box is a zone and we went right at the start of it and didn’t give him a second to catch us,” Keselowski said in Victory Lane.
“That probably wasn’t the key to victory, but it sure didn’t hurt.”
For most of the night, it looked as if the 1,000th race in Nationwide history would be Scott’s coming out party. He arrived having led all of 38 laps in 133 prior starts.
Points leader Sam Hornish Jr., who started fifth, finished sixth and expanded his points lead to 16 over Austin Dillon with eight races remaining in the season.