BRISTOL, Tenn. – Justin Allgaier grabbed the first win of his NASCAR career Saturday by passing teammate Brad Keselowski on a late restart, then holding him off over the closing laps at Bristol Motor Speedway.
Allgaier, last year’s Nationwide Series rookie of the year, had to hold his line over the final 27 laps to keep Keselowski from passing him.
“That battle with Brad at the end was awesome, and I couldn’t have been happier at the end to see two Penske cars up there running for the win,” Allgaier said in his first visit to Victory Lane.
The win was the first for Dodge at Bristol since August 2007.
Keselowski, the pole-sitter who led 73 laps, finished second to give team owner Roger Penske his first 1-2 finish in the Nationwide Series.
Keselowski said he didn’t mind Allgaier passing him on the restart with 27 laps to go because of an incident at Bristol last year, before they were teammates, when Keselowski wrecked Allgaier in a similar situation.
“I had one coming,” Keselowski said, smiling.
Keselowski tried to pass on the inside several times, and turned up the pressure over the final 10 laps. But he backed away from his usual aggressive driving – particularly with a potential win on the line – and raced clean to the checkered flag.
“I had the opportunity and just erred on the side of caution,” he said. “The last thing I need is to wreck either one of us. That’s the last thing our program needs.”
Kyle Busch was third, followed by Carl Edwards and Kevin Harvick.
Harvick spun Joey Logano on the final lap to grab his top-five finish. Logano wound up 14th.
“I just raced with him and raced with him, and he kept chopping me and chopping me,” Harvick said. “I got in there and just got into the back of him a little bit and I hate that happened. You’ve just got to have a lane to race, you just got to do what you got to do.”
Logano declined to comment.