LAS VEGAS – Brad Keselowski once blew a tire while leading the final lap of this same Nationwide Series race, so he knew he couldn’t get excited about a victory in Vegas until he actually crossed the line.
He finally got there Saturday after overcoming electrical problems, traffic and Kyle Busch for an uncommonly satisfying victory.
Keselowski held off Busch in the final laps to win the Nationwide race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway for the first time.
Keselowski earned his 28th career Nationwide win on his 20th track, doing it in his eighth try in Vegas, where he infamously blew a tire on the final lap in 2011, handing a win to Mark Martin.
The 2012 Sprint Cup champion finally cracked this track despite a remarkable series of setbacks and challenges that left Keselowski more relieved than excited.
“We found every way we could to make it hard,” Keselowski said. “This Ford was flying today. These races aren’t getting any easier to win. I drove as hard as I could, every lap.”
Keselowski has been in contention in the Nationwide race in Las Vegas several times over his previous seven starts, but managed just two top 10 finishes after repeated trouble. He found enormous trouble in this one, but still led 144 of the 200 laps.
Busch came up from a 37th-place start to finish second on his hometown track, but couldn’t catch Keselowski’s Penske Ford. Kyle Larson was third.