NASCAR Sprint Cup Series regular Brad Keselowski dominated the end of a rain shortened Feed the Children 300 at Kentucky Motor Speedway Friday night. It marked Keselowski’s 22nd victory in the Nationwide Series, and his second this year.
Keselowski was the class of the field, not surprising considering he is a talented Sprint Cup driver, and showed his muscle late. And although there is no reason for Sprint Cup regulars to be in the Nationwide Series, there is no doubt Keselowski gained valuable information tonight.
Rain is expected tomorrow, with a 40-60 percent chance of thunderstorms. Keselowski gained a slight advantage over every other driver with regards to predicting changes over the course of a cloud covered night race, on a track whose pavement teams are still learning to adapt to.
Sprint Cup regular Kyle Busch did not seem as dominant as Keselowski, but like Keselowski will be completing the final leg of a 925 (scheduled; today’s race was shortened) mile triple header. Not surprisingly, Keselowski and Busch are also the best drivers at Kentucky in the Sprint Cup Series, having won the only two races, leading 390 laps, and having an average finish of 4.75 between them.
With regards to the Non-Sprint Cup Series drivers, Matt Crafton had a strong Nationwide Series debut for Richard Childress Racing, keeping out of trouble en route to a third place finish.
The championship fight was also altered, although not dramatically, when point’s leader Regan Smith lost 18 laps with suspension issues. Fourth in points, Elliott Sadler capitalized the most by securing a strong second place finish.
Overall, it seems as if the top five in points have separated themselves not just numerically, but in caliber of performance and what it takes to be a champion. The top five are now only separated by 20 points, with extra motivation coming in the next few races.
Nationwide’s promotion, the Dash 4 Cash, starts next week at Daytona International Speedway. Sadler, Brian Vickers, Austin Dillion–who started from pole–and Kyle Larson all have the opportunity for a $100,000 bonus if they can finish better than their competition in the challenge each week and win at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
For some drivers, today’s rain shortened race was about minimizing damage for the sake of points. Some made the best of their opportunity in the series. Others used it as a possibly important practice run for tomorrow night. But for Brad Keselowski, it is just another wonderful night that ended in victory lane.
Follow Mike Guzman on Twitter @Mike486