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Dodge finishes 1,2 at the Brickyard

by Bill Cawthon on

Just two Dodges were in the starting grid at Saturday’s NASCAR Indiana 250, the first-ever Nationwide Series race to be held at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, so it was especially sweet when they were the first two cars across the finish line.

Brad Keselowski in the No. 22 Discount Tire Dodge Challenger R/T took the checkered flag, coming in 3.3 seconds ahead of Sam Hornish Jr. in the No. 12 Alliance Truck Parts Dodge. Keselowski took advantage of a penalty handed to current points leader Elliot Sadler in the No. 2 OneMainFinancial Chevrolet.

Sadler was sanctioned for jumping the last restart on Lap 83 and had to serve a pass-through penalty. After the race, Sadler blamed Keselowski for the incident, saying Keselowski had spun his tires.

“It’s so wrong to penalize me for a mistake they made,” Sadler told his crew. “NASCAR just took the championship away from me. They just took the damn championship right out of our hands.”

Keselowski and Hornish were in new Challengers with new engines and they made the most of the opportunity. This was Keselowski’s third win of the 2012 Nationwide season and it was the third 1-2 finish for Penske Racing in Nationwide competition.

“This was just a special day,” said Keselowski. “The Brickyard means so much to all of us as race car drivers and to the sport in general. It transcends three different forms of auto racing: whether it’s IndyCar in the United States, F1 and their history here and then obviously with stock cars from ’94 on. It transcends into a special place to race. I’m glad to be some small part of that, winning the inaugural Nationwide race here. I hope I can be a big part of that history by being able to win tomorrow and pull off a double. That’d be extremely special to me.

“It was a great day full of some challenges, for sure. Trying to beat Kyle Busch was going to be very tough on our own with speed but our team persevered on pit road. We had an excellent pit stop that beat him off pit road and gave us an opportunity to capitalize. And then in traffic, it came down to me making the right moves and catching the right breaks. We were able to capitalize and I think that’s what great teams do. They capitalize on opportunity and we had that today with the No. 22 Discount Tire Dodge.”

Hornish was quick to get his Challenger into the top ten and ran in the top five through the entire second half of the race, holding the lead for seven laps and making his best finish of the 2012 season.

“It’s a great finish for Penske Racing, to be able to see Brad and the Discount Tire team go to victory lane and for us to be second,” said Hornish. “The guys that work on this Alliance Truck Parts Dodge Challenger did an awesome job in the pits today. When we were confronted with a decision there at the end, we had to take two (tires) to get track position. And lo and behold, we only get a three-lap run before the yellows started happening. We had a good car but we didn’t feel that taking four would put ourselves in position to win. We felt if we could get out of the traffic we might be able to help ourselves out a little bit; just too tight there.

“Well, it’s good because we gained points on some guys that we’re racing against. The easiest way to gain points is by beating them. We had a good day, the car was good. We made good changes on it. At the end of the day, we’ll just take what we can get. That was our motto today – make sure that we get out there and get some good points and do the best that we can. So, I’m just real happy for all these guys that work on the Alliance Truck Parts Dodge.”

Hornish remains fourth in the Nationwide point standings, but he has made a tight race even tighter as he is just 28 points behind the leader.

NASCAR NATIONWIDE SERIES RESULTS: INDIANA 250
FINISH DRIVER CAR SPONSOR BRAND STATUS
1 Brad Keselowski 22 Discount Tire Dodge Running
2 Sam Hornish Jr. 12 Alliance Truck Parts Dodge Running
3 Ty Dillon 51 Wesco Chevrolet Running
4 Denny Hamlin 18 Sport Clips Toyota Running
5 Austin Dillon 3 AdvoCare Chevrolet Running
6 Michael Annett 43 Pilot Flying J/M&M’s Snack Mix Ford Running
7 Joey Logano 20 GameStop/Damage Inc. Toyota Running
8 Paul Menard 33 Menards/Rheem Chevrolet Running
9 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. 6 Sam’s Club/Cargill Ford Running
10 Jeremy Clements 4 Tradebank Chevrolet Running
11 Mike Bliss 44 Bandit Chippers Toyota Running
12 Justin Allgaier 31 Brandt/PT&E Chevrolet Running
13 Travis Pastrana 199 Boost Mobile Toyota Running
14 Brian Scott 11 Dollar General Toyota Running
15 Elliott Sadler 2 OneMain Financial Chevrolet Running
16 Jason Bowles 81 American Majority Toyota Running
17 Cole Whitt 88 TaxSlayer.com Chevrolet Running
18 Joe Nemechek 87 AM/FM Energy Wood & Pellet Stoves Toyota Running
19 Kenny Wallace 124 Family Farmers Toyota Running
20 Mike Wallace 1 G&K Services Chevrolet Running
21 Jeffrey Earnhardt 39 FastWax.com Chevrolet Running
22 Kyle Busch 54 Monster Energy Toyota Running
23 Timmy Hill 41 Rick Ware Racing Ford Running
24 Eric McClure 14 Hefty/Reynolds Wrap Toyota Running
25 Kasey Kahne 38 Great Clips Chevrolet Running
26 James Buescher 30 ABF Chevrolet Running
27 Ryan Blaney 136 SealWrap Chevrolet Running
28 Tim Schendel 52 Better Business Bureau Chevrolet Running
29 Tayler Malsam 19 G-Oil/Noah’s Light Foundation Toyota Running
30 Johanna Long 70 KeenParts.com/Riley Chevrolet Running
31 Robert Richardson Jr. 23 North Texas Pipe Chevrolet Running
32 Kyle Fowler 108 Randy Hill Racing Ford Engine
33 Reed Sorenson 198 Shelby Engine Co. Ford Accident
34 Kurt Busch 1 HendrickCars.com Chevrolet Electrical
35 Danica Patrick 7 GoDaddy.com Chevrolet Accident
36 Jeff Green 10 TriStar Motorsports Toyota Vibration
37 Scott Riggs 15 Rick Ware Racing Ford Rear Gear
38 Erik Darnell 40 Key Motorsports Chevrolet Engine
39 T.J. Bell 50 Beaver Bail Bonds Chevrolet Overheating
40 Kevin Lepage 86 Deware Racing Group Ford Drive Shaft
41 Chase Miller 46 TheMotorsportsGroup.com Chevrolet Vibration
42 Josh Wise 42 Key Motorsports Chevrolet Electrical
43 Stephen Leicht 47 Key Motorsports Chevrolet Engine

 

Bill Cawthon grew up in the auto industry in the 1950s. His Dad worked for Chrysler and Bill spent a number of Saturdays down on the plant floor at Dodge Main in Hamtramck. Bill is also the U.S. market correspondent for just-auto.com, a British auto industry publication, and a member of the Texas Auto Writers Association, which has named the Jeep Grand Cherokee the “SUV of Texas” several times and named the Ram 1500 as the “Truck of Texas” two years running.

Bill has owned five Plymouths (including the only 1962 “Texan”), one Dodge and one Chrysler and is still trying to figure out how to justify a Wrangler. He also has owned at least one of every 1:87 scale model of a Chrysler product. You can reach him directly at (206) 888-7324 or by using the form.


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