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KESELOWSKI WINS XFINITY SERIES O’REILLY AUTO PARTS CHALLENGE
FORT WORTH, Texas (November 7, 2015) – Brad Keselowski won Saturday’s O’Reilly Auto Parts Challenge at Texas Motor Speedway to allow Roger Penske to clinch his third consecutive owner’s championship in the NASCAR XFINITY Series.
>Keselowski (No. 22 Discount Tire Ford) outdueled Kevin Harvick (No. 88 Hunt Brothers Pizza Chevrolet) and Austin Dillon (No. 33 Rheem Chevrolet) in a 16-lap shootout after a late restart to earn his second win of the season and 34th of his career. Keselowski, making just his eighth start of the XFINITY Series season, led a race-high 62 laps to record his second victory at Texas Motor Speedway. The other Texas win came in this event in 2013 and Keselowski now has two wins and two runner-up performances in his last four visits.
“Those closing laps were a great battle,” Keselowski said. “I was able to get alongside the 33 car (Dillon) and we were side by side for only a few laps, but it felt like forever. I saw the 88 (Harvick) coming with a chance to win and I was just able to clear the 33 and get by him.
“There was certainly a lot of stiff competition. Kevin Harvick looked really good, Austin Dillon, Kyle Busch, Kyle Larson all were major factors in the battle for this win, but we were able to persevere and overcome.”
The scene was set after Kyle Larson (No. 42 ParkerStore Chevrolet), who led three times for 50 laps, was seemingly on his way to his first XFINITY Series win of the season, but a tire rub while leading led to a cut left rear tire that sent him spinning into Turn 1. The caution came out for Larson’s incident on Lap 178 of the 200-lap event and the restart came on Lap 185 with Dillon out front followed by Keselowski, Erik Jones (GameStop/Call of Duty Black Ops III Toyota) and Harvick.
Keselowski remained on Dillon’s heels and chipped away before making the pass by a nose at the start/finish line with 11 to go. As Harvick began to pressure Dillon for second, Keselowski began to pull away and posted a 1.137-second victory over Harvick. Dillon finished third, Jones fourth and Ty Dillon (No. 3 Bass Pro Shops/Tracker Boats Chevrolet) was fifth.
XFINITY Series championship leader Chris Buescher (No. 60 AdvoCare Ford), from nearby Prosper, finished 11th to allow defending series champion Chase Elliott (No. 9 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet), who finished eighth, to trim his advantage from 27 to 24 points with two races remaining.