TALLADEGA, Ala. — Brad Keselowski won the Nationwide Series race at Talladega Superspeedway in a wild end to a NASCAR doubleheader Sunday.
It was nearly a replay of the Sprint Cup finish that saw Kevin Harvick nip Jamie McMurray at the finish line. McMurray got loose on the green-white checkered laps, triggering a wreck that nearly sent Dennis Setzer over the fence.
Setzer went airborne, crashed into the safety fence and his car was on fire as it skidded down the track. It was similar to last year’s Cup race at Talladega when Carl Edwards sailed into the fence, allowing Keselowski to pull off the surprise win.
McMurray triggered the scary crash when he tried to squeeze in behind Harvick in a pack of traffic.
“I tried to get back to the bottom and I saw a little gap between Harvick and (Clint) Bowyer, and when you are looking at it out of the side mirrors, it’s not as clear an angle as what it needs to be,” McMurray said. “As soon as I saw (Bowyer), I tried to get back up the race track to not wreck everybody, but unfortunately I couldn’t save it and ended up spinning out there.”
Keselowski won for the first time with Penske Racing. It’s only the second year team owner Roger Penske is running a full-time Nationwide program.
Keselowski was added this year to make it a two-car operation with Justin Allgaier, who gave Penske his first career series win this month at Bristol when he beat Keselowski in a 1-2 Penske Racing finish.
Joey Logano was second and Harvick third.
“I can’t complain about third place,” Harvick said. “It was a lot of the same scenario.”
They were among the 10 drivers who pulled double duty and drove about 850 miles after rain wiped out Saturday’s scheduled race. It was the second straight race weekend NASCAR had a Cup-Nationwide double because of rain. The drivers who double-dipped last Monday at Texas Motor Speedway went a combined 801 miles.
“I think this week is different than last week because last week was a more demanding race track,” Logano said. “I was fine. I didn’t have any issues or anything like that, and last week I was good, too. It’s different getting out of the Cup car and walking over to the Nationwide trailer, changing suits, getting some food and then `All right, buckle back in. Here we go!’
Setzer, who said he was fine, surely made the highlight reels after his frightening crash that saw him hurled into the safety fence. His car nearly flipped over the fence, but landed on the track in flames.
“Anything more exciting than this and we’ll have to go to the X-Games,” Harvick said.