Brad Keselowski wins Richmond Xfinity race

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After passing Kyle Busch for the lead with 16 laps to go, Brad Keselowski went on to win the Xfinity Series race at Richmond Raceway.

It is Keselowski’s second Xfinity win of the year and 36th of his career.

“(Busch) is a great racer and when you can race with him you know you’re having a good day, especially in this series,” Keselowski told NBCSN. “We kind of hung with him and got those long runs and right at the end I was able to pounce.”

The top five were Keselowski, Busch, Ty Dillon, Daniel Hemric and Elliott Sadler, who clinched the regular-season title.

In his last Xfinity race of the season, Busch led 182 of the 250 laps before Keselowski overtook him for the last time.

“He had a better long-run car, every time, every run he was able to get by us after 50, 45 laps, whatever it was,” Busch told NBCSN. “We were working each other pretty hard there earlier in the run. I thought I beat his tires up, but he was able to come back up through there.”

With only three cautions, two at the end of stages, only nine cars finished on the lead lap.

Keselowski won with backup crew chief Brian Wilson because Greg Erwin was suspended after the No. 22 failed post-race inspection at Darlington last week.

STAGE 1 WINNER: Ty Dillon

STAGE 2 WINNER: Brad Keselowksi

MORE: Race Results

MORE: Points standings

WHO HAD A GOOD DAY: Dale Earnhardt Jr. finished ninth in his second and final Xfinity start of the year. He was the last car on the lead lap … Christopher Bell finished sixth in his first Xfinity start at Richmond … Cole Custer finished 14th and clinched a spot in the playoffs … Matt Tifft placed 13th and also clinched a playoff spot … Jeremy Clements assured himself a top 20 points finish and clinched a playoff spot after finishing 16th … Ty Dillon’s third-place finish is his best result of the year in 21 starts.

WHO HAD A BAD DAY: Bobby Earnhardt, making his first Xfinity start, caused the only non-stage ending caution when he blew a tire and hit the wall on Lap 53. He continued and finished 34th … Brandon Jones spun from contact with Ross Chastain on the last lap of Stage 1. He finished 23rd … Brendan Gaughan finished 21st, two laps down.

NOTABLE: Keselowski’s four wins at Richmond are his most at any track in the Xfinity Series … Brian Wilson is the sixth crew chief Keselowski has won with in Xfinity.

QUOTE OF THE NIGHT: “I knew Kyle (Busch) wasn’t going to just let me have it so I had to force something there. Whenever you make a pass for the lead and the win by going three-wide it is really damn cool.” – Brad Keselowski on his winning pass of Kyle Busch.

NEXT: Chicagoland 300 at Chicagoland Speedway at 3:30 p.m. ET on Sept. 16 on NBCSN.

Truck practice report at Atlanta

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Justin Haley was the fastest in the first of two practices Friday for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series at Atlanta Motor Speedway. He had a top lap of 178.029 mph.

Daytona winner Johnny Sauter was second with a lap of 177.040 mph. He was followed by Myatt Snider (177.040 mph), Stewart Friesen (176.995) and Noah Gragson (176.589).

There were no incidents in the session.

Final Truck practice will be from 4:05 – 4:50 p.m. ET.

Click here for Truck 1 practice

Police investigating vandalism, theft at North Wilkesboro Speedway

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The Wilkes County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a report of vandalism and theft at North Wilkesboro Speedway.

According to the Sheriff’s Office, the track, which last hosted a NASCAR Cup race in 1996, suffered damage of about $10,000 when several trespassers were on the grounds last weekend. No arrests have been made.

The report states that several windows were broken and other damage was done to the structures. Also, large amounts of electrical wire and circuit breakers were reported missing.

The investigation continues.

North Wilkesboro Speedway hosted NASCAR Cup races from 1949-96. Winners included Fireball Roberts, Buck Baker, Junior Johnson, Lee Petty, Richard Petty, David Pearson, Cale Yarborough, Darrell Waltrip, Bobby Allison, Dale Earnhardt, Terry Labonte, Rusty Wallace and Jeff Gordon, who won the final race there.

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Others’ predictions motivating Austin Dillon after Daytona 500 win: ‘I guess they don’t believe it yet’

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HAMPTON, Ga. – Fresh off the greatest victory of his NASCAR career, Austin Dillon already has motivation to win the next.

The Richard Childress Racing driver heard others predict this week that the Daytona 500 would be his only victory this season.

“I think on Race Hub, Brad (Keselowski) and Chad (Knaus, crew chief for Jimmie Johnson) saying that we weren’t going to win again,” Dillon said Friday at Atlanta Motor Speedway. “So, that was good to hear. That was something to get me fired up a little bit more and our team, get those competitive juices flowing again. So, we will just keep rocking it however we can. We still have a lot to work on.”

Prior to Daytona, Dillon’s lone win in four seasons as a full-time Cup driver came in the 2017 Coca-Cola 600. His No. 3 Chevrolet qualified for the playoffs the past two seasons, but his top 10s (13 to four) and average finish (15.9 to 18.6) slipped demonstrably from 2016 to ’17.

“So yesterday in my group text with my buddies they watched Chad Knaus and Brad Keselowski, and it was like, ‘All right, it’s time to keep knocking them down, I guess they don’t believe it yet,’” Dillon said. “We’ve got to step up though at RCR. We’ve still got a lot to prove. It’s a speedway race, even though it’s the biggest race in our deal, it’s a speedway race.  We’ve got a lot more to prove.

“(Competition executive) Andy Petree and all the guys are RCR are working hard. I think coming down to a two-car team move is big for us. We’ve got to take advantage of that. I’m not going to lie, I’m tired right now, but we are going to kick butt this weekend and get back regrouped and get in the groove and try and gain as many bonus points as we can.”

But qualifying for the playoffs by winning the season opener should be a morale booster that avoids any letdown.

“The one thing they don’t have right now that we have is a win,” Dillon said. “So, we are on top right now, and no matter what they can’t take that away, and we are going to keep working.  I don’t expect us to lay down at all. I feel like now more than ever we need to go head on and go after it.”

Xfinity practice report from Atlanta

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Christopher Bell posted the fastest lap in the first of two Xfinity practice sessions Friday at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

Bell posted a lap of 178.447 mph. He was followed by Joey Logano (177.323 mph), Cole Custer (175.933), Ryan Reed (175.688) and Kevin Harvick (175.487). Daytona winner Tyler Reddick (175.388) was sixth on the speed chart.

There were no incidents in the session.

Final Xfinity practice will be from 3:05 – 3:55 p.m. ET

Click here for practice 1 report