Brad Keselowski made one mistake all day. It was the kind of mistake that, as a driver in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, you're happy to make. Keselowski dropped the American flag out of his window as he cruised around New Hampshire Motor Speedway on Saturday night, following a dominating performance in the Sta-Green 200.
It was the first win from the pole position for Keselowski, who now has two wins, three runners-up and a third in six Nationwide starts this season. It was Keselowski's 29th victory in 211 NASCAR Nationwide races, which breaks a tie with Matt Kenseth for sole possession of sixth on the all-time Nationwide wins list.
"It was really, really windy and my hand was sore. I took my hand off the flag for a second and the wind just took it from me. It wasn't one of my finer moments," said Keselowski, who won the 2012 July Nationwide race at NHMS. "We had a lot of adversity, but we fought through it and got the pole which was very rewarding today."
Kyle Busch, Matt Kenseth, Kyle Larson, and Chris Buescher round out the top-five finishers.
Regan Smith's 10th-place finish was tops among all "Dash 4 Cash" qualifiers, earning him a nice payday of $100,000. The "Dash 4 Cash" is a bonus program that rewards the highest-finishing eligible driver in four designated races with a $100,000 bonus above and beyond the race purse. Smith, Ryan Reed (11th), Ryan Sieg (18th) and Jeremy Clements (20th) were the eligible "D4C" drivers this week.
"This means a lot to our team," said Smith, who leads the Nationwide Series point standings by eight points over Elliott Sadler. "It is great to get a little extra spotlight in the middle of our season for our team."
Smith, Chris Buescher (seventh), Sadler (14th) and Brian Scott (18th) have qualified for next week's "D4C" race at Chicagoland Speedway.
Keselowski led 152 of 200 laps, but needed to hold off a hard-charging Busch over the final 30-plus laps to secure the victory.
"We fought our way up to second, but just didn't have enough to get by him," said Busch, whose three-race Nationwide win streak at the Magic Mile was snapped. "We came in thinking we had a second-place car and that's what we got out of it."
Buescher led three laps and was the highest-finishing full-time Nationwide pilot.
"We held on and found speed being in little bit better air (late in the race)," said Buescher. "This was a really good day for us, and I'm proud of our guys."
The weekend caps off with the 22nd running of the NASCAR Camping World RV Sales 301, which will run on Sunday at 1:00 p.m.