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Brad Keselowski wins F.W. Webb 200 at NHMS

Posted by Michael Vega, Globe Staff  July 14, 2012 05:51 PM

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LOUDON, N.H. --- Brad Keselowski capitalized on lapped traffic that held up race leader Kevin Harvick with 21 laps to go, and went on to take the lead and held on to win Saturday's F.W. Webb 200 Nationwide Series race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

Harvick finished runner-up and Nationwide Series rookie Austin Dillon finished third to claim the $100,000 Nationwide Series Dash 4 Cash bonus. Sam Hornish Jr., Keselowks's Penske Racing teammate, finished fourth.

"This series is hard, it's tough racing,'' said Keselowski, who won from the pole position to deliver Penske Racing its 25th Nationwide Series victory. "Kevin raced me hard and it was great racing. There's very few other guys I'd like to race with than Kevin. He's a lot of fun to race with. I probably got a break in traffic, so that's the way it goes.''

Harvick got held up on the backstretch of the 1.058-mile oval when he came upon the lapped car of Amber Cope, of Pulyallup, Wash., one of the twin nieces of 1990 Daytona 500 winner Derrike Cope.

Cope, who was supposed to start 42d, never took the green flag after developing problems and pulling into the garage. She came back out 33 laps behind the leaders and finished 26th in her No. 24 Chevrolet.

Afterward, Harvick took Cope to task, giving her car a disapproving nudge with his own on pit road.

"The 24 every time you'd come up to her, she didn't know whether she was going high or low,'' Harvick said. "It looked like she went up, so I committed to the bottom and then she came down.''

Harvick refused to describe the incident as ``one of those racing deals.''

"It's not one of those deals,'' he said. "It's somebody who shouldn't be on the race track and has no clue what they're doing in the race car. She wants to be Danica Patrick but she can't hold her ... hold her helmet.''

Said Keselowski: "You're always going to have some traffic, and some drivers who don't know where they're at and stuff like that. Sometimes it goes against you, today it went for us.''

Ricky Stenhouse Jr., the reigning Nationwide Series champion, finished fifth in the race, and runner-up to Dillion in the Dash 4 Cash bonus, but was overcome by the 90-degree heat on pit road.

Stenhouse, who had been battling a strep throat infection all week, passed out after climbing from his car. He was attended to by track's medical personnel and, as a precaution, taken by stretcher to the infield medical center, where he was treated and released.

"I feel OK now,'' Stenhouse said afterward. "They gave me some fluids and got good to go. I think just being a little sick all week, not eating much and not drinking enough fluids caught up with me after the race. I think we'll be good to go now.''

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