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Brad Keselowski thrilled with Kurt Busch's Nationwide win at Watkins Glen

Kurt Busch celebrates at the start/finish line after winning the NASCAR Nationwide Series Zippo 200 at Watkins Glen International.
Kurt Busch celebrates at the start/finish line after winning the NASCAR Nationwide Series Zippo 200 at Watkins Glen International.

By Reid Spencer
Sporting News NASCAR Wire Service


WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. - It's not that Brad Keselowski likes to watch, but there he was in the ESPN booth, providing commentary as Penske Racing teammate Kurt Busch drove Keselowski's No. 22 Dodge to victory in Saturday's Zippo 200 NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Watkins Glen International.

Knowing he would be driving in Sunday's Sprint Cup race on a broken ankle -- the result of an Aug. 3 testing accident at Road Atlanta -- Keselowski opted to rest during Saturday's Nationwide event, a race he typically would have run.

In a substitute role, and in his first Nationwide appearance since 2007, Busch won the pole Saturday morning and won the race in the afternoon.

 

"This is great," Keselowski said afterward. "This deal with Kurt didn't come together until Tuesday. We left our driver debrief and talked about the Cup weekend at Pocono. I walked up to Kurt and said, ‘Hey, Kurt, I think it would be cool if you drove my car this weekend. I just don't think that I can pull it off.'

"He was like a kid in a candy store. His face lit up, and I knew that he wanted to drive this car. I knew how bad he wanted to win, and I'm glad to see his hard work and passion for the team pay off with a victory."

Busch, who won the Sprint Cup title in 2004, is the fourth series champion to drive the No. 22 Dodge this year. The others are Sam Hornish Jr. (IndyCar), Jacques Villeneuve (Formula One) and Keselowski, the reigning Nationwide champ.

Villeneuve will make his second appearance in the car next Saturday on the road course in Montreal named for his late father, Gilles Villeneuve, while Keselowski races the No. 2 Cup car at Michigan.