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Published: Sunday, 7/29/2012

Controversial Brickyard finish

ASSOCIATED PRESS

INDIANAPOLIS -- Brad Keselowski took the lead when Elliott Sadler was penalized for jumping a late restart, then held on to win Saturday in a controversial finish to the first NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Sadler passed Keselowski on a restart with 18 laps to go, but officials ruled that Sadler went too early and black-flagged him. Sadler stayed on the track for several laps, apparently hoping officials would reconsider the penalty, before finally coming in with 12 laps to go and giving up the lead to Keselowski.

Keselowski went unchallenged to the finish on the historic 2.5-mile oval.

Sam Hornish, Jr., was second, followed by Ty Dillon, Denny Hamlin, and Austin Dillon. The Dillon brothers are the grandsons of NASCAR team owner Richard Childress; Ty was making only his second career Nationwide start.

Sadler finished 15th.

Danica Patrick's day ended early after she collided with Reed Sorenson on lap 39.

Kyle Busch dominated the first half of the race, but got shuffled back in the field during a round of pit stops on lap 63, and Hornish took the lead.

Keselowski then passed Hornish for the lead with 29 laps to go, and a caution came out shortly afterward. Busch was fourth on the subsequent restart but spun out right after the race went green. He managed to avoid major damage but lost his shot at the win.

Sadler then shot past Keselowski on a restart with 18 laps to go -- but Sadler was black flagged for jumping the start.

With his crew pleading with NASCAR officials, Sadler stayed on the track instead of coming into the pits to serve the penalty. Sadler finally came in with 12 laps to go, fuming over the radio to his crew as he gave up the race lead and handed it back to Keselowski.

It was the first-ever Nationwide race at the historic oval, part of an effort by officials to drum up interest and boost sagging attendance at the Brickyard 400. Indianapolis also added a Grand Am Series sports car race on the track's infield road course on Friday.

But the addition of Nationwide to the weekend schedule didn't prove to be an immediate hit with fans, as the grandstands were largely empty Saturday.

And any fans who came to see Patrick race didn't get to see much of her.

Patrick appeared to tap Sorenson's back bumper going into Turn 1, causing the back end of Sorenson's car to slide sideways.



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