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Motor sports notebook: Stenhouse steals Nationwide victory

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AP
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. holds the trophy in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Nationwide Series auto race at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City, Kan., on Saturday, Oct. 20, 2012. AP Photo/Colin E. Braley
By The Associated Press
Saturday, Oct. 20, 2012, 7:36 p.m.
 

KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Ricky Stenhouse Jr. came back from two laps down Saturday to win the Nationwide Series race at Kansas Speedway.

The race was extended six laps because of a late caution, which helped Stenhouse grab his series-leading sixth win of the season because the cars in front of him didn't have enough gas to make it to the finish.

Sam Hornish Jr. ran out of fuel before the planned restart, which extended the caution period another lap. As the field came to the green, Paul Menard ran out of gas.

Kyle Busch then pulled away from the field, but his tank ran dry as he exited the third turn of the final lap.

Stenhouse, who had lined up in fourth on the restart, zipped past for the victory.

Austin Dillon finished second to clinch the manufacturer championship for Chevrolet. Joey Logano wound up third and was still smarting from the early contact with Stenhouse. He made a point to rub against Stenhouse's car on the cool-down lap to show his displeasure.

Getting back on track

Brad Keselowski will have a lot of ground to make up over the repaved surface of Kansas Speedway after a lousy qualifying lap left him starting deep in the field Sunday.

The leader in the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship thinks he has a couple of things going for him.

He's performed well at Kansas in the past — he won on the 1 12-mile track last year, and his average finish in his last three races is fifth. And he's performed well over tracks that have had a facelift this year, winning at Chicago and finishing fourth at Pocono.

“The track has been very good to me in the past, but obviously, it's much different now with the repave,” said Keselowski, who enters the weekend with a seven-point lead over Jimmie Johnson. Keselowski will start 25th.

The freezing and thawing of the Midwest put the original surface at Kansas through a beating.

When the decision was made to resurface it, owner International Speedway Corp. decided to re-grade the entire track. The original, uniform 15-degree banking was changed to 17-20 degrees of progressive banking.

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