WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. - Brad Keselowski has always had a fondness for Watkins Glen International, and that fondness just grew a bit more.
The reigning Sprint Cup champion, who had finished second three times in the past two years at The Glen, led 49 laps in the Nationwide Zippo 200 and finally notched that elusive first career road course victory Saturday.
"I don't know, it's hard to explain. I can remember coming here with my dad (in the 1990s), just always having a love affair with this track," said Keselowski, runner-up to Marcos Ambrose in the past two Cup races at the track. "There's something about this track. I have a very deep appreciation for it. It's been a great race track for me."
Keselowski passed Joey Logano for the lead with 16 laps to go, then held off Sam Hornish Jr. in a dominant performance for Penske Racing.
Keselowski, who finished second to Carl Edwards despite leading more than half of this race a year ago, won for the fourth straight time over five months in NASCAR's second-tier series. It was his 24th career Nationwide win, tying him with Tommy Houston for eighth place on the career list.
Brian Vickers was third, followed by Regan Smith and Elliott Sadler. Logano finished 21st after running out of gas on the final lap, his team's fuel strategy backfiring.
Hornish won the pole and set sail with Keselowski at the outset after Kyle Busch crashed on the first turn of the 82-lap race.
"Kyle getting torn up, it was pretty apparent that all three of our cars had a shot to win the race if we just didn't do something dumb," Keselowski said. "So I tried to not do something dumb the whole race."
Hornish managed to close on Keselowski's back bumper with six laps remaining, but that was as close as he got. Keselowski pulled away over the final two laps and won by 1.4 seconds.
Castroneves ordered to skip race in Brazil
SAO PAULO - Doctors ordered IndyCar points leader Helio Castroneves to skip a stock car event today in Brazil after he crashed hard in practice.
Castroneves wasn't seriously injured when the brakes on his car malfunctioned and he crashed into a tire barrier on Friday, but doctors said Saturday that the three-time Indy 500 winner was still too sore to endure the street-circuit race in the city of Ribeirao Preto.