BROOKLYN, Mich. (AP) — Brad Keselowski swooped past Brian Vickers and Kyle Busch to take the lead in the final turn Saturday, then held on to win the Nationwide series race at Michigan International Speedway.

Keselowski took two tires on his final pit stop, then took advantage of a furious battle for the lead between Vickers and Busch on the last lap. Vickers finished second and Busch third, and they exchanged some heated words on pit road afterward.

“Brian was doing what he needed to do to win the race, and just kind of got snookered by us in the end,” Keselowski said.

It was a rough afternoon for Carl Edwards, whose hopes of a championship in NASCAR’s second-tier series took a hit when he crashed early.

“Man, just early in the race,” he said, “and I probably should have been more cautious.”

Busch and Vickers pitted with most of the lead-lap cars after a caution with 20 laps to go. They lined up in the second row for the restart behind Justin Allgaier, who stayed on the track, and Keselowski, who took only two tires, for a 12-lap dash to the finish.

Busch immediately took the lead when Vickers got hung up behind Allgaier, but came back to challenge and the two were side-by-side when another caution came out with 10 laps left.

Vickers chose the outside lane on the final restart with seven laps remaining, and was poised to run away with the race. Busch caught back up and the two appeared ready to fight it out on the final lap when Keselowski came seemingly out of nowhere.

Busch apparently bumped Vickers’ car pulling onto pit road and the two exchanged words, but the confrontation didn’t escalate. The drivers did end up in a delightfully awkward news conference where they sat together and talked about one another while staring straight ahead.

“Ever since Richmond, I’ve had a trouble racing with (Vickers) so it’s just another escalation of that,” Busch said.

Busch criticized Vickers for not giving him enough room or paying attention to Keselowski.

“I knew the 88 was coming and man, I was stuck,” Busch said. “I didn’t have anywhere to go.”

Vickers admitted he didn’t know Keselowski was coming so quickly, but wasn’t willing to entertain Busch’s second-guessing.

“I race everybody the way they race me,” Vickers said. “We were racing for the win. Kyle, if you want to be upset with that, I’m sorry. That’s my job to try and win the race. If anyone else disagrees, if anyone else thinks I should have just rolled out of it and let Kyle win, please raise your hand. I’m fine. The only thing I’m upset with is how he handled it after the race. I’m sure we can get past that.”

The confrontation is unlikely to spill over into Sunday’s Sprint Cup race, when Vickers will start from the pole and Busch will start near the back.

“He’ll be up front tomorrow and I’ll be in back, so we won’t have anything,” Busch said.

The third-place finish brought an end to a remarkable streak for Busch, who hadn’t finished worse than second in his previous 10 Nationwide races. And even before Edwards’ wreck Saturday, Busch had a commanding lead in the standings.

Edwards was uninjured in his early crash with Trevor Bayne, who managed to continue while Edwards took his damaged car to the garage.

Bayne, an 18-year-old driving for Michael Waltrip’s team, was making only his ninth career Nationwide start but was second-fastest in qualifying earlier Saturday.

“It definitely looked like I didn’t give Trevor enough room,” Edwards said.


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