Though he led 182 of 250 laps, Busch finished runner-up as it was Keselowski who triumphed in Friday night’s Virginia 529 College Savings 250 at Richmond Raceway. The No. 22 proved to be in order with long-run speed, scoring the victory for the 36th time in the XFINITY Series and fourth time at Richmond.
“I’m not a very patient guy,” Keselowski said about chasing down Busch. “Being behind the wheel is no fun knowing you have to be smooth and steady every lap to have a shot at winning it. The team gave me a great car and were real good about being patient and here we are in Victory Lane.”
Busch lost rear grip in the final 30 laps, losing the lead to Keselowski before settling for second.
“Just didn’t have long-run speed,” Busch said. “I thought we were better than that but apparently not.”
Ty Dillon won Stage 1 on fresh tires, however, couldn’t hang with the top two on even stuff. The Richard Childress Racing driver finished third, his best finish through 21 races in 2017.
Daniel Hemric continued his short track prowess with a fourth-place finish, leading 13 laps on the night. The RCR rookie was happy to bring momentum into the XFINITY playoffs.
“This was a good run, we needed this,” Hemric said. “I felt like we held our own, led some laps. We made almost half a track on [Ty Dillon] the last 15 laps. But lapped traffic held us back a bit. We were a lot better than a lot of cars on the back end of the runs.”
In a quiet night for the series, the 250-lap race had only one non-stage caution, which occurred on lap 54 when Bobby Dale Earnhardt cut a tire in Turn 3. Due to the long runs, only nine cars finished on the lead lap.
Elliott Sadler finished fifth, winning the regular-season championship and earning 15 playoff points to start the postseason next weekend.
“This is something we had on our minds,” Sadler said. “To get 15 points, that gets us through multiple rounds to Homestead. We can go to Chicago and be aggressive, take some chances. Feels very good to do it here at Richmond with my family and friends here.”
"Say cheese!" 😁
— Richmond Raceway (@RichmondRaceway) September 9, 2017
A team effort.
— NASCAR Xfinity (@NASCAR_Xfinity) September 9, 2017
— Xfinity Racing (@XfinityRacing) September 9, 2017