While Brad Keselowski was wheeling his Dodge to victory lane in the inaugural Nationwide Series race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Elliott Sadler was furious.
When Keselowski spun his wheels, and slowed, on a late race restart Sadler, leaped ahead which NASCAR officials ruled as an illegal start black flagging the series’ points leader.
The victory was the first NASCAR series win for Penske Racing which has a record 15 Indy 500 wins at the legendary 2.5 mile Brickyard. And it was Penske’s 100th NASCAR win.
"I've been watching races here for a long time as a kid from Michigan," Keselowski said. "Everyone knows how special Indy is. To win the first Nationwide Series race is special here. This is for Roger. It's special for me to deliver it to him."
Sam Hornish, Jr., Keselowski’s Penske teammate, finished second followed by Ty Dillon.
Hornish said he was pushing his teammate at the restart with about 18 laps remaining in the 100-lap race.
The issue was the exact time and place of the restart.
"You tell me what the protocol is if the leader beats me to the restart line — which he did and it's on video just as clear as day — and then he spins his tires," Sadler who drove a Chevrolet explained.
"It's just like missing a shift. Do I stop and wait for him to get his shift right or do I stop and let him get his tires? Oh, yeah, by the way, I'm getting pushed by the 3 (Austin Dillon – his teammate) car, who's also getting pushed by the 43 car."
"They just want it to be close and fair," Keselowski said. "It was obvious that (Sadler) beat us by more than that (at the restart). That's NASCAR's call."
Denny Hamlin, who won the pole for Sunday’s Brickyard 400, was fourth in Toyota followed by Austin Dillon, Ty’s older brother, in a Chevrolet.
Michael Annet, who finished sixth in a Richard Petty Motorsports Ford, took home a $100,000 bonus in the series Dash4Cash award.
Sadler, who ended up 15th, continues to lead the series by one point over Austin Dillon and 13 over Ricky Stenhouse Jr. who finished ninth. Hornish remains in fourth place 28-points in arrears.