NASCAR at Homestead: Nationwide Series Has Dramatic Finish with "Bad Brad"

Sandra MacWattersCorrespondent INovember 19, 2011

HOMESTEAD, FL - NOVEMBER 19:  Crew chief Todd Gordon and Brad Keselowski, driver of the #22 Discount Tire Dodge, celebrate in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Nationwide Series Ford 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 19, 2011 in Homestead, Florida.  (Photo by John Harrelson/Getty Images for NASCAR)
John Harrelson/Getty Images

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. may have captured the Nationwide Series title, but it was Brad Keselowski who held off Carl Edwards despite the punt he got because the potential Cup champion thought he was blocking.

Edward's move actually slowed him a bit, giving the advantage to Stenhouse Jr., who drove past him after the encounter.

It was shades of conflict we have seen before between Keselowski and Edwards. With just a couple laps remaining, Keselowski used the Penske Power in his No. 22 to hold the lead.

In Victory Lane, Keselowski told the ESPN reporter, "I was blocking him as hard as I could. I don't think he (Edwards) was very happy with me racing him that hard."

Most people think racing should be about hard racing, but Edwards may have thought otherwise. In a post-race interview, Edwards told the ESPN reporter "If he is going to block, I am going to bump him."

Edwards had a fast car and looked like he was going to win the Ford 300, but a slow pit stop near the end of the race caused him to lose a few spots on the restart.

Keselowski powered to the lead and fought valiantly to hold off Edwards and Stenhouse for the win. It was his fifth top-two finish in the the last seven races.

Stenhouse Jr. was declared the series champion by the midpoint of the event and raced strong against the Cup drivers in the field, ran up front, but finished second.

It was an amazing turnaround for the Roush Fenway Racing driver of the No. 6 Ford. Jack Roush removed him from the race car last year and sat him down for a talk.

HOMESTEAD, FL - NOVEMBER 19:  Ricky Stenhouse Jr., driver of the #6 Blackwell Angus Beef Ford, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the 2011 Series Championship after the NASCAR Nationwide Series Ford 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 19, 20
Todd Warshaw/Getty Images

Stenhouse didn't know if he would be back in the car, but Roush saw potential with the young driver. This year he came back with vengeance and captured the championship.

There is little doubt this year's NASCAR Nationwide champion will be in racing in a Cup car in the not too distant future. He may run a few races in the top series during 2012 for RFR.

Perhaps Edwards used up his good luck when he captured the pole for the Ford 400.

Even though he has the first pit position—which is certainly advantageous—Tony Stewart should be good on long runs and may be another driver who blocks Edwards.

Edwards looked to be the winner of the Nationwide race, but he couldn't close the deal. Many favor the driver of the Aflac Ford to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship, but owner/driver Stewart has other plans.

We can only hope the finish of the Ford 400 will be as exciting as the Ford 300 race won by Keselowski.

Two championships down at Homestead-Miami Speedway and one whopper of a race to go that will end the reign of five-time Cup champion Jimmie Johnson.

Who will hoist the NASCAR Sprint Cup trophy? Stay tuned for some great racing.