Ricky Stenhouse Jr. captures the Nationwide Championship, Keselowski wins the Ford 300

Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images for NASCAR
Heading into the Ford 300, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. needed to finish just 37th or better to clench the title; at Lap 28 official word came that Ricky Stenhouse had done so. There was no doubt it would happen, given the fact there are always start and park cars but never the less, Stenhouse still did not want to celebrate early.

Amusing fact was, Stenhouse was driving on track as the champion and didn’t know it at the time due to radio problems. After the team switched channels, crew chief Mike Kelley knew that Stenhouse was champion but did not want to tell him until he was told by a NASCAR official. Once an official climbed the pit box to relay the message, Kelley came on the radio and said, “All right, man, I got the word. You are the champion." No response from Stenhouse – he just kept giving it his all.

Stenhouse becomes the seventh former NASCAR Nationwide Series Sunoco Rookie of the Year to win the series championship, beating Elliott Sadler by 45 points. Stenhouse concludes the year with two wins, 16 top-fives and 26 top-10s.

Brad Keselowski won the Ford 300 after out dueling the Roush Fenway Fords of Stenhouse and teammate Carl Edwards.

Edwards and Denny Hamlin (in the No.18 for Joe Gibbs Racing) were in a contest for the owner’s championship that went down to the wire. Edwards finished in 3rd and just edged ahead of the Gibbs camp bringing home the title for Jack Roush. The No. 60 car had eight wins, 23 top fives and 27 top 10s this season; all but one were driven by Edwards. This is the first time in Nationwide Series history that a team won both the drivers and owners championships – with two different drivers.

Stenhouse and Edwards perform a head-to-head burnout while race winner
Brad Keselowski celebrates in the background.
Credit: Todd Warshaw/Getty Images for NASCAR
The Nationwide Series Rookie of the Year honors went to 18 year-old Timmy Hill. Hill, driver of the No. 15 for Rick Ware Racing, has a top finish of 11th at Road America.

Race results:
1. Brad Keselowski
2. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
3. Carl Edwards
4. Clint Bowyer
5. Denny Hamlin
6. Elliott Sadler
7. Sam Hornish Jr.
8. Aric Almirola
9. Brian Scott
10. Joey Logano
11. Trevor Bayne
12. Jason Leffler
13. Justin Allgaier
14. James Buescher
15. David Stremme
16. Joe Nemechek
17. Mike Bliss
18. Jeremy Clements
19. Michael Annett
20. Mike Wallace
21. Timmy Hill
22. Robert Richardson Jr.
23. Blake Koch
24. Nelson Piquet Jr.
25. Reed Sorenson
26. Kevin Conway
27. Casey Roderick
28. TJ Duke
29. Eric McClure
30. Derrike Cope
31. Stanton Barrett
32. Danica Patrick
33. Kenny Wallace
34. Steven Wallace
35. Kevin Lepage
36. Andrew Ranger
37. Scott Riggs
38. Chase Miller
39. Josh Wise
40. Matt Carter
41. Scott Speed
42. Fain Skinner
43. Morgan Shepherd
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. captures the Nationwide Championship, Keselowski wins the Ford 300 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. captures the Nationwide Championship, Keselowski wins the Ford 300 Reviewed by Unknown on Saturday, November 19, 2011 Rating: 5