Bowyer wins Nationwide race at Dover

Sep 26, 2009 - 11:21 PM By DAN GELSTON AP Sports Writer

DOVER, Del.(AP) -- Denny Hamlin's day appeared over. His No. 20 Toyota was in the garage after Brad Keselowski spun him into the wall late in the Nationwide Series race.

Not so fast.

An angry Hamlin returned to pit road at the end of the Nationwide Series race and welcomed Keselowski with a forceful shove and a heated exchange. Keselowski's public relations rep shoved Hamlin, and crews for both drivers quickly got involved in the brief skirmish.

Oblivious to the post-race melee, Clint Bowyer celebrated his second victory of the season Saturday on the concrete at Dover International Speedway.

"Clint's just a master on these concrete tracks," owner Richard Childress said.

Everyone wanted to know after the race what went down between Hamlin and Keselowski.

The brief, but heated, confrontation was sparked with 11 laps left in the 200-lap race when Hamlin was tapped from behind by Keselowski's No. 88 and spun sideways into the wall. Keselowski, who finished third, was trying to pass Hamlin on the inside.

"I was just there. I was underneath him," Keselowski said. "Earlier in the day when he got underneath me in the same scenario I gave him room. I paid him a favor and I expected the same favor to be returned. He didn't. I held my ground."

Hamlin, a Chase driver in the Cup series, didn't see it that way.

"I wanted to talk to him," Hamlin said. "He obviously needs some sort of guidance on what he needs to do to make it. He's got a ton of talent, I am not going to take that away from him, he's a good driver. If he can harness it, he'll win a lot more races."

Tony Eury Jr., the son of Keselowski's crew chief, ended it after he intervened and had a brief chat with Hamlin.

It took the attention away from Bowyer's win. He took the lead with 83 laps left and won in only his ninth Nationwide race of the season. Bowyer won the series championship last season, but scaled back his schedule this year.

"Dover is one of my best racetracks so it's probably fitting I was able to get in this car and race this race," he said.

Mike Bliss was second. Kyle Busch and Carl Edwards rounded out the top five.

Busch, who failed to make the Chase in the Cup series, kept his overall lead in the points standings. He also became the second driver in the second-tier series to ever lead 2,000 laps in a season. He led 109 laps at Dover.

Busch dominated the first 100 laps despite communication issues with his crew. He could hear instruction over the radio, but no one could hear what Busch was saying.

He refused to blame the radio woes for his finish.

"I think it was just a set of mismatched tires, unfortunately there," he said. "The tires just threw us for a loop. Unfortunately, we didn't adjust right to what we had with the tires."

Bowyer replaced Stephen Leicht in the No. 29 Chevrolet as part of a three-race commitment for Childress.

"I hate that he didn't his chance, but he will," Bowyer said. "We need to get this thing running better for him so he has an equal opportunity of developing as a young driver and showing his talent."

He'll be back in the car when he returns home to Kansas. Bowyer, from Emporia, Kan., was excited to get another shot at Victory Lane with the car at Kansas Speedway.

"I knew how strong it was in practice and I was pretty cautious passing people," Bowyer said.

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