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Loudon, N.H. • Brad Keselowski slipped in front when Kevin Harvick got into a traffic jam. Then Harvick got mad.
Keselowski took the checkered flag in Saturday's Nationwide race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway while Harvick fumed about the inexperienced driver who got in his way even though she had been lapped.
"It's somebody who shouldn't be on the racetrack, who has no clue what they're doing in the race car," Harvick said, directing his anger at Amber Cope. "She wants to be Danica Patrick, but she can't hold her helmet."
Keselowski capitalized when Harvick was forced to slow down with about 21 laps left in the 200-mile race at the one-mile oval, pulling ahead and winning by about six car lengths.
"I caught a little bit of a break in traffic," Keselowski said, "but that's the way it goes."
The pole-sitter had lost the lead to Harvick at about the 150th lap when Patrick's Chevrolet bumped Jason Bowles' Toyota, bringing out the yellow flag. When the race restarted, Harvick shot in front.
Would Keselowski have won if Harvick and Cope hadn't slowed down like a pair of rush-hour commuters?
"There's no way of really knowing that. The odds were probably not in my favor," Keselowski said. "You catch good breaks and bad breaks. It was a bad break for us when the yellow came out to begin with."
The 28-year-old Cope is one of the twin nieces of Derrike Cope, who won the Daytona 500 in 1990. Her only other race in the Nationwide series was in May at the Iowa Speedway where she was sent off the track on the 203rd lap of the 250-lap race for driving too slowly.
Sprint Cup, Industrial Tools 301
P Sunday, 11 a.m.
TV • TNT