The Penske Racing driver lost the lead to Harvick on a restart with approximately 50 laps remaining, but regained the top spot when Harvick failed to execute a clean pass of Cope’s lapped machine on lap 179, losing momentum and the lead. After the race, Harvick ripped the inexperienced Cope, calling the niece of former Daytona 500 champion Derrike Cope, “somebody who shouldn't be on the racetrack, who has no clue what they're doing in the race car. She wants to be Danica Patrick, but she can't hold (Patrick’s) helmet.''
Keselowski admitted catching, “”a little bit of a break in traffic,'' adding, “that's the way it goes.'' He said he was unsure whether he could have passed Harvick without the unintentional interference provided by Cope, but admitted, “the odds were probably not in my favor.”
|Cope to Harvick, "Your fault."|
The 28-year old Cope was making only her second career Nationwide Series start, after being black-flagged from the Iowa John Deere Dealers 250 at Iowa Speedway in May for failing to maintain minimum race speed. Cope qualified 42nd Saturday, but failed to take the green flag after pulling to the garage with undisclosed mechanical problems prior to the start. She eventually joined the race, finishing 33 laps down in her No. 24 Chevrolet.
Harvick took a shot at Cope on Twitter after the race, tweeting, “Looking forward to tomorrow, should be an intense race! Best part about it is I know the #24 will be able to drive straight tomorrow!”
Cope responded in kind, tweeting, “@KevinHarvick Way to go tough guy. I bet if u take a moment in your arrogance u will realize your fault. @keselowski figured it out.”
…Austin Dillon's third-place finish earned him a $100,000 bonus from the Nationwide ''Dash4Cash'' program. Dillon, Elliott Sadler, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Michael Annett all qualified for the bonus last weekend at Daytona International Speedway, and after a steaming hot day in the Granite State, Dillon he has definite plans for the money. ''I was going to buy a pool,” he said. “I wish I had one today.”
…Stenhouse finished a strong fifth Saturday, but collapsed after completing a post-race radio interview. The Roush Fenway Racing driver has battled a case of strep throat in recent days, and with race day temperatures in the 90s, reportedly became dehydrated during the event. He was treated and released the track’s Infield Care Center. “They gave me some fluids,” said the defending Nationwide Series champion afterward. “Being a little sick all week, not eating much and not drinking enough fluids caught up with me after the race.”
Photo Credits: Geoff Burke/Getty Images North America