DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — Regan Smith outgunned Brad Keselowski by a fender to win Saturday's DRIVE4COPD 300 Nationwide Series race at Daytona International Speedway, the final preliminary to Sunday's Daytona 500, NASCAR's Super Bowl.
The dramatic finish was set up with four laps to go when Chad Boat and Eric McClure made contact in turn three and caused the race's fifth caution. That produced the green-white-checkered dash to the finish.
Smith, in the outside lane, pushed past Keselowski as the tightly-packed front group swept through the trioval for the final time.
Smith won by .013 of a second. Completing the top five in the first Nationwide race of the season were Keselowski, Trevor Bayne, Kyle Busch and Elliott Sadler.
The race featured two drafting lines for much of the afternoon, with the inside carrying the most momentum.
NASCAR dropped its drafting penalty hammer for the first time 86 laps into the 120-lap race when Toyota driver James Buescher was nailed for push-drafting behind Keselowski. The front end of Buescher's car was at or under the rear of Keselowski's car for several seconds, a violation of NASCAR's ban on particular kinds of drafting. Buescher, who was running ninth, served a pass-through penalty.
A year after Kyle Larson's car sailed into the catchfence on a last-lap wreck coming out of Turn 4, sending a tire and debris that injured more than two dozens fans into the grandstands, Saturday's race was fairly clean.
There was a wreck toward the back of the field after the race was over. Dale Earnhardt Jr. got into Larson and several cars went spinning through the grass.