After 195 laps, eight caution flags, and six different leaders, it all came down to … a water bottle?Ricky Stenhouse Jr. won the NRA American Warrior 300 NASCAR Nationwide Series race Saturday at Atlanta Motor Speedway by battling past the night’s dominant driver, Kevin Harvick, and a charging Brad Keselowski, who had fresh tires.

Keselowski had fresh tires after changing them during a caution during laps 184-187. It was a caution brought out by debris. Television coverage showed footage from Keselowski’s in-car camera in which he was throwing a water bottle out of his car, but TV officials later confirmed that footage had been taped and was not being aired lived.

NASCAR officials also confirmed that the caution was displayed due to a piece of aluminum that was on the outside of turn one.

“(The water bottle) came out of my car 15-20 laps before the yellow came out. I don’t know … specifically what lap it was,” said Keselowski, who seemed blindsided by the questions. “I don’t know why the yellow would come out. Yellows come out all the time without any explanation. That’s not a question for me; that’s a question for everybody that runs the show. I’m sure they felt like there was a reason, and that’s their right. Do I feel guilty for throwing a water bottle out of the car? No, everybody throws that stuff out of the car. I threw about three out during the course of the race, and I do every race. I don’t know how the two are linked together without NASCAR saying so.”

But none of that made Harvick feel any better about the way the night played out.

“Yeah it was intentional,” Harvick replied during a post-race media interview session, then turned to Keselowski, seated a foot away at the front table. “Sleep good tonight.”

Harvick was understandably frustrated after leading 157 laps. He still held the lead on the final restart, after all the drama of WaterBottleGate, as well another caution brought out after Danica Patrick tangled with James Buescher and Mike Bliss. But with Keselowski charging on his fresh new tires, and Stenhouse Jr. strategically plotting his course, Harvick was a sitting duck.

“All in all, we got beat on the last restart there and unfortunately because of the 22 car that threw the water bottle out there, we weren’t able to push the (No.) 6 up and they hung on my quarter panel,” Harvick said. “I got a little bit tight getting into one and they got a good run.”

Stenhouse Jr. used that run to propel himself into the lead on the final lap, relegating Keselowski to second and Harvick to third.

“We got a good restart, and I sucked down on him as hard as I could to slow him down,” Stenhouse Jr. said. “He started getting loose off of two and the (No.) 22 gave us a push down the front straightaway that helped us get to the lead.”

Points leader Elliott Sadler finished fourth, while Austin Dillon was the highest finishing rookie in sixth. Other notable finishes came from Patrick, who ended up 13th after running in the top 10 much of the night, and Travis Pastrana, who led his first NASCAR laps before scrubbing the wall and finishing 26th.

The racing action continues Sunday with the AdvoCare 500. Great seats are still available starting at $19 for students and $39 for adults. For tickets or more information call the Atlanta Motor Speedway ticket office at (877) 9-AMS-TIX, (770) 946-4211 or visit

Results for the NRA American Warrior 300 at Atlanta Motor Speedway:

1. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
2. Brad Keselowski
3. Kevin Harvick
4. Elliott Sadler
5. Justin Allgaier
6. Austin Dillon
7. Kyle Busch
8. Cole Whitt
9. Sam Hornish Jr.
10. Michael Annett
11. Brian Scott
12. Denny Hamlin
13. Danica Patrick
14. Joe Nemechek
15. Jeremy Clements
16. Jason Bowles
17. Mike Wallace
18. Tayler Malsam
19. Danny Efland
20. Erik Darnell
21. Eric McClure
22. Mike Bliss
23. James Buescher
24. Benny Gordon
25. Kyle Fowler
26. Travis Pastrana
27. David Starr
28. Kasey Kahne
29. Tony Raines
30. Matt Carter
31. Robert Richardson Jr.
32. Reed Sorenson
33. Timmy Hill
34. Morgan Shepherd
35. Jeff Green
36. Blake Koch
37. Fain Skinner
38. Chase Miller
39. Mike Harmon
40. Josh Wise
41. Carl Long
42. JJ Yeley
43. Joey Gase