As the day turned to night, attention turned from the Camping World Truck Series race to the Missouri-Illinois Dodge Dealers 250 Nationwide event.
And boy, was it exciting.
Qualifying for the race was held just hours earlier, where 19 year old Trevor Bayne won his first pole of 2010, starting alongside Colin Braun.
Despite clearing Braun to take control of the race once the green flag dropped at 7:17 PM local time, it was Brad Keselowski who would take the lead on lap four and drive away from the field.
Further in the pack, Cup points leader and Truck race winner Kevin Harvick battled his way to the front from his tenth place starting spot. By lap 16 he was passing Braun for third place, and making a steady charge toward the leaders.
The over five second lead Keselowski had was erased by the first caution of the day for debris on lap 45, and despite Bayne coming off pit road first, "Special K" would jump ahead of the No. 99 on the outside and regain the lead on the restart.
Harvick would soon move into second and Reed Sorenson, who was battling to get into the top five after starting 13th, had to hit pit road under green for a loose wheel. He would lose a lap, and fall from sixth to 26th.
Meanwhile, as the dominate No. 22 was headed for lap traffic, Harvick was steadily closing in on him. Behind them, both Jason Leffler- who came down pit road on lap 84 for a battery change- and Brad Coleman, who said he felt "down on power" were experiencing their issues just before green flag stops began on lap 116.
Harvick was the first of the leaders to pit and, after Keselowski spun coming onto pit road, would take the lead once green flag stops cycled out on lap 123.
Five laps later Carl Edwards, who had been stalking the No. 22 and No. 33 cars for most of the night, took the lead and was able to hold off a charging Keselowski until caution, once again for debris, came out on lap 143.
Special K won the race off pit road, and on the restart on lap 148 the two battled side by side, with Edwards taking the lead.
On lap 150, as Steve Wallace, Brendan Gaughan and Bayne raced three wide ahead of them, a very loose Matt DiBenedetto spun in turn two and, with no where to go, teammate Brad Coleman slammed into the driver's side of the No. 20 Toyota. Both drivers, though very shaken up, were able to walk away.
Ten laps later, Edwards was able to drive away from the field on the restart, and Paul Menard was able to take third from Harvick, thought Harvick would take back the spot a lap later
With 32 laps remaining, after laps of side by side battling, Keselowski was able to clear the No. 60 Aflac Ford. Further helping the No. 22 Penske Dodge was Harvick challenging Edwards for second.
Ryan Truex, the younger brother of Martin Truex, Jr. was having a strong Nationwide debut before he spun and hit the wall with just 22 laps to go. The fourth caution of the race brought most of the field down pit road, with six drivers- Bayne, Sorenson, Raines, Brian Scott, and Gaughan- staying on track.
On new tires, Keselowski was able to drive by Sorenson and Bayne and reclaim the lead with 15 to go. However, trouble for Harvick on lap 188 when he lost a tire and slammed the wall. He would finish 16th.
With just eight laps remaining, Bayne was able again to get a good start before getting too high in the corner, allowing Keselowski to take the lead, with Sorenson and Edwards also getting by.
Justin Allgaier hit the wall with seven laps to go and was able to continue, but the following lap was much different. Losing a tire, Allagier spun and collected Tayler Malsam and Joe Nemechek, a wreck that would red flag the race going into the green-white-checkered.
With two to go it was between Keselowski and Edwards- bitter rivals after what happened at Talladega last year and Atlanta this season. With Edwards leading, Keselowski got into the No. 60 and raced him side by side for the top spot, with Sorenson not far behind.
Edwards was on the outside and Keselowski was gaining momentum on the bottom line. As the two neared the start finish line and the No. 22 started inching away, Edwards sent Keselowski into the wall and drove on to get his third Gateway victory.
Also caught up in the Keselowski carnage was Jason Leffler, Colin Braun, JR Motorsports Steve Arpin, Tayler Malsam, and others. Everyone involved was okay.
"The way it went, he bumped me and he finished wherever he finished and I still won the race," Edwards said. "That's the only way I could see the race turning out fair."
Sorenson had come back from being a lap down earlier in the race to finish second.
"I couldn't hardly see what happened," Sorenson said. "The 60 obviously got into the right rear of the 22. I just hoped I would beat the 60 to the line."
Keselowski would be scored 14th.
"I found a way to beat him, and he just wrecked me," the points leader said.
Keselowski now has a 168 point lead over Edwards, with Allgaier 497 points back in third. Next up for the Nationwide Series is another Saturday night showdown, this time at O'Reilly Raceway Park for the Kroger 200. Coverage begins at 8:00 pm ET on ESPN.
Thanks to NASCAR on ESPN, NASCAR.com, and The Associated Press for the information used in this piece.