Keselowski hit the back of Busch's car as the defending Sprint Cup champ tried to clear him from the lead, cutting down a tire and sending Busch into the wall four laps from the scheduled end. Then just as suddenly Keselowski ran out of gas during the caution -- leaving a happily surprised Dillon out front to win the Xfinity race in overtime Friday night.
"I was actually just enjoying what was going on (up front) trying to get there," Dillon said about the chaos.
For the last 50 laps, the race looked like a classic faceoff between Busch and Keselowski, whom no one would consider friends.
While Keselowski's tactic to many diehards was just a traditional Bristol bump-and-run, it's sure to stir up a Busch-Keselowski tussle that frequently goes from zero-to-60 in seconds.
Keselowski described Busch as another name for a donkey during driver intros at Bristol in 2010. Keselowski detailed their rocky relationship on and off track in a blog last year.
The two get a chance to tangle once more here Saturday night in the Sprint Cup event.
"We were battling really hard and definitely didn't want to see it end that way," Keselowski said.
"He's a dirty racer," Busch responded when asked by ESPN.
"Even when they were pushing us, we had to remain calm," said Dillon's crew chief, Justin Alexander. "Things unfold and you're sitting there pretty much where you need to be."
Larson had led for 200 of 308 laps, but was overtaken the Keselowski and Busch.
Dillon's younger brother, Ty Dillon, made it a three-car race as he mixed it up between the two Sprint Cup champs. In fact, it was Ty Dillon, who emerged on top when that trio raced three-wide on Bristol's slippery, tight track. But Dillon couldn't sustain his edge and his chances ended for good when he hit the back of Busch's slowed machine.
Dillon thought the Keselowski-Busch dustup might increase the walk-up sales for Saturday night's next round. "We should sell some tickets tomorrow night," he said.
All the fussin' and fuedin' up front was just fine with Dillon, who won his eighth career Xfinity victory and first at Bristol.
"It was just a war of attrition and we had a pretty good car," Dillon said. "Maybe not the fastest car, but the car that won."
NASCAR and Bristol Motor Speedway officials will also reapply resin in the turns of the track in preparation for the Sprint Cup race Saturday night.
The resin was also reapplied Thursday night and appeared to be successful in adding grip to the lower groove. While the track had used a tire machine to add rubber to the road before the race weekend, the tire machine will not be used again prior to the Sprint Cup race.
Drivers lobbied after the Xfinity race for the reapplication of the resin.
"Yeah, that was the whole point," Keselowski said when asked if it should be reapplied. "The whole point was to work on the bottom groove and make this a track that doesn't run on the top. There was a lot of work done to make that happen. It didn't stick (through the night). ... It's just a question on NASCAR whether they want to let the track work on it and get it back.