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Nationwide: Sadler's second win of 2012

Elliott Sadler has taken his second victory of the 2012 season, successfully gambling on staying out on old tyres to claim the chequered flag at Bristol.
Elliott Sadler was celebrating in victory lane for the second time in 2012 - and the season's only four races old. This one at Bristol Motor Speedway was particularly special to him, however.

"What a great day. This is Bristol. I wanted this worse than anything because I love this track so much," he said. "To win two of the first four races is awesome, and we've got to keep adding to them. There's blood in the water is what they say."

The Ford EcoBoost 300 got underway with the green flag being waved by former series champion Carl Edwards, and then settled into the longest ever caution-free stint ever to open a race on the half mile concrete oval, with no yellow for 104 laps.

Joey Logano had earlier won pole position with a lap of 15.448s (124.210mph) just 0.132s ahead of Trevor Bayne, and the two comfortably led the race for more than 50 laps until Kyle Busch arrived on the scene, having worked his way up from a starting position of eighth. He slid past Bayne on lap 54 and then took the lead from Logano on lap 68, showing just why he's won so many times at Bristol.

With such a long caution-free period, many cars were chased off the lead lap - including Danica Patrick - before a yellow finally emerged for Joey Gase hitting the wall, just in time for the field to make their pit stops. It proved a problematic stop for Busch, who dropped behind Logano again and then made slight contact with the #18 at the restart and then made an unscheduled pit stop less than 20 laps later with a serious vibration caused by a loose right front wheel. Austin Dillon, Martin Truex Jr. and Brian Scott also had stops to forget after they picked up speeding penalties.

Busch was now well down the running order (a lap down in 19th place after his emergency stop) leaving Logano to lead the race with Elliott Sadler in second at the midway point, when Sam Hornish Jr. went for a spin in turn 2. The leaders both came in for another pit stop, and the restart on lap 164 saw Trevor Bayne, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Kasey Kahne, Justin Allgaier slot in ahead of Logano.

It was a very brief green flag, with TJ Bell hitting the wall hard in turn 2 on the very first time around, but that was a big boost to Busch who was able to get the wave-around back onto the lead lap. Bayne led again at the restart, but was soon under pressure from his Roush Fenway Racing team mate Stenhouse, the two of them running side-by-side at the front as the race entered its final 100 laps.

"It is good for us to be battling like that for the lead," insisted Bayne of the battle royale with Stenhouse, before admitting: "It's not fun when you are holding your breath every corner trying to hang on to one at Bristol!

Bayne held on, but he found himself held up by the lapped Danica Patrick and that gave Stenhouse the opportunity to slip past for the lead on lap 224, with Brad Keselowski also quickly getting past Bayne for second place. Elliott Sadler had just demoted Bayne to fourth when a new caution came out: Kyle Busch's recovery operation had ended up in a thumping encounter with the wall in turns 3 and 4 after a tyre seam melted on lap 260 with 40 laps to go, leaving Busch with right side damage albeit still running in 14th place and without losing a lap.




Related Pictures

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Roush Fenway Racing teammates (left to right, low line) Trevor Bayne and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. race (left to right) Kyle Fowler and Eric McClure in the NASCAR Nationwide Series Ford EcoBoost 300 on Saturday at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tenn. (Photo Credit: Rainier Ehrhardt/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Elliott Sadler leads the field during the NASCAR Nationwide Series Ford EcoBoost 300 on Saturday at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tenn. (Photo Credit: Geoff Burke/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Sam Hornish Jr. spins out, causing a caution during the NASCAR Nationwide Series Ford EcoBoost 300 on Saturday at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tenn. (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
Elliott Sadler celebrates in Bristol Motor Speedway Victory Lane on Saturday after winning the NASCAR Nationwide Series Ford EcoBoost 300 in Bristol, Tenn. (Photo Credit: John Harrelson/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet SS, races to win Sunday, August 17, 2014 in the Pure Michigan 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, Michigan. Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy Johns Chevrolet SS finished second. This was Gordon`s third win of the season. (Photo by Alan Marler/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet SS, celebrates with a burnout after winning the Pure Michigan 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup race Sunday, August 17, 2014 at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, Michigan. This was Gordon`s third win of the season. (Photo by Garry Eller/HHP for Chevy Racing)
With General Motors CEO Mary Barra, Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet SS, holds the Michigan Heritage Trophy after winning the Pure Michigan 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup race Sunday, August 17, 2014 at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, Michigan. This was Gordon`s third win of the season. In 2013, MIS began awarding the Michigan Heritage Trophy as a recognition and celebration of the automobile and it`s importance to the race track and the manufacturers competing in NASCAR. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet SS, celebrates with his crew after winning the Pure Michigan 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup race Sunday, August 17, 2014 at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, Michigan. This was Gordon`s third win of the season. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway on August 17, 2014 in Brooklyn, Michigan.  (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet, takes the chequered flag to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway on August 17, 2014 in Brooklyn, Michigan.  (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway on August 17, 2014 in Brooklyn, Michigan.  (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Danica Patrick, driver of the #10 GoDaddy Chevrolet, Martin Truex Jr., driver of the #78 Furniture Row Chevrolet, Trevor Bayne, driver of the #21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane Tire & Auto Center Ford, Justin Allgaier, driver of the #51 Brandt Professional Agriculture Chevrolet, and Michael Annett, driver of the #7 Allstate Peterbilt/Pilot Chevrolet, are involved in an incident during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway on August 17, 2014 in Brooklyn, Michigan.  (Photo Credit: Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet, and Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford, lead the field to start the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway on August 17, 2014 in Brooklyn, Michigan.  (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford, races Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet, during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway on August 17, 2014 in Brooklyn, Michigan. (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images)
Chris Buescher, driver of the #60 Nationwide Children`s Hospital Ford Mustang Ford takes the chequered flag to win the Nationwide Children`s 200 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on August 16, 2014 in Lexington, Ohio.  (Photo Credit: Nick Laham/Getty Images)
Chris Buescher, drives the #60 Nationwide Children`s Hospital Ford Mustang Ford during the Nationwide Children`s 200 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on August 16, 2014 in Lexington, Ohio.  (Photo Credit: Nick Laham/Getty Images)
Chris Buescher, driver of the #60 Nationwide Children`s Hospital Ford Mustang Ford, celebrates in victory lane after winning the Nationwide Children`s Hospital 200 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on August 16, 2014 in Lexington, Ohio.  (Photo Credit: Sarah Glenn/Getty Images)
Chris Buescher, driver of the #60 Nationwide Children`s Hospital Ford Mustang Ford, celebrates in victory lane after winning the Nationwide Children`s Hospital 200 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on August 16, 2014 in Lexington, Ohio.  (Photo Credit: Sarah Glenn/Getty Images)

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