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Nationwide: Sadler revived by Chicago win

Stenhouse, Kligerman, Hornish and Dillon had all duly cycled through when the fourth caution came out, for a second spin of the day for Brad Sweet. That was exactly what those early stoppers didn't want to see as they were now a lap down; while Stenhouse got the lap back by virtue of being in the lucky dog position, it still demoted him to the back of the lead lap in 10th place, 16th in line with all the lapped traffic to attend to after having led 135 of the 165 laps so far and just 35 to go.

That left Sadler and Allgaier leading at the restart ahead of Ryan Truex, Kyle Busch and Kenny Wallace. It might have been 'luck' getting the caution at precisely the right moment, but it was the sort of luck resulting from their earlier solid strategy laid down by Luke Lambert: and the restart also confirmed that the team had finally nailed Sadler's ongoing handling issues, as he shot away into a huge lead leaving a messy scramble over the rest of the top six positions.

And Sadler clearly needed to put his foot down, because Stenhouse had taken to the high line to run around the midfield traffic he was now caught up in, and was soon making rapid progress through the field. He finally passed Justin Allgaier for second place on lap 184, but Sadler's early breakaway meant that the #6 was still two seconds behind the leader and time was running out.

Stenhouse kept at it and had the gap to Sadler down to just a second on lap 192, but time was running out and it seemed that he badly needed a late caution to reset the race and give him a shot at taking Sadler at the restart. And this time luck was on his side, and on lap 192 the fifth caution of the day came out.

It was caused by Sam Hornish Jr. running up to the back of Kyle Busch and Brendan Gaughan who were running side-by-side in a close battle for ninth place. Hornish intended to duck down underneath them both, but he badly misjudged it and clouted the back of Busch's car, sending the #54 hard into Gaughan and trapping the #33 against the wall in an accident that did heavy damage to both race cars.

"I feel real bad about it," said a contrite Hornish after the race. ""I looked down because it looked like one of our hood pins was coming loose, then I looked up and got right into the back of Kyle's car."

Once that mess was cleaned up, it put the race into green-white-chequered overtime: Stenhouse would have his chance after all. But restarts and the first couple of laps under green hadn't exactly been the #6's forté all afternoon, so Sadler knew he still had a decent chance of pulling this off. His odds of winning were dramatically improved when Justin Allgaier starting behind him deided to give Sadler a push for all he was worth, and the two broke away from Stenhouse who found himself under pressure from Kenny Wallace.

Stenhouse regrouped, dropped Wallace - but found his way forward blocked by a determinedly intransigent Allgaier, while all the time Sadler was receding ever further into the distance. Stenhouse took to the highest of lines and was nearly crushed into the wall by Allgaier still trying to defend his position, but finally the position was conceded and Stenhouse had second. But it was too late to do anything about first - Sadler had already claimed the chequered flag.

"At the end, we just couldn't hold off Ricky," said Allgaier. "We were trying to get to Elliott and working both the high and low line."

"We were in the right place at the right time," said Sadler of his race. "Ricky had the strongest car all day, but we kept working at it and eventually got into the right position.




Related Pictures

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Sam Hornish, Jr., driver of the #12 Alliance Truck Parts Dodge and Ricky Stenhouse Jr., driver of the #6 Rancher`s Reserve/Dominick`s/Cargill Ford, lead cars during the NASCAR Nationwide Series STP 300 at Chicagoland Speedway on July 22, 2012, in Joliet, Ill. (Photo Credit: Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Elliott Sadler, driver of the #2 Hunt Brothers Pizza Chevrolet, celebrates winning the NASCAR Nationwide Series STP 300 at Chicagoland Speedway on July 22, 2012, in Joliet, Ill. (Photo Credit: Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Austin Dillon, driver of the #3 Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet, catches fire during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on May 3, 2015 in Talladega, Alabama. (Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet, leads the field during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on May 3, 2015 in Talladega, Alabama. (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet, races Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet, during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on May 3, 2015 in Talladega, Alabama. (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images)
Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet SS, races to victory Sunday, May 3, 2015 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Talladega Superspeedway in Lincoln, Alabama. With him are Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet SS who finished second, and Paul Menard, driver of the #27 Quaker State/Menards Chevrolet SS who finished in third place. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet, waves to fans after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on May 3, 2015 in Talladega, Alabama. (Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet, takes the chequered flag to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on May 3, 2015 in Talladega, Alabama. (Photo Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet SS, picks up the victory flag Sunday, May 3, 2015 after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Talladega Superspeedway in Lincoln, Alabama. This was Earnhardt, Jr.`s sixth victory at Talladega. (Photo by Andrew Coppley/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet, celebrates in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on May 3, 2015 in Talladega, Alabama. (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images)
Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet, and his crew chief, Greg Ives, celebrate in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on May 3, 2015 in Talladega, Alabama.  (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet SS, is congratulated by Hendrick Motorsports teammate, Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet SS Sunday, May 3, 2015 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Talladega Superspeedway in Lincoln, Alabama. This was Earnhardt, Jr.`s sixth victory at Talladega. Johnson finished second behind Earnhardt, Jr. (Photo by Rusty Jarrett/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet SS, celebrates his victory Sunday, May 3, 2015 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Talladega Superspeedway in Lincoln, Alabama. This was Earnhardt, Jr.`s sixth victory at Talladega. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Ty Dillon, driver of the #3 Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet, and Darrell Wallace Jr., driver of the #6 Sponge Bob Square Pants Ford, wreck during the NASCAR XFINITY Series Winn Dixie 300 at Talladega Superspeedway on May 2, 2015 in Talladega, Alabama.  (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images)
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Chris Buescher, driver of the #60 Bit-O-Honey Ford, and Ty Dillon, driver of the #3 Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet, lead the field in a restart during the NASCAR XFINITY Series Winn Dixie 300 at Talladega Superspeedway on May 2, 2015 in Talladega, Alabama. (Photo Credit: Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)
Chase Elliott, driver of the #9 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet, watches crew members work on his car after an incident during the NASCAR XFINITY Series Winn Dixie 300 at Talladega Superspeedway on May 2, 2015 in Talladega, Alabama. (Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet SS, qualifies for fourth position Saturday, May 2, 2015 for Sunday`s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Talladega Superspeedway in Lincoln, Alabama. Earnhardt, Jr. is eighth in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)

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