NASCAR »

Nationwide: Sadler bounces back on top

Justin Allgaier had taken the top spot for the green flag, leaving Sam Hornish Jr. and Michael McDowell fighting over second spot ahead of Jason Leffler and Cole Whitt. Further back, Danica Patrick and Kurt Busch were battling over ninth place; Busch was one of four drivers (along with Hornish, Mike Bliss and Joe Nemechek) to have flown in from Sprint Cup Series duties at Pocono in time to do a double shift in Iowa.

By the time the race reached half distance, Allgaier's lead was an impressive two seconds over Elliott Sadler who had calmly worked his way back up to second ahead of Hornish, Dillon and Michael McDowell. McDowell made light contact with a lapped car down the backstretch and lost a couple of positions, while Dillon came to pit road very early on lap 138 complaining of a serious vibration.

The rest of the field weren't expecting to pit until around lap 180m but before that could materialise there was a debris caution on lap 172 to make the visit to pit road more amendable. Allgaier and Sadler remained in charge of the front row for the subsequent restart, with Kurt Busch, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Sam Hornish Jr. making up the rest of the top five.

Allgaier was once again unbeatable at the restart and blasted away, but Sadler was safe enough in second place and the comparatively old hand bided his time, started to make in roads into Allgaier's impressive lead, and then - when he judged the moment to be right - he made his move. On lap 192, Sadler dived under the inside of the #31 and emerged from turn 1 with the lead of the race for the first time in over a hundred laps.

"When I got to Justin, I had a hard time passing him," said Sadler."He kind of knew where my car was fast. He made one slip off turn four and opened the door for me. I got a really good bite under him. I knew once I got out front we were in really good shape."

Not that Allgaier was about to let Sadler walk off with the race after having led 101 laps of the race. Anytime Sadler threatened to break way, Allgaier would put his foot down and close right back up to the the #2 and it was impossible to tell which of them truly had the upper hand for the closing stint of the race.

A caution could have changed the entire complexion of the race, but none appeared> Austin Dillon's spotter made the case for debris on lap 206 when his man was in the lucky dog position, but that came to nothing. Nor did Danica Patrick's slide up the race track into a light brush against the wall in turn 4 a couple of laps later while running in tenth place, costing her a few positions in the process. By this point, only 15 cars were on the lead lap - and that was reduced by one more near the end when Kurt Busch pitted on lap 244 with a shredded right tyre and a small fire in the wheel well, having complained of high temperatures for much of this final stint. He'd been running in third when the tyre let go, and ended up finishing in 17th as a result.

The longer the run went uninterrupted, the happier Sadler was looking out on front and the less likely it seemed that Allgaier was holding anything back for a last minute challenge. The gap between first and second remained steady at around a second, and while a final half-hearted charge from Allgaier cut that to 0.649s he could do nothing more about preventing Sadler from claiming the chequered flag.

"It's tough to see Elliott out there and know you're catching him and there's not really much you can do," admitted Allgaier after the race ended. But he didn't appear too downhearted: "To come here and lead the most laps and run as good as we did, I was proud of that."

Sadler was delighted with the win, although clearly the issue last week at Indianapolis was still playing on his mind. "This would be three wins in a row for my race team" if not for last week's penalty, he said.




Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Elliott Sadler, driver of the #2 OneMain Financial Chevrolet, celebrates with his team in victory lane after winning the US Cellular 250 race at Iowa Speedway on August 4, 2012 in Newton, Iowa. (Photo Credit: Rainier Ehrhardt/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Elliott Sadler, driver of the #2 OneMain Financial Chevrolet, celebrates in victory lane after winning the US Cellular 250 race at Iowa Speedway on August 4, 2012 in Newton, Iowa. (Photo Credit: Rainier Ehrhardt/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 National Guard Chevrolet SS finished 2nd, Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet SS finished 7th Saturday, April 12, 2014 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Darlington Raceway in Darlington South Carolina. Earnhardt Jr. is 4th, Gordon is 1st in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. Teammate Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS won. (Photo Credit: HHP/Alan Marler for Chevrolet)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS finished 1st, Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 Great Clips Chevrolet SS finished 37th Saturday, April 12, 2014 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Darlington Raceway in Darlington South Carolina. Harvick  is 22nd, Kahne is 23rd in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. Teammates Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 National Guard Chevrolet SS finished 2nd and Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Kobalt Tools Chevrolet SS finished 3rd.(Photo Credit: HHP/Christa L. Thomas for Chevrolet)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS celebrates his win Saturday, April 12, 2014 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Darlington Raceway in Darlington South Carolina. Harvick is 22nd in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. Teammates Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 National Guard Chevrolet SS finished 2nd and Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Kobalt Tools Chevrolet SS finished 3rd. (Photo Credit: HHP/Tami Kelly-Pope for Chevrolet)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS celebrates his win Saturday, April 12, 2014 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Darlington Raceway in Darlington South Carolina. Harvick is 22nd in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. Teammates Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 National Guard Chevrolet SS finished 2nd and Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Kobalt Tools Chevrolet SS finished 3rd. (Photo Credit: HHP/Christa L. Thomas for Chevrolet)
Aric Almirola, driver of the #43 Richard Petty Motorsports Ford, and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. in the #17 Roush Fenway Racing Ford tangle during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Bojangles` Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway on April 12, 2014 in Darlington, South Carolina. (Photo Credit: NASCAR Via Getty Images)
Chase Elliott, driver of the #9 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Nationwide Series VFW Sport Clips Help A Hero 200 at Darlington Raceway on April 11, 2014 in Darlington, South Carolina.  (Photo Credit: NASCAR Via Getty Images)
Chase Elliott, driver of the #9 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Nationwide Series VFW Sport Clips Help A Hero 200 at Darlington Raceway on April 11, 2014 in Darlington, South Carolina. (Photo Credit: NASCAR Via Getty Images)
Chase Elliott, driver of the #9 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Nationwide Series VFW Sport Clips Help A Hero 200 at Darlington Raceway on April 11, 2014 in Darlington, South Carolina. (Photo Credit: NASCAR Via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #54 Monster Energy Toyota, leads the field to start the NASCAR Nationwide Series VFW Sport Clips Help A Hero 200 at Darlington Raceway on April 11, 2014 in Darlington, South Carolina. (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 National Guard Chevrolet, crashes early in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Duck Commander 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on April 7, 2014 in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo Credit: Nick Laham/Getty Images)
The Air-Titan runs on track prior to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Duck Commander 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on April 6, 2014 in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo Credit: Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Ricky Stenhouse Jr., driver of the #17 Ford EcoBoost Ford, looks on during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Duck Commander 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on April 5, 2014 in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #5 Hunt Brothers Pizza Chevrolet, leads Matt Kenseth, driver of the #20 GameStop Toyota, at the start of the NASCAR Nationwide Series O`Reilly Auto Parts 300 at Texas Motor Speedway on April 4, 2014 in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
Chase Elliott, driver of the #9 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet, celebrates in Victory Lane with Ryan Pemberton after winning the NASCAR Nationwide Series O`Reilly Auto Parts 300 at Texas Motor Speedway on April 4, 2014 in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Chase Elliott, driver of the #9 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet, celebrates in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Nationwide Series O`Reilly Auto Parts 300 at Texas Motor Speedway on April 4, 2014 in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images for Texas Motor Speedway)
Chase Elliott, driver of the #9 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Nationwide Series O`Reilly Auto Parts 300 at Texas Motor Speedway on April 4, 2014 in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

Start the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.




© 1999 - 2014 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.