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Nationwide: Villeneuve denied home win

The on lap 66 Jacques Villeneuve had his chance to make a move on Tagliani for the lead after the #30 was just a little too slow out of a corner. Villeneuve got behind him and put his foot down, driving into the back of Tagliani and then accelerating some more so that the #30 spun out. It wasn't any way for the Canadian to make any friends in the NASCAR paddock, that's for sure.

A spin for Mike Wallace brought the field back under yellow again a few minutes later, setting up another restart on lap 73 with Villeneuve now lined up alongside Grand-AM's Billy Johnson. The second row featured current Nationwide champion Ricky Stenhouse Jr - no fan of road racing but doing surprisingly well here just a week after a top five finish at Watkins Glen - with Brendan Gaughan.

But it was from further back that Alex Tagliani tried to surge his way back to the front in order to have words with Villeneuve. He got passed the second row cars but in doing so sparked off shockwaves of cars bumping and colliding into one another in avoidance: it made for the messiest turns 1 and 2 of the entire race with just about everyone hitting something. Tagliani himself got tapped into a spin by Gaughan, while Jeremy Clements ended up against the barrier to trigger the seventh caution of the afternoon.

That put the race into green-white-chequered overtime, which was a disaster for those cars - including Villeneuve - who had been trying to stretch their fuel all the way from lap 46. But they were all-in now and no one was about to blink now if they could help it, even though the extended safety car periods that had once been their best friend were now their worst possible nightmare.

When the restart came on lap 76, Villeneuve drove it like he had a full tank of gas and jumped away form the pack. There were no messy heroics behind him going into turn 1 this time, with very few people now comfortable with facing a second GWC scenario this late in the day.

But that was what they got. First, Stenhouse Jr. undid all his excellent day's work by spinning into the barrier while trying to close up on Villeneuve for the lead; and elsewhere Derek White spun after getting a bump from Kyle Busch through a corner and Alex Kennedy was also off track as well. An eighth caution, and a second GWC finish attempt loomed.

Surely those early stoppers didn't have enough to carry on now? Villeneuve wouldn't budge from the lead, but second place Billy Johnson had no choice and nor did Austin Dillon. Villeneuve now faced the threat of Elliott Sadler, Justin Allgaier around him - and they'd all stopped later than he had. Brian Scott was the only other driver at the sharp end to try toughing it out, and his car ran dry before the end and dumped him all the way down to 24th place by the time the race finally ended.

Could Villeneuve somehow prove the exception to the rule and overcome the laws of engineering psychics? He certainly didn't look in any trouble as he shot clear in turn 1, with Allgaier and Hornish both following the leader through on the outside to get the better of Sadler for second and third places.

The home crowd held its breath: would Villeneuve's car run dry as Brian Scott's just had? Not on the first half of the two-lap GWC finale, and Villeneuve was still in charge of the race as they took the white flag. But Allgaier was pulling right up to the back of the #22 and looking for any sign of weakness. When it finally came, it appeared that Villeneuve really had finally run dry and was very slow into turn 6. Allgaier saw his moment and pounced.

But Villeneuve wasn't done, and he took the line into the apex as well. Two cars on the same spot of tarmac at the same time rarely works out well: Villeneuve was bumped wide, allowing both Allgaier and Hornish to get past him. Villeneuve was able to hold on to the spin and rejoin the race behind them, but had no time to catch up to the leading pair who duly claimed the chequered flag.




Related Pictures

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Coors Light Pole sitter Alex Tagliani leads the NASCAR Nationwide Series field to start the NAPA 200 at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. (Photo Credit: Robert Laberge/Getty Images)
Justin Allgaier crosses the finish line to win the NAPA 200 at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. (Photo Credit: Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 Quicken Loans Chevrolet SS, races to an eighth place finish with Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet SS who finished in second place Saturday night, April 9, 2016 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Texas.  (Photo by Alan Marler for Chevy Racing)
Chase Elliott, driver of the #24 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet SS, stops in his pit on his way to a fifth place finish Saturday night, April 9, 2016 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Texas. Elliott takes over the #24 car from retired driver Jeff Gordon.  (Photo by Ashley R Dickerson for Chevy Racing)
Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet SS, finishes in second place Saturday night, April 9, 2016 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo by Brian Cleary for Chevy Racing)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 Interstate Batteries Toyota, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Duck Commander 500 as Texas Motor Speedway President Eddie Gossage (L) and John Godwin of Duck Commander (R) look on at Texas Motor Speedway on April 9, 2016 in Fort Worth, Texas (Photo Credit: Photo by Jared C. Tilton/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 Interstate Batteries Toyota, celebrates after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Duck Commander 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on April 9, 2016 in Fort Worth, Texas.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Jared C. Tilton/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 Interstate Batteries Toyota, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Duck Commander 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on April 9, 2016 in Fort Worth, Texas.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Sarah Crabill/Getty Images for Texas Motor Speedway)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 Interstate Batteries Toyota, celebrates winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Duck Commander 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on April 9, 2016 in Fort Worth, Texas.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Sarah Crabill/Getty Images for Texas Motor Speedway)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 Interstate Batteries Toyota, takes the chequered flag to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Duck Commander 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on April 9, 2016 in Fort Worth, Texas.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Robert Laberge/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Martin Truex Jr., driver of the #78 Bass Pro Shops/TRACKER Boats Toyota, practices for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Duck Commander 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on April 7, 2016 in Fort Worth, Texas.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Jared C. Tilton/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s 75th Anniversary Toyota, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway on April 3, 2016 in Martinsville, Virginia. (Photo Credit: Photo by Matt Sullivan/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s 75th Anniversary Toyota, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway on April 3, 2016 in Martinsville, Virginia. (Photo Credit: Photo by Sean Gardner/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s 75th Anniversary Toyota, celebrates with the chequered flag after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway on April 3, 2016 in Martinsville, Virginia. (Photo Credit: Photo by Sarah Crabill/Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s 75th Anniversary Toyota, crosses the finish line to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway on April 3, 2016 in Martinsville, Virginia. (Photo Credit: Photo by Sean Gardner/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s 75th Anniversary Toyota, leads Matt Kenseth, driver of the #20 Dollar General Toyota, and Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Express Toyota, during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway on April 3, 2016 in Martinsville, Virginia. (Photo Credit: Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)
Kyle Larson, driver of the #14 Target Chevrolet SS, finishes in third place, Sunday April 3, 2016, in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Martinsville Speedway in Ridgeway, VA (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Automation/Monster Energy Chevrolet, gets into his car in the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway on March 18, 2016 in Fontana, California. (Photo Credit: Photo by Jonathan Moore/Getty Images)

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SP3 - Unregistered

August 19, 2012 5:58 PM

@Gazza, jv got what he gave out. As long as nascrap continues allow (promote) retarded 'pro wrestling' type of entertainment, this is what their 'racing' will be like.



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