Sunday, July 22, 2012

Sadler wins at Chicagoland in a thrilling G-W-C finish

In victory lane for the third time this season, Elliott Sadler showed that he
is one of the favorites in the championship hunt.
Credit: Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
Racing at Chicagoland Speedway, the NASCAR Nationwide Series faced many obstacles this weekend. For starters, no Cup series and far fewer fans in attendance to watch what would be a thrilling end to the STP 300. Weather also looked like it would be an issue early on, but for once Mother Nature was wearing her NASCAR fan colors and chose to watch the race from above.

All weekend Elliott Sadler was in the news - extremely sick with a stomach virus and even traveling with his own doctor, but racing seems to be the best medicine for an ailing driver. He was put in position to win the race and despite illness, in victory lane his facial expressions showed his jubilation. Sadler made sure to thank his doctor for keeping him hydrated all weekend. This is Sadler's third victory and 14th top-10 finish in 2012 as he leads the Nationwide points standings heading into Indianapolis next weekend. In addition to the race win, Sadler also was this week's Dash 4 Cash winner, taking home a check for $100,000 courtesy of Nationwide.

The race was Ricky Stenhouse Jr's to lose, but the loss was not from any error on his part or for lack of trying. A late-race caution caught him on pit road and in need of the lucky dog to catch up. Battling back, Stenhouse quickly moved from 10th to 2nd with less than 20 laps to go but was unable to catch Elliott Sadler on the G-W-C restart when Justin Allgaier pushed Sadler to the front.

Allgaier finished third and qualified for the Dash 4 Cash at Indianapolis, as did Kenny Wallace who nabbed fourth place, his best finish in nine starts this season.

The final caution was brought out as Sam Hornish Jr. got into the back of Kyle Busch who then collected Brendan Gaughan. Hornish later said that he looked down and noticed his hood pins were loose, taking his eyes off of the cars near him. The wreck with just seven laps to go was a game changer; the cleanup resulted in a green-white-checker finish and had us all on the edge of our seats.

Race Results:

  1. Elliott Sadler
  2. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
  3. Justin Allgaier
  4. Kenny Wallace
  5. Michael Annett
  6. Austin Dillon
  7. Parker Kligerman
  8. Sam Hornish Jr.
  9. Cole Whitt
  10. Ryan Truex
  11. Brian Scott
  12. Mike Bliss
  13. Joe Nemechek
  14. Danica Patrick
  15. James Buescher
  16. Mike Wallace
  17. Travis Pastrana
  18. Timmy Hill
  19. Brad Sweet 
  20. Josh Richards
  21. Johanna Long
  22. Jeremy Clements
  23. Jason Bowles
  24. Eric McClure
  25. Tayler Malsam
  26. Tanner Berryhill
  27. Kyle Busch
  28. Brendan Gaughan
  29. Jamie Dick
  30. Erik Darnell
  31. Benny Gordon
  32. Danny Efland
  33. Tim Schendel
  34. Morgan Shepherd
  35. Matt Carter
  36. Blake Koch
  37. Tim Andrews
  38. T.J. Bell
  39. Mike Harmon
  40. Chase Miller
  41. Stephen Leicht
  42. Carl Long
  43. Jeff Green

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