Saturday, June 15, 2013

Regan Smith holds off Kyle Larson for Nationwide win at Michigan

Credit: John Harrelson/Getty Images
Regan Smith held off the determined advance of Kyle Larson to win the Alliance Truck Parts 250 at Michigan International Speedway. The victory is Smith's third in the Nationwide Series and second of the 2013 season.

Larson's second place equaled his best finish of the season. Paul Menard finished a solid third, with Kyle Busch and Trevor Bayne filling out the top five.

When the green flag fell, the field spread out, trying unsuccessfully to race three wide. Caution flew before the end of Lap 1 with Alex Bowman spinning, backing up cars behind him and causing Travis Pastrana to spin, too. The ensuing chaos left five cars damaged.

The green flag waved again on Lap Five, only have the caution come out again on Lap 8 when Dexter Stacy hit the wall.

Finally the racing got started again on Lap 11.

Austin Dillon dominated early after winning a series-record fourth consecutive pole this season, leading the most laps with 61. But as has too often been the case this season, he wasn't able to capitalize on that performance. When caution came out for debris on Lap 65, most of the field pitted. At the last minute, Dillon swerved back onto the track, presumably because rain threatened with the race past halfway.

Two laps later, the No. 3 was forced to pit with a cut tire. Dillon worked his way back up to ninth, but with eight laps to go he had to pit with another flat tire. Dillon finished in 20th place.

Smith inherited the lead when Parker Kligerman gambled on the weather. Kligerman stayed out on the Lap 99 debris caution, but it didn't pay off and he had to bring the No. 77 in for fuel on Lap 111 of 125.

The No. 54 team holds the Owner's Points lead by just 29 points over the No. 7 team, while Smith sits 58 markers ahead of Sam Hornish Jr. For the full Driver's Championship points standings, click here.

For full race results, click here.

Larson  not only wanted win for himself, but for Turner-Scott Motorsports in honor of Jason Leffler, killed in a sprint car race earlier this week.

Smith was emotional in victory lane, pledging to donate a portion of his winnings to Leffler's son, Charlie.

The Nationwide Series heads to RoadAmerica next week for the first road course of the season.

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