Good guy Gaughan gets first Nationwide Win
Road America has offered some interesting and entertaining races in the Nationwide series since the series began racing there in 2010. The Gardner Denver 200 Fired up Johnsville would be no exception as the two big stories coming out of the race would be the winner (naturally) and the weather.
The race was actually delayed due to rain. Now in the Nationwide series we just slap on rain tires and get after it. However, the entire track has to be wet for that to happen. The race track was neither wet nor dry enough to race on. After some on track work, it was deemed dry enough to race on.
When we did get rolling Alex Tagliani led the field as he won the pole position as he came over from IndyCar for the weekend. However, he’d have to deal with Sam Hornish Jr. who would take the Monster Energy 54 Camry to a familiar place. Sam would lead a race high 25 of 50 laps and this was all before the weather came.
A down pour would cause the rain tires to be put on the cars and the windshield wipers to be activated. Then the road course specialist of Tagliani took over and led for 19 laps. However, the rain would settle and it’d become a mixed bag of tires and strategy. The other part of this was that Tagiliani as low on gas and actually stalled out on the hill going to the finisher line under caution.
This put the race in Brendan Gaughan and Brian Scott’s control. Brian wouldn’t be able to hold of Gaughan and Brendan took them to the end. Brendan is a hell of a good guy and I’m very glad for him. On a side note to second place finisher, Tagiliani went all the way to the back and then drove like a madman and finished second. Homie can drive!
The Top 5 were: 1st Brendan Gaughan, 2nd Alex Tagiliani, 3rd Kevin O’Connell, 4th Chase Elliot, and 5th JJ Yeley.
Regan Smith leads Elliot Sadler by ten points in the drivers standing and he leads JRM teammate Chase Elliot by 11.
The next race is the John R. Elliot Hero Campaign 300 Presented by Drive Sober Or Get Pulled Over…who is naming these damn races?! This race will come to us from Kentucky Speedway on Friday, June 27th at 7:30 PM on ESPN. The previous race winner is Brad Keselowski.
Even with rumors, Edwards still delivering for Roush
Jamie McMurray has become a threat for the pole at Sonoma in recent years and it was only a matter of time when he’d put a race together to potentially win. Jamie tried to use the Toyota-Save Mart 350 2014 as that platform but only led 9 of the 110 lap event.
AJ Allmendinger would lead for 35 laps, the race high, after starting on the front row beside Jamie. As normal, the fuel strategy went whacky at Sonoma. A group led by Harvick would be on one strategy, while AJ led the other. AJ was taken out of the race when he made contact with Dale Earnhardt Jr. that sent his car slamming into the concrete barricade and then followed by him hitting Kasey Kahne on the rear quarter panel. AJ was the only one who suffered any significant damage.
Harvick’s day would also end in a bust when his pit crew again had a slow pit stop at a pivot time. This put Harvick in the pack and allowed him to have his car destroyed after collision with a spun Clint Bowyer. Harvick would only recover to 20th while Clint would hit the 10th.
Meanwhile, Carl Edwards would take the lead with 26 laps to go. Carl’s very, very underrated at Sonoma having finished third in the last two races. He’d fight off a hard charging Jamie Mac, and then would be hunted by Sonoma master, Jeff Gordon. Truth be told, Jeff would have at least caught Carl had he not blown a turn four with about 5 to go. Behind them was a hard charging Dale Earnhardt Jr., who used fresh tires to tear through the field after restarting from 12th.
Carl would hold on and take his first road course victory in the Sprint Cup series. This was done while the garage is full of rumors that Carl is headed to Joe Gibbs Racing in 2015. A strong rumor that was cut loose this week was M&M’s would leave the 18 and head to a Carl Edwards car, while Monster Energy would come up from the Nationwide series as a full time sponsor for Kyle. JD Gibbs denied a sponsor change while saying any announcement on a fourth car wouldn’t be until September.
Carl’s Roush contract prevents him from talking about him leaving to sign for another team until….you guessed it, September! Adding even more rumor and drama to this story, Kyle Busch on his radio right after the race was heard asking “Is the M&M’s contract signed yet?” An unidentified voice was heard replying, “No.” Adding even more drama to whatever JGR is doing for sponsors and drivers at the end of this season, Home Depot has announced they will not return to NASCAR at all in 2015 and thus leaving the 20 car.
Silly Season is going to be interesting this year.
The Top 5 were: 1st Carl Edwards, 2nd Jeff Gordon, 3rd Dale Earnhardt Jr., 4th Jamie McMurray, and 5th Paul Menard.
Winners all but guaranteed a spot in the 2014 Chase are as follows:
Jimmie Johnson now leads all winners with three wins.
Kevin Harvick, Joey Logano, Dale Earnhardt Jr., and Carl Edwards are now tied at two wins per driver.
Brad Keselowski, Kyle Busch, Kurt Busch, Denny Hamlin, and Jeff Gordon all have one win a piece.
There are now ten races left for drivers to get their first win of the season to get in or get as high in the points as possible to fill the remaining six spots.
The next race is the Quaker State 400 presented by Advance Auto Parts will come to us live on TNT. The race airs at 7:30 PM on Saturday, June 28th. The defending race winner is Matt Kenseth.
Camping World Trucks and Verizon IndyCar series
Both the Camping World Truck Series and the Verizon IndyCar series were of this weekend.
The Camping World Truck Series will return to us live from Kentucky Speedway for the UNOH 225. The race will air on Thursday, June 25th on FOX Sports 1. The previous race winner is Ty Dillon.
The Verizon IndyCar series will return for a double header from streets of Houston, Texas. The Shell and Pennzoil Grand Prix of Houston Race 1 will come to us live on Saturday, June 28th at 3:00 PM on NBC Sports. The defending Race 1 winner is Scott Dixon. Race 2 will air live on Sunday, June 29th also at 3:00 PM on NBC Spots. The defending Race 2 winner is Will Power.
Random Sports/Non Sports thought:
I really need to do my laundry….what? The title of this section is random thought! That’s random as hell!
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