After a race of twists and turns on the four-mile road course of Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisc., the finish of the Bucyrus 200 NASCAR Nationwide Series race there on Saturday added some additional twists and turns. In the end, Reed Sorenson was declared the winner. The win was Sorenson’s first since 2007 and the third of the season for Turner Motorsports with three different drivers.
“This was the last place I thought I’d win a race,” Sorenson said.
A few teams were already gambling on fuel mileage to get to the regular distance of the race, but three green-white-checker attempts to end the race under green put even more teams in danger of running out of fuel, and several of them did.
Sorenson’s Turner Motorsports teammate thought he had won the race when the final caution came out to win the race after the maximum number of three G-W-C attempts. Had Allgaier been able to get his car back around the checkered flag, with Sorenson running second, Saturday’s race would have provided a one-two finish for Turner Motorsports.
Allgaier ran out of fuel, though, so Sorenson inherited the lead and Allgaier fell back through the field to wind up finishing 19th.
“Unbelievable,” Allgaier said after the race. “I thought we won it. What a disheartening way to lose a race.”
Questions surrounding the finishing order came into play when Ron Fellows passed Sorenson under caution on his way to the checkered flag. According to NASCAR rules, cars are not allowed to pass under caution, but at the same time, cars are expected to maintain pit road speed under the yellow flag
The No. 7 team Fellows was driving for contended that Sorenson didn’t maintain speed, while Sorenson’s No. 32 camp was adamant that Sorenson did maintain speed but Fellows passed anyway.
After NASCAR reviewed footage and scoring data, it determined that Sorenson did, indeed, maintain speed and was credited with the win. Fellows was credited with a second-place finish.
That final lap was the only lap Sorenson led in the race.
Most of the race was dominated by road course ringers, especially Michael McDowell behind the wheel of the No. 18 car normally driven by Kyle Busch. McDowell led most of the way, with the exception of getting shuffled back on occasion, due to varying pit strategies.
After running flawlessly most of the race, McDowell overshot a corner after one of the green-white-checker restarts and lost the lead to Allgaier. Soon after, he ran off the track again to fall farther through the field. McDowell ended up finishing 12th.
Other road course expert substitutes who ran near the front most of the race included Jacques Villeneuve, Max Papis and Fellows.
Villeneuve ran second to McDowell most of the early laps in the race before being penalized by NASCAR for driving through too many pit stalls on the way to his own for a pit stop. Papis also encountered a NASCAR penalty for speeding on pit road.
Both drivers may their ways back toward the front, only two make contact with each other late in the race.
Villeneuve ran into the grass on a restart in an attempt to gain positions. Instead, he made contact with both Papis and Brian Scott. Villeneuve was able to recover to finish third. Scott ended up 15th and Papis 23rd.
“I told you the No. 22 (Villeneuve) was going to do something stupid,” an angry Papis told his crew via the radio after the incident.
Elliott Sadler finished fourth and Mike Wallace rounded out the top-five.
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