[media-credit name=”CIA Stock Photography, Inc.” align=”alignright” width=”231″][/media-credit]Elliott Sadler played pit strategy on the final yellow flag of the day, thwarting a potential blowout victory for Kevin Harvick.
Harvick led the most laps, but decided to go with four tires on the final pit stop and was never able to get up and challenge the front contenders.
This is Sadler’s first NASCAR victory since winning the Pop Secret 500 back in 2004 when he drove the #38 M&M’s Ford for Robert Yates Racing in the Sprint Cup Series. This is Sadler’s first Nationwide Series victory since the 1998 AcDelco 200 at Rockingham.
Brad Keselowski finished second, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. finished third, Austin Dillon edged Kevin Harvick at the line to take the fourth position, so that rounded out the top-5.
“We just came up short there. Elliott was able to get by us there early in the run. Our car would kind of level back off to his after a few laps, but the first few laps we just couldn’t keep pace with him. They did a great job and my team did a great job.” Keselowski said.
“We just couldn’t get going on restarts. We would get down to turn one and it felt like we were on ice for 15 laps and then once we got going we were really fast. We have to get back to the shop and do our homework. It is pretty disappointing. We wanted to come here and win and felt this was a track we always have run well at, we just couldn’t get it done today.” Stenhouse said.
Sam Hornish Jr. failed to defend his win from last fall, he finished sixth. Hornish admitted later during the race that he struggled with brake issues all race long.
Trevor Bayne, Joey Logano, Denny Hamlin, and Michael Annett rounded out the top-10.
Hamlin started the race on pole and led some of the early laps, but spent most of the latter stages of the race following Kevin Harvick before Kasey Kahne took the second position. Kahne on the other hand got shuffled back during all of the pit strategy and unfortunately hit the wall off turn 2. He later fell down a lap and finished in 18th despite running in the top-5 for a majority of the event.
During a long green flag run, Kenny Wallace cut a right-front tire and ended his day on the 102nd lap. Wallace, who started the race in the third spot was looking to break his winless streak that dates back to the 2001 Sam’s Club 200 at Rockingham.
“Man, I tell you what — the right front tire blew out like a bomb. It started pushing about four laps before that and I was telling my guys it was starting to push bad.” Wallace said.
Danica Patrick finished the race 3 laps down in the 21st spot.
Congratulations to Elliott Sadler on an awesome win and we hope to see you guys tomorrow for the Subway Fresh Fit 500!
|Unofficial Race Results|
|Bashas’ Supermarkets 200, Phoenix International Raceway|
|3||2||6||Ricky Stenhouse Jr.||Ford||41|
|4||9||3||Austin Dillon *||Chevrolet||40|
|6||6||12||Sam Hornish Jr.||Dodge||38|
|13||17||88||Cole Whitt *||Chevrolet||31|
|17||22||108||Casey Roderick *||Ford||27|
|19||18||81||Jason Bowles *||Dodge||25|
|25||31||39||Joey Gase *||Ford||19|