Team Penske NASCAR XFINITY Race Report – Mid-Ohio

NASCAR XFINITY Series Race Report

Track:    Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course
Race:     Nationwide Children’s Hospital 200
Date:     Aug. 15, 2015

No. 22 Discount Tire Ford Mustang – Alex Tagliani
Start:  1st  (Third-career NASCAR XFINITY Series pole)
Finish: 2nd
Status: Running
Laps Completed:  75/75
Laps Led: 38
Owners’ Points Position:  1st (+92)

American Muscle

Recap: Alex Tagliani appeared to have put together the perfect race weekend in the Nationwide Children’s Hospital 200 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on Saturday afternoon. After qualifying his No. 22 Discount Tire Ford Mustang on the pole and leading on the final lap of the 75-lap event, Tagliani was pushed out of the way by the No. 7 of Regan Smith on the final corner of the race and had to settle for a second-place finish. Tagliani led the first six laps of the race after starting from the pole, the third NASCAR XFINITY Series pole of his career, before the first caution flag of the day flew at lap seven. Crew chief Greg Erwin called his driver down pit road for a fuel-only pit stop when pit road opened, resulting in Tagliani restarting the event in the 17th position as many competitors decided to remain on the track. The Canadian driver methodically worked his way back towards the front of the field, pulling off an impressive pass for lead on a lap-26 restart as he stayed on the outside of the No. 60 of Chris Buescher through the first corner and passing him in the “keyhole corner.” After losing the lead on pit road following his last pit stop of the day, Tagliani methodically but cleanly worked over Smith to retake the lead at lap 61, setting up the thrilling ending to the race. Late in the event, Tagliani was leading the race before getting bumped from behind by Smith on the last turn, pushing him out of the lead and eventually into second.  It was Tagliani’s third-career runner-up finish. However, as a result of Tagliani’s splendid run, the No. 22 Ford team now owns a 92-point lead in the NASCAR XFINITY Series Owners’ Championship standings over the No. 60 Roush-Fenway Racing team.

Quote:  “I am very thankful for every opportunity given to me by Roger Penske to come and drive the No. 22 Discount Tire Ford Mustang. These guys work so hard and they gave me a great car this weekend. They really deserved to win this race. It is unfortunate the way it ended, but we had a fantastic day and nothing can take that away. I came here to help the team win the Owners’ Championship and we certainly increased the lead today. I just hope that Roger and everyone at Team Penske continue to have faith in me that I will eventually get into victory lane in this car. Winning for him and this team is one of the biggest goals I have as a racecar driver.”

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