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Regan Smith Goes To Victory Lane At Talladega

Info Manager | , RacinToday.com Saturday, May 4 2013

Regan Smith was named the winner after a three-wide finish at Talladega on Saturday. (RacinToday/HHP photo by Rusty Jarrett)

RacinToday.com

Regan Smith took the lead on the final 400 yards of a green/white/checkered-flag finish and won Saturday’s Aaron’s 312 NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Talladega Superspeedway as a last-lap multicar wreck erupted behind him.

Smith was the leader at the previous scoring loop when NASCAR called the seventh and final caution an instant before the cars crossed the finish line. Kasey Kahne was first across the stripe but was scored in third place behind Smith and Joey Logano.

Smith, who had a Sprint Cup victory taken from him on an officials’ call at Talladega a couple years ago, took over the series points lead in a race whose start was delayed three hours because of rain.

“That was pretty cool, wasn’t it,” said Smith, who won for the first time this season for the JR Motorsports team, and also took over the Nationwide points lead. “I’m really pumped up.”

Smith was in seventh place entering the final lap and admitted he didn’t like his chances heading down the backstretch. But with drafting help from Kahne, Smith was able to catch up to the leaders in Turn 4, and then grabbed the lead in the trioval by quickly cutting through traffic to move from the top of the track to the bottom, where he was able to outrace Logano and Kahne.

“First and foremost, we don’t do it without Kasey back there pushing. So I have to thank him. He stuck with me,” Smith said. “Coming down the backstretch I thought, ‘Ah, we’re going to take fifth or sixth.’ I thought that’s the way it was going to go. I can’t even tell you the order of the guys who were leading. I just saw cars at that point. They got all jammed up, we had a run and I made a move. I wasn’t really sure if I was clear, but I figured it was the only chance I had to win the race. I wanted to make that move to see if it was g

Busch was leading on Lap 93 when contact between Sam Hornish Jr.’s Ford and Eric McClure’s Toyota ignited a spectacular 12-car wreck that sidelined the series leader entering the race (Hornish), among others.

NASCAR then opted to shorten the race by 10 laps because of impending darkness, but four laps after a restart on Lap 101, Joey Coulter’s contact with the outside wall caused the sixth caution and set up the two-lap dash to the finish.

On Lap 14, Danica Patrick spun and slid though the waterlogged infield grass, damaging her No. 34 Chevrolet extensively. After losing a lap on pit road, Patrick brought the car to the garage and called it a day.

Patrick, hardly a successful veteran who has yet to win a NASCAR race, attributed the wreck to Larson’s inexperience.

The hardest hit of the race, however, came on Lap 71 when polesitter Travis Pastrana nosed into the outside backstretch wall during a three-car incident that started when Brian Scott turned the Ford of Reed Sorenson.

Sorenson hit the outside wall and spun back across the track into Pastrana’s path. Pastrana blamed himself for being in harm’s way and for not reacting quickly enough when he saw Sorenson spin.

“I just get an award for being stupid,” Pastrana said after leaving the infield care center. “We had the two fastest cars on the track (with Roush Fenway Racing teammate Trevor Bayne). We could have been a half-lap down just pushing each other, not worrying about anything.

“We all said we were going to sit back the whole race, and then, all of sudden, we’re up there racing just like a bunch of fools up front… Everything kind of happened.”

NASCAR Nationwide Series Race – Aaron’s 312

Talladega Superspeedway

Talladega, Alabama

Saturday, May 04, 2013

1. (20) Regan Smith, Chevrolet, 110, $53445.

2. (12) Joey Logano(i), Ford, 110, $39725.

3. (11) Kasey Kahne(i), Chevrolet, 110, $30500.

4. (9) Kurt Busch(i), Chevrolet, 110, $29275.

5. (5) Justin Allgaier, Chevrolet, 110, $32550.

6. (18) Parker Kligerman, Toyota, 110, $28100.

7. (38) Mike Wallace, Chevrolet, 110, $26500.

8. (31) Jason White, Toyota, 110, $25850.

9. (37) Jeremy Clements, Chevrolet, 110, $25225.

10. (2) Austin Dillon, Chevrolet, 110, $26825.

11. (7) Elliott Sadler, Toyota, 110, $25975.

12. (29) Jamie Dick, Chevrolet, 110, $18850.

13. (14) Alex Bowman #, Toyota, 110, $25675.

14. (24) Mike Bliss, Toyota, 110, $24500.

15. (21) Brian Vickers, Toyota, 110, $25050.

16. (27) Jeffrey Earnhardt #, Ford, 110, $24350.

17. (22) Landon Cassill(i), Chevrolet, Accident, 109, $18525.

18. (39) Josh Wise, Chevrolet, Accident, 109, $23975.

19. (36) Donnie Neuenberger, Chevrolet, 108, $17850.

20. (33) Robert Richardson Jr., Chevrolet, 107, $24400.

21. (10) Joey Coulter(i), Toyota, Accident, 104, $23550.

22. (15) Reed Sorenson, Ford, 103, $23400.

23. (23) Eric McClure, Toyota, Accident, 94, $23250.

24. (17) Ty Dillon(i), Chevrolet, Accident, 93, $23100.

25. (6) Sam Hornish Jr., Ford, 93, $23275.

26. (25) Johanna Long, Chevrolet, Accident, 92, $23000.

27. (8) Brian Scott, Chevrolet, Accident, 92, $22800.

28. (3) Trevor Bayne, Ford, Accident, 92, $22900.

29. (16) Nelson Piquet Jr. #, Chevrolet, Accident, 92, $22400.

30. (40) Tim Andrews, Ford, Accident, 91, $22475.

31. (26) Bobby Gerhart, Chevrolet, Accident, 91, $16125.

32. (28) Mike Harmon, Dodge, Accident, 91, $22050.

33. (34) Blake Koch, Toyota, Accident, 87, $22015.

34. (32) Hal Martin #, Toyota, 84, $21980.

35. (35) Morgan Shepherd, Dodge, Fuel Pressure, 72, $15940.

36. (1) Travis Pastrana, Ford, Accident, 71, $24580.

37. (30) Joe Nemechek, Toyota, 64, $20695.

38. (19) Kyle Larson #, Chevrolet, Accident, 52, $20661.

39. (4) Danica Patrick(i), Chevrolet, Accident, 16, $14775.

40. (13) Jeff Green, Toyota, Vibration, 3, $14425.

Average Speed of Race Winner: 133.269 mph.

Time of Race: 2 Hrs, 11 Mins, 44 Secs. Margin of Victory: Caution.

Caution Flags: 7 for 29 laps.

Lead Changes: 47 among 16 drivers.

Lap Leaders: T. Pastrana 1-4; T. Bayne 5; T. Dillon(i) 6; K. Busch(i) 7; K. Kahne(i) 8-12; E. Sadler 13; K. Kahne(i) 14; L. Cassill(i) 15; J. Logano(i) 16-18; J. Allgaier 19; J. Logano(i) 20-21; J. Allgaier 22-24; J. Logano(i) 25; B. Vickers 26; J. Logano(i) 27-33; K. Kahne(i) 34; J. Logano(i) 35-36; B. Scott 37; J. Logano(i) 38-41; E. Sadler 42-43; J. Logano(i) 44-54; E. Sadler 55-56; B. Scott 57; R. Sorenson 58; T. Bayne 59; K. Kahne(i) 60-62; R. Smith 63; K. Kahne(i) 64; R. Smith 65; K. Kahne(i) 66-67; R. Smith 68; K. Kahne(i) 69; R. Smith 70-71; K. Kahne(i) 72; J. Logano(i) 73-75; J. Coulter(i) 76-78; J. Logano(i) 79-80; P. Kligerman 81; K. Busch(i) 82; P. Kligerman 83; K. Busch(i) 84; P. Kligerman 85-86; K. Kahne(i) 87; K. Busch(i) 88-100; R. Smith 101; K. Busch(i) 102-104; A. Dillon 105-109; R. Smith 110;.

Leaders Summary (Driver, Times Lead, Laps Led): J. Logano(i) 9 times for 35 laps; K. Busch(i) 5 times for 19 laps; K. Kahne(i) 9 times for 16 laps; R. Smith 6 times for 7 laps; E. Sadler 3 times for 5 laps; A. Dillon 1 time for 5 laps; J. Allgaier 2 times for 4 laps; P. Kligerman 3 times for 4 laps; T. Pastrana 1 time for 4 laps; J. Coulter(i) 1 time for 3 laps; T. Bayne 2 times for 2 laps; B. Scott 2 times for 2 laps; B. Vickers 1 time for 1 lap; T. Dillon(i) 1 time for 1 lap; L. Cassill(i) 1 time for 1 lap; R. Sorenson 1 time for 1 lap.

Top 10 in Points: R. Smith – 305; S. Hornish Jr. – 278; J. Allgaier – 265; P. Kligerman – 258; E. Sadler – 258; A. Dillon – 257; B. Scott – 254; B. Vickers – 252; A. Bowman # – 231; T. Bayne – 230.

Info Manager | , RacinToday.com Saturday, May 4 2013
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