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Sadler Catches First Xfinity Chase Race Victory

| Managing Editor, RacinToday.com Sunday, September 25 2016
Elliott Sadler earned the right to stand in the window of his Xfinity Series car after Saturday night's race at Kentucky Speedway.

Elliott Sadler earned the right to stand in the window of his Xfinity Series car after Saturday night’s race at Kentucky Speedway.

RacinToday.com

Elliott Sadler sprinted to victory in the inaugural Xfinity Series race Saturday night at Kentucky Speedway.

The victory was Sadler’s of the season, 13th of his career in the series and earned him an automatic berth in the second round of the Chase.

“It feels unbelievable,” he said. “I’ve had a really hard week on not much sleep. So to come here and be able to walk away with a trophy is very special, more than you probably know. It’s a great first step in the Chase. I couldn’t be more thankful and proud of my race team and the cars that they’ve given me.”
A call from his mother, Bell, before the race inspired the 41-year-old driver. She has been dealing with health problems but was allowed to leave the hospital so she could watch the race on television.
“I’ll go see her first thing in the morning when I get home,” he said. “I’ve watched my mom fight so much this week. She’s a tough rascal, man, battling a lot. Had two surgeries- one on Monday and one on Tuesday. If I can see my 70-year-old mom fight like that to get better and want to make it home, I sure as hell can fight inside the racecar and do a better job.”

Daniel Suárez finished second.

“Right at the end, we were pretty good, maybe just a little tight but we were strong,” Suarez said. “I feel like we were the fastest car out there at the end. I just needed one or two laps more to get the win.”

Sadler secured the win after having been struggling for much of the early race.

“At halfway, we were running 20th,” added Sadler. “By my calculations, we were probably 10th or 11th in points, so to fight back that last 100 laps to gain that kind of momentum probably means a lot for us and these guys. I’m so proud of these guys. Dale (Earnhardt Jr., team owner) and Kelley (Earnhardt-Miller, team manager) and all of our partners for Hunt Bros., and Chevrolet and everyone that does so much for us at JR Motorsports. This is a great way to start off the Chase and keeps the momentum on our side, we can relax and go to Dover and have fun there and Charlotte and get ready for the second round.”

Chase drivers Ty Dillon, Brandon Jones and Erik Jones all found themselves in a deep hole after being collected in accidents. Dillon and Erik Jones tangled while racing for second with 12 laps remaining. The event was red-flagged for five minutes, 34 seconds for cleanup of the Turn 3 incident.

Jones, the pole sitter who led a race-high 100 laps, took responsibility for the crash.

“I just got sucked around,” Jones said after the incident. “I tried to slow down but Ty was holding me down there pretty tight on the restart, slamming doors through (Turns) 1 and 2. It was my fault but it’s a pretty tough aero situation to be in.

“I just couldn’t hang on to it. I tried to slow down but he kept slamming down on my door and I did all I could to hang on to it. It definitely looks like we’re going to have to run really well at Dover and Charlotte or even win.”

Ryan Blaney finished third while Sam Hornish Jr. and Matt Tifft completed the top-five.

Sadler leaves Kentucky Speedway with an eight-point lead in the standings and guaranteed admission to the next round of the Chase at Kansas Speedway in three weeks. Suárez (plus 27 points above the cutoff line) is second in the Chase standings, followed by Brendan Gaughan (plus 21), Ryan Reed (plus 19), Darrell Wallace Jr. (plus 19), Justin Allgaier (plus 17), Brennan Poole (plus 16), Blake Koch (plus 15), Erik Jones (minus 3), Ryan Sieg (minus 5), Brandon Jones (minus 15) and Ty Dillon (minus 15).

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NASCAR XFINITY Series Race – VisitMyrtleBeach.com 300

Kentucky Speedway

Sparta, Kentucky

Saturday, September 24, 2016

  1. (3) Elliott Sadler, Chevrolet, 200.
  2. (2) Daniel Suárez, Toyota, 200.
  3. (8) Ryan Blaney(i), Ford, 200.
  4. (5) Sam Hornish Jr., Chevrolet, 200.
  5. (6) Matt Tifft(i), Toyota, 200.
  6. (7) Brendan Gaughan, Chevrolet, 200.
  7. (16) Ryan Reed, Ford, 200.
  8. (9) Darrell Wallace Jr., Ford, 200.
  9. (10) Justin Allgaier, Chevrolet, 200.
  10. (11) Brennan Poole #, Chevrolet, 200.
  11. (15) Blake Koch, Chevrolet, 200.
  12. (20) Jeremy Clements, Chevrolet, 200.
  13. (12) Josh Berry, Chevrolet, 200.
  14. (17) JJ Yeley, Toyota, 200.
  15. (13) Justin Marks, Chevrolet, 200.
  16. (19) Ryan Sieg, Chevrolet, 200.
  17. (29) Garrett Smithley #, Chevrolet, 200.
  18. (18) Dakoda Armstrong, Toyota, 200.
  19. (21) Ross Chastain, Chevrolet, 200.
  20. (25) Ray Black Jr. #, Chevrolet, 200.
  21. (24) BJ McLeod #, Ford, 197.
  22. (31) Ryan Ellis, Chevrolet, 196.
  23. (34) Dexter Bean, Chevrolet, 195.
  24. (37) Mike Harmon, Dodge, 191.
  25. (40) Todd Peck, Ford, 191.
  26. (14) Brandon Jones #, Chevrolet, 190.
  27. (4) Ty Dillon, Chevrolet, Accident, 188.
  28. (1) Erik Jones #, Toyota, Accident, 187.
  29. (35) Derrike Cope, Chevrolet, Accident, 168.
  30. (22) Ryan Preece #, Chevrolet, 167.
  31. (28) Joey Gase, Chevrolet, Electrical, 133.
  32. (23) Jeff Green, Toyota, Vibration, 125.
  33. (27) David Starr, Chevrolet, Engine, 124.
  34. (38) Timmy Hill(i), Toyota, Engine, 86.
  35. (32) Blake Jones, Ford, Accident, 73.
  36. (33) Matt Waltz, Chevrolet, Electrical, 63.
  37. (30) Josh Williams, Chevrolet, Fuel Pump, 57.
  38. (36) Morgan Shepherd, Chevrolet, Handling, 20.
  39. (39) John Jackson, Chevrolet, Transmission, 8.
  40. (26) Mike Bliss(i), Toyota, Rear Gear, 2.

Average Speed of Race Winner:  106.751 mph.

Time of Race:  2 Hrs, 48 Mins, 37 Secs. Margin of Victory:  0.246 Seconds.

Caution Flags:  12 for 64 laps.

Lead Changes:  16 among 8 drivers.

Lap Leaders:   E. Jones # 1-27; R. Black Jr. # 28; T. Dillon 29-58; E. Jones # 59-87; T. Dillon 88-103; E. Jones # 104; D. Wallace Jr. 105-114; E. Jones # 115-131; M. Tifft(i) 132-133; B. Gaughan 134-152; E. Jones # 153-178; E. Sadler 179-180; T. Dillon 181; R. Blaney(i) 182; E. Sadler 183-187; R. Blaney(i) 188-196; E. Sadler 197-200.

Leaders Summary (Driver, Times Lead, Laps Led):  E. Jones # 5 times for 100 laps; T. Dillon 3 times for 47 laps; B. Gaughan 1 time for 19 laps; E. Sadler 3 times for 11 laps; R. Blaney(i) 2 times for 10 laps; D. Wallace Jr. 1 time for 10 laps; M. Tifft(i) 1 time for 2 laps; R. Black Jr. # 1 time for 1 lap.

Top 10 in Points: E. Sadler – 2,050; D. Suárez – 2,042; B. Gaughan – 2,036; R. Reed – 2,034; D. Wallace Jr. – 2,034; J. Allgaier – 2,032; B. Poole # – 2,031; B. Koch – 2,030; E. Jones # – 2,027; R. Sieg – 2,025.

| Managing Editor, RacinToday.com Sunday, September 25 2016
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