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NASCAR Xfinity: Sam Hornish Jr. dominates Mid-Ohio

Sam Hornish Jr. leads the way in the Mid-Ohio Challenge at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on Aug. 12, 2017 (photo courtesy of Getty Images for NASCAR)

Sam Hornish Jr. leads the way in the Mid-Ohio Challenge at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on Aug. 12, 2017 (photo courtesy of Getty Images for NASCAR)

By AMANDA VINCENT

In a rare NASCAR Xfinity Series start Saturday at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Sam Hornish Jr. started the Mid-Ohio Challenge from the pole and dominated the race by leading 61 of 75 laps on his way to the win in his home state.

“I think I’ve been second or third here a few times in other series but could never win here,” Hornish said. “To finally punch that ticket means a lot to me.”

Hornish finished second in last year’s race. Daniel Hemric finished second Saturday.

Matt Tiff was third, James Davison fourth, and Andy Lally rounded out the top-five. Lally’s top-five finish was a career-best and was the first top-10 for his SS Greenlight Racing team.

Pit strategies varied throughout the first two 40-lap stages of the race, but Hornish waited until lap 16 to make his first pit stop from the lead. When Hornish gave up the lead to head for pit road, Elliott Sadler, yet to make a pit stop, inherited the lead.

But, right after taking the lead, Sadler spun into a gravel trap, handing the lead over to Brennan Poole, who then, gave up the lead when he got off-course. After miscues by Sadler and Poole, Blake Koch took the lead and was up front at the end of the first stage.

Hornish was back up front at the start of the second stage and pulled out to a lead of more than four seconds by the end of the stage.

Hemric beat Hornish off pit road during the caution after the conclusion of the second stage, but after a few laps, Hornish was back up front. Hemric retook the lead on a restart with 18 laps to go when Hornish got off track, but Hornish retook the lead when Hemric ran off the track after another restart a few laps later.

“Sam’s been around here a lot,” Hemric said. “I’m proud of how we bounced back and had a chance to win at the end.”

The yellow flag waved nine times, including the two cautions between stages. After two yellow flags in the first stage, the second stage ran caution-free. The yellow flag waved five times in the final 30 laps. Two cautions led to red flags, the first of those coming after Matt Bell’s car wound up on top of a tire barrier on lap 16.

The other red flag came as the result of a multi-car wreck inside the final 10 laps that involved Justin Allgaier, Dylan Lupton J.J. Yeley, Regan Smith, Ben Kennedy, Garrett Smithley and Josh Bilicki.

Follow Auto Racing Daily on Twitter @AutoRacingDaily or like Auto Racing Daily on Facebook (facebook.com/autorcngdaily). Amanda’s also on Twitter @NASCARexaminer and has a fan/like page on Facebook (facebook.com/nascarexaminer)

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Posted by on August 13, 2017. Filed under Breaking News,Featured,NASCAR. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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