The Finish Order: NASCAR Nationwide Series At Kentucky
BY DAVE GRAYSON.
The Visit Myrtle Beach Dot Com 300 NASCAR Nationwide Series race, held September 19th at the Kentucky Speedway, had all of the makings of becoming rather tedious. This is, of course, said with all due respect to the stellar performance of Ty Dillon. His Chevrolet led a race high 155 of 200 laps and spent much of the evening racing in his own private zip code. Dillon’s dominance was, to coin an old broadcast television phrase, “stinking up the show.”
However, NASCAR racing frequently has a tendency to take things up a notch and produce exciting endings. We saw evidence of that, in the waning laps of this race, when series rookie, and championship points leader, Chase Elliott surfaced and made the concluding laps of this race very exciting.
However, it was 39 year old veteran driver Brendan Gaughan who took these two young drivers to school and stole the show. With five laps left in the race, the Las Vegas native made a stunning three wide pass on both drivers, who never saw it coming. It turned out to be the winning move which provided his second series win of the year.
In victory lane the overjoyed race winner said: “(In the Nationwide Series) there are great race teams and great young race car drivers, but the old dog still has something left.”
Brian Scott made a final charge to take over second, Dillon and Elliott finished third and fourth while Regan Smith completed the top ten. The second half of the top ten will filled by Cale Conley, Chris Buescher, Michael McDowell, Justin Boston and Ross Chastain.
Do you know who else was thrilled with the outcome of this race? That would be team owner Richard Childress whose drivers delivered a one-two-three finish. Additionally Childress’ fourth team, piloted by development driver Cale Conley, finished sixth.
The exciting outcome of the race developed on lap 171 when Cody Ware blew an engine that covered turn three with fluids. This allowed the race leaders to make a final pit stop under the comfort of a yellow caution flag.
In the ensuing restart, Elliott and Dillon had the crowd on their feet with their hard racing for the lead. However, their race rhythm was disrupted just a few laps later when Eric McClure brought out the next yellow flag after hitting the wall hard in turn four. It would turn out to be the worst incident of the race. Thankfully, the driver emerged from the car unhurt.
When a yellow flag is required, NASCAR has a policy of freezing the running order and check the last electronic scoring loop passed in order to properly reset the field for the restart. That procedure showed that Elliott was the race leader by the nose of his Chevrolet.
However, the race restart only lasted three laps before Sam Hornish hit the turn one wall with 16 laps remaining in the race. Following another restart, the final caution flag of the race was presented, with ten laps remaining, after a large chuck of tire debris was discovered lying on the track.
The race returned to green flag status for the final seven laps and that’s when things really got interesting. Dillon performed a beautiful slide job to take the lead from Elliott going into turn three. A brief moment later, Elliott returned the favor and reclaimed the lead on the front stretch.
That’s when Brendan Gaughan pulled his surprise move, with five laps left in the race, and completely stole the show and no one saw it coming until it was too late.