Smith Masters Michigan

Regan Smith

mith has now finished in the top 10 in 11 consecutive races. (Photo: Getty Images)

Complete Results

BROOKLYN, Mich. - Regan Smith held off Kyle Larson and Mother Nature to win Saturday's NASCAR Nationwide Series Alliance Truck Parts 250 at Michigan International Speedway.

Smith added to his series point lead by scoring his second victory of the season and first career triumph at MIS.

“We worked hard on this car all weekend,” said Smith. “Our TaxSlayer.com Chevy was great today. I couldn’t be more proud of Greg Ives (crew chief). He made a pit call about the halfway through the race that got us the track position and won us the race.

“We made some changes to fix it up and got good at the end of practice and it paid off today.”

Smith dedicated the win to Jason Leffler, who lost his life Wednesday in a sprint car crash.

“All of our hearts are with the Leffler family right now. We’re thinking about those guys and we’re going to donate a good portion of these winnings to Charlie Dean’s (Leffler’s son) fund,” Smith said.

Team co-owner Dale Earnhardt Jr. celebrated the victory and hopes to repeat the performance in Sunday’s Sprint Cup Series Quicken Loans 400, which he won in 2012.

“You know this team is really coming together and it’s great to see,” said Earnhardt. “The weekend’s off to a great start for sure and we’ve got some work to do on our Cup car but feel like we’ll be competitive tomorrow.”

It was the second win of the season and fourth career series win for Smith, who also won at Talladega in May.

Larson put on a furious charge in the closing laps but the young phenom could not race by Smith for the top spot and settled for second.

“I could inch to him and get a big draft down the front stretch, but I’d just get tight off of turn two and he’d get back away from me down the backstretch,” Larson said. “It was a pretty emotional second-place for our whole team. Leffler was really important to everybody here at Turner-Scott Motorsports and a friend of everyone.”

Paul Menard, Kyle Busch and Trevor Bayne rounded out the top five.

Brad Sweet, Chris Buescher, Elliott Sadler, Nelson Piquet Jr. and Brian Scott completed the first ten finishers.

Rain and bad weather threatened the race from the start and played into several driver’s strategies including Parker Kligerman, who opted to stay out rather than pit for fuel on a late caution banking on a rain shortened event.

However Kligerman’s luck turned sour when he was forced to give up the lead only 13 laps from the finish when he ran out of fuel.

“Yeah, we played it perfectly for that situation and I’m not down on Eric (Phillips, crew chief) or anyone about that," said Kligerman. "I was fully for it, but it sucks when you run top-five all day."

Austin Dillon also had a rough day also electing not to pit for fuel when the race hit the halfway mark. He stayed out in the lead and then was shuffled back in the pack before finally having his day end with a trip into the wall only a handful of laps from the checkered flag.

Sam Hornish Jr. suffered an engine problem when he ran over debris and finished 32nd, which allowed Smith to open up a 58 point lead in the series standings.

“One of the pieces of debris that were flying around on the track probably from one of the cars that got wrecked early on came through the nose of the car and actually broke the oil pump,” explained Hornish. “It hit the pulley for the oil pump, broke the pulley off, and that basically allowed that front bearing to dump a bunch of oil out of the engine.”

There were five lead changes among five drivers in a race that was slowed five times for 23 caution laps.

The NASCAR Nationwide Series now heads to Wisconsin’s Road America for the first road course race of the season next Saturday.

Race Center

EnjoyIllinois.com 300

@ Chicagoland Speedway
Saturday, July 19, 2014 2:30 PM
Radio Start:
MRN, 8 p.m. (ET)
TV Start:
ESPN2, 8 p.m. (ET)

Photos

  • Sta-Green 200
  • Sta-Green 200
  • Sta-Green 200
  • Sta-Green 200 at New Hampshire
  • Sta-Green 200 at New Hampshire
  • Sta-Green 200 at New Hampshire
  • Sta-Green 200 at New Hampshire
  • Sta-Green 200 at New Hampshire
  • Sta-Green 200 at New Hampshire
  • Sta-Green 200 at New Hampshire
  • Sta-Green 200 at New Hampshire
  • Sta-Green 200 at New Hampshire
  • Sta-Green 200 at New Hampshire
  • Sta-Green 200 at New Hampshire
  • Kahne Edges Smith at Daytona
  • Kahne Edges Smith at Daytona
  • Kahne Edges Smith at Daytona
  • Kahne Edges Smith at Daytona
  • John R. Elliott HERO Campaign 300
  • John R. Elliott HERO Campaign 300
  • John R. Elliott HERO Campaign 300
  • John R. Elliott HERO Campaign 300
  • John R. Elliott HERO Campaign 300
  • John R. Elliott HERO Campaign 300
  • John R. Elliott HERO Campaign 300
  • John R. Elliott HERO Campaign 300
  • John R. Elliott HERO Campaign 300
  • John R. Elliott HERO Campaign 300
  • John R. Elliott HERO Campaign 300
  • John R. Elliott HERO Campaign 300
  • John R. Elliott HERO Campaign 300
  • Gardner Denver 200
  • Gardner Denver 200
  • Gardner Denver 200
  • Gardner Denver 200
  • Gardner Denver 200
  • Gardner Denver 200
  • Gardner Denver 200
  • Gardner Denver 200
  • Gardner Denver 200
  • Gardner Denver 200
  • Gardner Denver 200
  • Gardner Denver 200
  • Gardner Denver 200
  • Gardner Denver 200
  • Gardner Denver 200
  • Gardner Denver 200
  • Gardner Denver 200
  • Menard Back in Victory Lane
  • Menard Back in Victory Lane
  • © 2014 MRN. All Rights Reserved

    FacebookTwitterDiggDeliciousLinkedInGoogle BookmarksYahoo BookmarksLive (MSN)

    ISC Track Sites