Saturday night’s STP 300 Nationwide race at Chicagoland Speedway saw drivers roll over the finish line to victory, powered by momentum and a whiff of gas. The last four laps of the race turned into a duel between Carl Edwards and Justin Allgaier. With Carl Edwards in the lead, Justin Allgaier was close behind as Edwards’ car ran out of fuel. Recognizing the tell-tale wobble of a car with no fuel, Allgaier grabbed the opportunity to pass Edwards. Although his car ran out of fuel soon after passing his opponent, Allgaier managed to cross the line in first place, with Edwards coming in second and Trevor Bayne taking third spot.
Both Allgaier and Edwards were travelling at a speed of around 50 mph as they crossed the finish line. Given the high-speed competition of the first 199 laps of the 200-lap race, the climax was described as “almost surreal” by a NASCAR reporter. Edwards acknowledged that he was disappointed in the result, especially as he had anticipated having sufficient fuel to complete the race. For most of the last 50 laps Edwards was competing with Elliott Sadler for first place, pushing into the lead with 25 laps to go. Seeing Allgaier moving up into second place, Edwards pushed his car to the limit – and ran out of gas. As Allgaier passed Edwards, he too ran out of fuel, but managed to coast over the finish line with a 1.719 second advantage.
Following a six-week absence from racing as he recovered from a mystery illness, eventually treated as Lyme’s Disease, Bayne was delighted with his third place in the race. Proving his talent as a driver, Bayne moved his way to 10th place within 23 laps, before crossing the finish line third. Elliott Sadler, who had been dueling with Edwards earlier in the race, finished in 11th place, after being forced to make a pit-stop when his right front tire lost air pressure. Aric Almirola took 4th place, with Jason Leffler in 5th.
Having finished in 10th place in the Indianapolis 500 last week, Danica Patrick returned to the NASCAR Nationwide Series following a nine-race break, taking 10th place at Chicagoland Speedway. The next race is at Michigan International Speedway on June 18 – don’t miss it!