Short-track moves on a road course? Yes, it can be done, and Regan Smith perfected it on Saturday afternoon at Mid-Ohio, scoring the victory in the Nationwide Children’s Hospital 200 after passing Alex Tagliani on the final lap.
In a race that was dominated by Tagliani and Smith, it came down to Tagliani leading at the white flag with Smith right on his bumper. Going into in the final two corners on the 2.258-mile course, Smith put the bumper to the No. 22 Discount Tire Ford, moving Tagliani out of the way and made it back to the finish line in first place.
The win is Smith’s first of the 2015 season, and first victory since the Xfinity Series-season opener at Daytona last February.
“I hate to do it in that last corner, but I wasn’t going to pass up an opportunity,” Smith told NBC’s Dave Burns in Victory Lane. “I had to do what I had to do.”
Tagliani was less than thrilled about the finish after starting on the pole and leading a race-high 38 laps in his seventh start in the division.
Definitely very surprise that @ReganSmith couldn't resist the temptation @pepsikrazy @DaleJr @ @JRMotorsports pic.twitter.com/PJ6518Omsx
— Alex Tagliani (@tagliani) August 15, 2015
“It’s just really unfortunate to win like that, but also to see him celebrate after a win like that,” Tagliani said. “He knows he was not going to win without pushing us off.”
The top three in the standings going into the race finished fourth, third and fifth. Chris Buescher, the points leader, finished fourth. Ty Dillon and Chase Elliott, who came into the race tied for second, finished third and fifth, respectively. Buescher maintains his 24-point lead over Dillon, and Elliott trails the lead by 25.
Elliott Sadler finished in sixth, followed by Brian Scott in seventh. Darrell Wallace Jr. found himself in the sand in the early stages of the race, but came back to finish eighth. The same happened to rookie Ben Rhodes early on, but he rallied back to finish 10th.
A multi-car incident with seven laps to go caused the eighth and final caution of the race. Kenny Habul‘s No. 20 car dived under teammate Boris Said and spun, collecting Said, Tomy Drissi and rookie Brandon Jones. Said would finish 13th, two spots behind the top-finishing Joe Gibbs Racing car, Daniel Suarez in 11th.
The Xfinity Series will hold its third and final road-course race of the year at Road America in two weeks. But before, the series will go to the place where the bump-and-run was made famous: Bristol Motor Speedway. The Food City 300 can be seen on Friday, Aug. 26 at 7:30 p.m. on NBCSN.
2015 NATIONWIDE CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL 200 RACE RESULTS
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Evenly matched. Competitive. On track passing! Everything this series could be but won’t be due to the morons that run NASCAR’s failure to grasp the concept of classes. Kind of makes me sad.
Regan Smith has always been a hot head and a scary looking dude with those crazy eyes, and has some questionable wins at somebody else’s expense. Sorry, he did what he moaned and moaned last week (making himself look nuts in the process). I call “hypocrite”. I could care less about Tag, but that move reeked of desperation for keeping his job with Junior, Kelley and Rick. He always seemed jealous of the golden child Chase and now this. Desperate man, imo of course.
The kind of move that has made Nascar what it is in the eyes of sports fans worldwide.
Kb, there was a huge difference between last week and this week for Regan Smith. Last week, he was dive bombed early in the race and taken out. This week, he moved Tagliani out of the way (didn’t wreck him) and made the pass. The bump and run has been a part of NASCAR for a long time and was executed correctly yesterday.
JohnQ, think what a great summer the AAA Series could have if they continued this Road Course Series (with a couple of standalones/non-companion) and paired it with a 4 race Thursday Night Throwback Series in the month of July. Run Hickory, South Boston, IRP and Orange County/Myrtle Beach…..
You could have a 10 Race span with those 4 short tracks, 3 road courses, + Bristol, Darlington and Iowa. In the late 90’s I watched all of the Busch and Cup races and actually was often more excited to see the Busch races. A summer line-up like this would certainly bring the excitement back!
Sorry, I disagree, but hey..we all have our opinions. I saw a desperate act by a desperate man. 52 race winless streak in a contract year with talented young drivers nipping at his heels. I say he is a hypocrite.
Bud, I thought that I was the only one that used to enjoy the truck and Busch series races as much as or sometimes more than the Cup race. Hungrier drivers that had yet to make enough money to turn into Prima Donnas and shorter races with no ride around and wait for “go time” in the middle. NASCAR couldn’t have F’ed up these two series more if they tried. Incompetence yes, but perfect incompetence. Impressive.