Elliott Sadler and the No. 2 OneMain Financial Team Battle to Fourth-Place Finish in Caution-Laden Event at Kansas Speedway

Elliott Sadler
Elliott Sadler

Photo by: Adriano Manocchia

The No. 2 OneMain Financial team and Elliott Sadler notched their 15th top-five finish of the 2012 NASCAR Nationwide Series season Saturday afternoon at Kansas Speedway. Starting from the seventh position in the 200-lap event, the driver worked his way into the third position by lap 37. After a stop for right-side tires earlier in the race, crew chief Luke Lambert utilized a caution on lap 56 to bring Sadler down pit road again for left-side tires and fuel. With varying pit strategy in play throughout the field, Sadler restarted in the 14th position on lap 60 but was shuffled back to the 17th spot. Battling a lack of right-rear grip, Sadler worked his way into the ninth position by the halfway point of the race as a caution came out on lap 112. Lambert called the No. 2 Chevrolet down pit road for four tires, fuel and a chassis adjustment to restart seventh. As the laps continued to tick away, Lambert relayed to the driver to save as much fuel as possible as the Chevrolet would be 3.5 laps short on fuel. Luck struck for the No. 2 team as a caution on lap 161 provided an opportunity for the OneMain Financial team to save fuel with Sadler in the sixth position. Still trying to save a little bit of fuel with three laps to go, the field was slowed for another caution with Sadler in the fifth position. Lambert instructed Sadler to come down pit road for four seconds worth of fuel, positioning Sadler in ninth for the green-white-checkered finish. As the green flag dropped for the final time, Sadler was able to maneuver around cars running out of fuel to cross the finish line fourth. Sadler remains on top of the Nationwide Series driver championship point standings by six markers over Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

ELLIOTT SADLER QUOTE: "A solid finish for the OneMain Financial team this weekend at Kansas Speedway. We honestly didn't know what to expect with this repave, and it was definitely the wildcard race that was left on our schedule. We fought back from all the way back in 17th position to fourth, so we will take it and move onto Texas Motor Speedway in two weeks."

Austin Dillon Earns Second-Place Finish in No. 3 AdvoCare Chevrolet at Kansas Speedway

Austin Dillon earned a second-place finish on the newly-repaved Kansas Speedway, maintaining his rank as the NASCAR Nationwide Series driver with the best average finishing position on 1.5-mile tracks. Dillon started the scheduled 200-lap race from the second position, but slipped to the third position in the opening laps of the race as he struggled with a loose-handling Chevrolet. A combination of two-tire and four-tire pit stops throughout the event allowed the Danny Stockman-led team to make routine chassis adjustments to improve the handling of the black No. 3. Dillon led five laps and ran the entire event within the top 15. The 2011 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series champion was in the fourth position and conserved fuel for the closing laps of the event when the caution flag was displayed with two laps to go With fuel mileage a concern, Dillon visited pit road for a splash of Sunoco Green E15 fuel, positioning him 10th for the lap-204 restart. Several teams ran out of fuel during the final green-white-checkered and Dillon raced into the second position for the finish, securing his 15th top-five finish of the season.

AUSTIN DILLON QUOTE: "We're still in this championship hunt but it is so hard to gain points in this series because the top competitors finish so close to each other each week. We did the right thing coming down pit road for fuel at the end of the race. The No. 6 car had an advantage because he had to pit to fix his car and it worked out for him. I think we would not have made it if we did not pit so I am glad we did."

Menard and No. 33 Rheem/Menards Team Come Up Short of Fuel at Kansas Speedway

Paul Menard and the No. 33 Rheem/Menards team led on six different occasions for 110 circuits of the 200-lap race on Saturday at Kansas Speedway before running out of fuel to finish 16th. Menard qualified fifth earlier in the day, and when the main event began, Menard moved up to third place by the time the first of 12 caution flags waved on lap 15. The No. 33 continued to move forward to the point position, leading for 110 total laps throughout the event. As instructed by crew chief Ernie Cope, Menard saved fuel during numerous cautions to have enough to go the scheduled 200-lap distance. A caution flag dropped with two laps remaining, forcing the field into a green-white-checkered finish. For the Rheem/Menards team, there was enough fuel to get to lap 204 but the tank ran dry right at the line when the field took the final green flag on lap 205, unable to complete the final two circuits. The No. 33 team would end the evening in the 16th position.

PAUL MENARD QUOTES: "We were going for the win so there was no reason to consider coming in for a splash of fuel on that last caution. The Menards/Rheem Chevy was the best car on the track all day and one of the best cars I've ever driven. Ernie (Cope, crew chief) made the right calls and the guys did a great job in the pits. Thanks to the guys at the RCR Nationwide Series shop for building a great car and for ECR Engines building a great motor. We gave it a shot and came up short."

Source: Richard Childress Racing