Ricky Stenhouse came from two laps down in the No. 6 Roush Fenway Racing Ford to claim victory in the Kansas Lottery 300 NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Kansas Speedway on Saturday. The win was his sixth of 2012 and pulled him to within six points of series points leader Elliott Sadler in the No. 2 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet.
"We were doing a lot of praying, trying to get two laps, there," Stenhouse said of his battle back toward the front.
Made a mistake there, trying to get some debris off the grill.
With Dillon's second-place finish, Chevrolet captured the Nationwide Series manufacturer's title for the 15th time.
"Chevrolet is honored to win the 2012 Bill France Performance Cup, and capture the Manufacturers' Championship in the NASCAR Nationwide Series for the 15th time,” Chevrolet US Vice President of Performance Vehicles and Motorsports Jim Campbell said in a statement. “Our success is the result of dedication and determination of our Nationwide Series team owners, crew chiefs and their crews as well as the drivers giving it their all on the track. We salute the efforts of everyone who worked tirelessly to bring this award to Chevrolet."
Logano started on the pole and led the way until the second caution of the race came out on lap 32. Logano, along with most others on the lead lap, headed down pit road while Stenhouse stayed out and inherited the lead.
Stenhouse also stayed out the next time the caution came out to hold on to his position up front. With the large number of cautions, pit strategies varied, putting drivers on a multitude of pit cycles. Through it all, Paul Menard wound up keeping his car out front for the most laps, leading 110-circuits, just over half of the race.
Stenhouse and Logano made heavy contact a few laps later. According to Stenhouse and his crew chief, Mike Kelley, Stenhouse was trying to get debris of the grill of his car but then changed his mind and decided to pass Logano when he decided that the debris was not going to come off. While trying to complete the pass, Stenhouse's car moved up on Logano, sustaining heaving damage and pushing Logano's car into the wall, also causing significant damage to the No. 18.
"Made a mistake there, trying to get some debris off the grill," Stenhouse said. "I thought it was over."
Logano acknowledged after the race that he didn't have a car capable of winning anyway, but it didn't ease the frustration that stemmed from the contact.
"It's frustrating," Logano said. "We didn't have a car to win this thing anyway, but neither did the No. 6. It just happened that way."
Logano wound up going a lap down after the incident, and Stenhouse fell to two laps down. Logano got back on the lead lap on a later caution, and Stenhouse eventually got back on the lead lap by first taking a wave-around during a yellow and later getting a free pass under caution.
While those in fuel conservation mode were happy to see cautions that helped them stretch their fuel, the final one came out late enough to be a detriment to their causes. The yellow flag came out for the 12th time with three laps to go, adding laps onto the scheduled race distance.
Menard and Hornish ran out under the caution, while Busch looked to be on his way to his first Nationwide win as an owner/driver. Busch, however, ran out of gas after taking the white flag for the final lap, putting Stenhouse into the lead.
"I ran out in the middle of (turns) three and four," Busch said. "That's our year. Oh well, you get defeated sometimes."
Sadler finished second after battling an ill-handling race car for much of the event, and Cole Whitt rounded out the top-five in the No. 88 JR Motorsports Chevrolet.
Busch coasted across the start/finish line to finish sixth. Seventh through 10th were Justin Allgaier in the No. 31 Turner Motorsports Chevrolet, Michael Annett in the No. 43 Richard Petty Motorsports Ford, Hornish and Danica Patrick in the No. 7 JR Motorsports Chevrolet.