Elliott Sadler, driver of the No. 2 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet, got a push from the No. 31 Turner Motorsports Chevrolet of Justin Allgaier on the final restart with two laps to go in the STP 300 NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Chicagolan Speedway in Joliet, Ill., on Sunday to claim the race win.
"I knew we had to get a good restart there," Sadler said in victory lane. "I knew Justin Allgaier had to push me and push me straight."
After leading two-thirds of the event, Ricky Stenhouse finished second in the No. 6 Roush Fenway Racing Ford and Allgaier was third.
"I felt like Elliott had good restarts all day and the No. 6 struggled a little bit," Sadler's crew chief Luke Lambert said. "I hoped that would work in our favor." “”Cautions just didn't fall our way," Stenhouse said
Stenhouse started the race from the pole but lost the lead to the No. 12 Penske Racing Dodge on lap one. He took the lead back on lap seven.
Stenhouse again lost the lead to Hornish on the restart that followed the first caution of the race on lap 50. On the next restart, though, that followed a caution that came out just past the 100-lap mark of the 200-lap race, Stenhouse held on to his lead.
After staying out during a caution with 72 laps to go, Stenhouse was among the first to pit under green with 36 laps remaining. The yellow flag waved again soon after, catching the previous race leader a lap down.
"Cautions just didn't fall our way," Stenhouse said.
Stenhouse got back on the lead lap but restarted in 10th spot. With the fastest car on the lead lap, Stenhouse quickly made his way back toward the front, taking the runner-up spot with 16 laps remaining.
He then set his sights on Sadler, the race leader, and was gaining on him when the fifth and final caution of the race came out with eight laps to go. With Sadler's margin erased, he and Stenhouse restarted side-by-side on the front row, with Allgaier behind Sadler in third.
When the race went back to green for the final two laps, Allgaier pushed Sadler out to the front for the win.
In addition to the race win, Sadler also claimed the $100,000 Dash 4 Cash bonus as the highest finisher among the four drivers eligible. He also made himself eligible for another $100,000 bonus to be awarded next weekend at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Stenhouse, Allgaier and fourth-place finisher Kenny Wallace in the No. 09 RAB Racing Toyota will battle Sadler for next week's Dash 4 Cash bonus as the other three highest finishing Nationwide Series championshp-eligible drivers at Chicagoland.
"We've been the first guy out the last two times," Allgaier said of finally qualifying for the Dash 4 Cash.