Richard Childress Racing's Elliott Sadler listened to his dad's advice to "go to Iowa and kick their butts" after the heartbreak seven days prior at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The driver of the No. 2 One Main Financial Chevrolet followed through by capturing the pole for the U.S. Cellular 250 at Iowa Speedway and then leading the final 58 laps to earn his fourth victory of the 2012 NASCAR Nationwide Series season. Coming into Saturday night's race, the sting from having the win in the Nationwide Series' inaugural race at the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway taken from his grasp was still a strong irritation for the Emporia, Va., native. Instead of letting it sidetrack his championship aspirations, Sadler used it as motivation to prove that the No. 2 Chevrolet Team team was still a title contender. Well planned pit strategy by Sadler and crew chief Luke Lambert played to their favor throughout the night, especially during the night's second stop, on lap 92, when Lambert called an audible from the planned two-tire stop and went with four fresh Goodyear tires instead. Initially losing a few positions as the field took the green flag, he was back in second place on lap 106. He stayed on the rear bumper of leader Jason Allgaier until taking the lead on lap 193. Sadler drove away and took the checkered six-tenths-of-a-second ahead of Allgaier on the 0.875-mile oval. The victory increased Sadler's lead to 18 in the Nationwide Series driver championship point standings over teammate Austin Dillon, who finished 15th.
Start - 1 Finish - 1 Laps Led - 3 Points - 1
ELLIOTT SADLER QUOTE:
"It's been a tough week. We really felt like we should have won that race last week. My dad had knee surgery this week, and he gave me the best advice. He said, 'Do not let them (NASCAR) take this championship away from you. Go to Iowa and kick their butts'. I think we're going to be really good for the rest of the year. I'm driving with a lot of confidence, and crew chief Luke Lambert is making a lot of good adjustments right now. We're probably communicating better right now than we have all season long."
Unscheduled Pit Stop Drops Austin Dillon to 15th-Place Finish at Iowa Speedway
After starting third in Saturday night's NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Iowa Speedway, Austin Dillon drove to a commanding lead and was a front runner for much of the 250-lap affair before an unscheduled pit stop caused the No. 3 American Ethanol team to fall one lap down and ultimately finish 15th. Dillon took the green flag from the third position and raced into the lead at lap 37, reporting to crew chief Danny Stockman that handling improved on the No. 3 Chevrolet as the race progressed. Dillon was scored as the race leader when the caution flag was displayed at lap 90, prompting a trip down pit road for four tires and fuel. Dillon lost nine positions as several teams opted for fuel-only pit stops and the American Ethanol Chevrolet restarted in the 10th position when green flag racing resumed at lap 95. The 2011 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Champion immediately began advancing in the running order, driving to third by the race's halfway point. However, Dillon had to make an unscheduled green-flag pit stop for four tires after reporting a vibration on the No. 3 Chevrolet. Exiting pit road one lap down to the race leader and in the 21st position with less than 100 laps remaining, Dillon spent the remainder of the event racing for the Lucky Dog Award. Long green-flag runs prevented him from earning his lap back, despite posting lap times faster than the leaders, and he finished in the 15th position, one lap down. Dillon remains second in the Nationwide Series driver champion point standings.
Start - 3 Finish - 15 Laps Led - 53 Points - 2
AUSTIN DILLON QUOTE:
"Wow. I feel like we gave a race away tonight. I'm extremely disappointed because I know we had a fast American Ethanol Chevrolet. I almost feel like we've been cheated of two wins at Iowa Speedway between last year's truck race and the incidents that happened tonight. I know that everything happens for a reason. Our team is strong and we will fight back. Danny Stockman and the team did an amazing job building this Chevrolet and our speed on the track reflected that tonight so I have to thank them for all of their hard work."
Brendan Gaughan and No. 33 Rheem/Menards Chevrolet Team Post Top-15 Finish at Iowa
After running in the top-10 for the majority of the NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Iowa Speedway, Brendan Gaughan nursed a shredding right-front tire on the No. 33 Rheem/Menards Chevrolet in the closing laps to finish in the 14th-position. Gaughan started the U.S. Cellular 250 presented by Enlist Weed Control System from the sixth position in front of a standing room-only crowd of 50,000 at the Newton, Iowa-based track. The Las Vegas native was a strong contender throughout the 250-lap contest, reporting to crew chief Ernie Cope that the neon yellow machine handled especially well during long green-flag runs. Gaughan was scored in the eighth position when the final caution flag of the race was displayed at lap 174, prompting the team to pit for four Goodyear tires and Sunoco Green E15 fuel. Restarting from the eighth position with 73 laps remaining, Gaughan remained in the top 10 until reporting the right-front tire was going down on the No. 33 Chevrolet with 25 laps to go, causing him to fall to 14th before crossing the finish line. The No. 33 team remains seventh in the Nationwide Series owner championship point standings.
Start - 6 Finish -14 Laps Led - 0 Owner's Points - 7
BRENDAN GAUGHAN QUOTE:
"Overall, it was a great day for Richard Childress Racing, so congratulations to Richard and everyone associated with the organization on wins with Joey Coulter and Elliott Sadler. The Rheem/Menards team had a strong run today but the ending was a bit disappointing. The right-front tire fell apart during the last run and we didn't get a caution when we needed it."
Source: Richard Childress Racing