By: Amanda Vincent, NASCAR Correspondent
- Top two coast to finish line
- Allgaier wins home race in Illinois
- Bayne returns to take third
Allgaier barely makes it to finish line while Edwards takes 2nd on fumes
The STP 300 NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Chicagoland Speedway on Saturday came down to fuel mileage, with Justin Allgaier coming out ahead of Carl Edwards to claim the second win of his Nationwide career. Both Allgaier and Edwards ran out of fuel on the last lap, but Allgaier’s tank went empty a little later than Edwards, giving him a shorter distance to coast to the checkered flag and take the win.
“I don’t think it gets much better than this,” Allgaier said prior to his walk to victory lane.
As an Illinois native, Allgaier considers Chicagoland Speedway his home track. His sponsor, Brandt, is also located nearby.
“(Crew chief) Jimmy Elledge has made great pit calls all year,” Allgaier said.
Edwards coasted to a second-place finish after leading more than half of the race.
Lead lap cars pitted for the final time for fuel on the edge of the pit window when a caution came out on lap 138 after Brad Keselowski lost his engine.
“It just started slowing down,” Keselowski said of his fifth DNF of the season. Since all his gauges looked fine, he initially thought there was a problem with his ignition box.
We knew we had to save.
Some drivers were able to conserve enough fuel to get to the end of the race, including Trevor Bayne. In his return race after a five-race medical leave, Bayne finished third.
“We knew we had to save,” Bayne said. “We just did a few yards too much saving.”
Edwards was unable to save as much fuel as some of his fellow competitors because of a battle with Ellioitt Sadler that lasted several laps. Beginning with about 50 laps to go, Edwards and Sadler raced side-by-side for several laps and exchanged the lead a few times before Edwards was finally able to pull away.
Sadler held the second spot until about 10 laps to go when he was passed for the position by Allgaier. A few laps later, Sadler fell completely out of contention when he felt a right-front tire going down and had to come down pit road. The late-race, unscheduled pit stop resulted in an 11th-place finish.
Aric Almirola finished fourth and Jason Leffler rounded out the top-five.