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Sorenson wins chaotic Road America race

Controversial Nationwide race finish
Saturday, June 25, 2011

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Reed Sorenson wins a wild Bucyrus 200 at Road America under caution following this third attempt for a green-white-checkered finish.
Getty Images for NASCAR
Justin Allgaier could have coasted to victory under caution — but he ran out of gas, handing a victory to Reed Sorenson in a chaotic finish to Saturday's NASCAR Nationwide race at Road America.

Allgaier took the lead from Michael McDowell on the second of three attempts at a green-white-checkered overtime finish. Allgaier held the lead after the final restart and appeared to have the win sealed up when the yellow flag waved for the final time because of another rash of crashes.

But Allgaier didn't have enough fuel to make it to the finish after running so many extra laps on the four-mile track, and making it back to the finish line is required under NASCAR rules even though the race finished under yellow.

Sorenson and Ron Fellows took the checkered flag side-by-side and both drivers seemed to think they'd won, and NASCAR officials took several minutes to declare Sorenson the winner.

"I don't agree with the ruling, but it is what it is," Fellows said.

NASCAR officials ruled Fellows finished second, followed by Jacques Villeneuve — who had a late run-in with Max Papis — Elliott Sadler and Mike Wallace.

Brian Scott was leading in the closing laps of regulation, trying to win the race on fuel strategy. But McDowell, who started on the pole and ran at or near the front all afternoon, chased him down and got around him going into Turn 1 with seven laps to go.

A caution came out after a crash with four laps remaining, bunching up the field and setting up overtime.

That was the first in a series of late crashes that caused NASCAR to extend the race with three attempts at a green/white/checkered finish — the maximum number of overtime restarts allowed in hopes of ensuring that the race finishes under green.

On the first restart, Villeneuve put two wheels on the grass attempting to make an aggressive passing move going into Turn 1 — then sent Scott and Papis spinning.

Papis pulled up next to Villeneuve on pit road after the race in an apparent attempt to show his displeasure, but Villeneuve offered no apologies in a post race interview.

Otherwise, it was a good finish after a challenging day for Villeneuve, who was leading halfway through the race when NASCAR officials penalized him for changing lanes before the start/finish line on a restart.

There was more chaos on the second attempt at a green-white-checkered finish.

McDowell continued to lead the field to the next restart but went wide in Turn 5 to give up the lead to Allgaier — and a gaggle of cars spun out behind them, bringing out another caution and setting up Allgaier's heartbreaking loss.

McDowell ended the race in 12th, a tough finish for the Sprint Cup Series backmarker who appeared to be making the most of his chance to drive for a top-flight team.

Saturday's race was run without the large group of Sprint Cup Series starts who usually opt to race in Nationwide.

Carl Edwards won last year's race at Road America and intended to make the commute between the Sprint Cup weekend in Sonoma, Calif. again this year.

But when Edwards struggled to get speed out of his Cup car, he decided to stay in Sonoma and skip Road America. That meant open-wheel and sports car racer Billy Johnson got an unexpected last-minute chance to race.

Johnson hoped to contend but spun out early, then had to quit the race because of a reported mechanical problem.

2011 NNS Bucyrus 200 Race Results

Fin Str Car Driver Team Lap Status
1 12 32 Reed Sorenson Dollar General Chevrolet 57 Running
2 5 7 Ron Fellows AER Chevrolet 57 Running
3 3 22 Jacques Villeneuve Discount Tire Dodge 57 Running
4 7 2 Elliott Sadler OneMain Financial Chevrolet 57 Running
5 25 1 Mike Wallace Cowboys & Aliens Chevrolet 57 Running
6 21 53 Andrew Ranger WM Recycling Dodge 57 Running
7 22 62 Michael Annett Pilot/Flying J Toyota 57 Running
8 8 6 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. RickyvsTrevor.com Ford 57 Running
9 15 30 Ricky Carmichael(i) Monster Energy Chevrolet 57 Running
10 17 67 J R Fitzpatrick Go Canada Racing Ford 57 Running
11 23 15 Timmy Hill # New Orleans Voodoo Ford 57 Running
12 1 18 Michael McDowell(i) Pizza Ranch Toyota 57 Running
13 18 39 Josh Wise Cajun Industries Ford 57 Running
14 24 81 Blake Koch # DAYSTAR.com Dodge 57 Running
15 26 19 Mike Bliss SheboyganAuto.com Chevrolet 57 Running
16 13 11 Brian Scott Shore Lodge Toyota 57 Running
17 32 28 Derrike Cope MAXelence.com Chevrolet 57 Running
18 39 70 Dennis Setzer ML Motorsports Dodge 57 Running
19 14 31 Justin Allgaier Florida Gulf Safe Chevrolet 56 Running
20 9 38 Jason Leffler Great Clips Chevrolet 56 Running
21 19 23 Alex Kennedy St. Baldrick's Dodge 56 Running
22 20 88 Aric Almirola TaxSlayer.com Chevrolet 56 Running
23 2 33 Max Papis Rheem/Menards Chevrolet 55 Running
24 28 87 Kevin Conway AM/FM Energy/Wood & Pellet Stoves Toyota 54 Running
25 41 52 Tim Schendel TRX Software Development, Inc./DirecTV Chevrolet 54 Running
26 6 66 Steve Wallace 5-Hour Energy Toyota 52 Accident
27 29 14 Eric McClure Hefty BlackOut/Reynolds Chevrolet 52 Accident
28 16 9 Kenny Wallace Toyota Toyota 49 Running
29 42 13 Jennifer Jo Cobb # DriverBoutique.com Ford 49 Running
30 30 41 Doug Harrington New Orleans Voodoo Ford 45 Accident
31 11 16 Trevor Bayne RickyvsTrevor.com Ford 36 Overheating
32 27 51 Jeremy Clements racedaysponsor.com Chevrolet 26 Engine
33 4 60 Billy Johnson Fastenal Ford 25 Engine
34 10 64 Jason Bowles Fuel Doctor Toyota 16 Accident
35 35 89 Morgan Shepherd Victory in Jesus Chevrolet 11 Handling
36 33 75 Carl Long Lilly Trucking of VA Ford 6 Carburetor
37 40 40 Charles Lewandoski # Key Motorsports Chevrolet 4 Ignition
38 31 44 Jeff Green TriStar Motorsports Chevrolet 3 Vibration
39 36 3 Scott Wimmer R3 Motorsports Dodge 3 Brakes
40 34 46 Chase Miller Key Motorsports Chevrolet 2 Brakes
41 38 42 Tim Andrews Key Motorsports Chevrolet 2 Brakes
42 37 55 Brett Rowe Imperial Bedding Chevrolet 2 Brakes

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