Sam Hornish, Jr. Wins at Mid-Ohio

Sam Hornish, Jr. collected his fifth series victory
Matt Sullivan/Getty Images

Sam Hornish Jr. dominated Saturday's NASCAR XFINITY Series Mid-Ohio Challenge, but his victory was anything but certain until the waning laps of a caution-filled race.

Hornish, driving Team Penske's No. 22 Ford Mustang, earlier had eclipsed his own qualifying record at the 13-turn, 2.258-mile Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, and edged series rookie Daniel Hemric by 1.335 seconds when the event ultimately went green for the final time with five circuits remaining in the 75-lap distance.

The victory was the fifth in the series by Hornish, whose last win came in June of 2016 at Iowa Speedway.

Hornish, who led four times for 61 laps, traded the top spot with Hemric's No. 21 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet Camaro four times over the race's third and final stage. He took the point for the last time on Lap 62, on a restart following the seventh caution.

Veteran Brendan Gaughan advanced to the second after Justin Allgaier and James Davison slipped off the track in Turn 3 at Lap 63, setting up a final restart battle that ended prematurely when Gaughan's No. 62 RCR Chevrolet Camaro was forced off the track by Hornish shortly after the green flag.

"I finally got the win (at Mid-Ohio)," said Hornish, who finished second here a year ago. "We had a smart, almost flawless day but I feel bad about the 62. I didn't want to beat him that way."

[adinserter name="GOOGLE AD"] Rookie Matt Tifft finish third in the No. 19 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota Camry, improving his best NASCAR XFINITY Series finish from a fifth-place at Kentucky Speedway last September. Davison, an international racing star and Indianapolis 500 competitor, took fourth in the No. 20 JGR Toyota, followed by sports car veteran Andy Lally, whose No. 07 Chevrolet Camaro team posted their first top-10 finish in the series.

Twenty-four of the race's 40 starters completed all 75 laps. Five drivers, Hornish, Hemric, Blake Koch, Ryan Reed and Elliott Sadler, traded the lead nine times.

NASCAR XFINITY Series points leader Sadler spotted the field an early spin and a green flag pit stop to change a flat tire, but he ultimately took sixth, ahead of Gaughan, Brennan Poole, Justin Marks and Dakoda Armstrong.

Koch won the race's first stage when Hornish elected to pit with three laps left and leader Sadler was spun in Turn 1 by Poole.

Hornish quickly went back to the front of the field after Stage 1 pit stops, claiming Stage 2 over Hemric and Davison.

Saturday's race left the playoff picture unchanged with no bubble drivers able to bump their way into the standings. Sadler holds an 81-point lead over William Byron, who appeared headed for a top 10 until being caught up in a late accident relegating him to a 25th-place finish.

RACE RESULTS

Pos. # Driver Make Start Laps Led Status Points Playoff Points
1 22 Sam Hornish Jr Ford 1 75 61 Running 52 6
2 21 Daniel Hemric Chevy 6 75 8 Running 47 1
3 19 Matt Tifft Toyota 5 75 0 Running 34 0
4 20 JD Davison Toyota 11 75 0 Running 41 0
5 07 Andy Lally Chevy 13 75 0 Running 38 0
6 1 Elliott Sadler Chevy 2 75 1 Running 31 5
7 62 Brendan Gaughan Chevy 17 75 0 Running 38 1
8 48 Brennan Poole Chevy 10 75 0 Running 40 0
9 42 Justin Marks Chevy 21 75 0 Running 33 0
10 28 Dakoda Armstrong Toyota 28 75 0 Running 27 0
11 11 Blake Koch Chevy 3 75 3 Running 37 2
12 39 Ryan Sieg Chevy 16 75 0 Running 29 0
13 14 JJ Yeley Toyota 18 75 0 Running 24 0
14 33 Brandon Jones Chevy 25 75 0 Running 23 0
15 4 Ross Chastain Chevy 14 75 0 Running 28 0
16 46 Anthony Kumpen Chevy 34 75 0 Running 21 0
17 99 David Starr Chevy 35 75 0 Running 20 0
18 13 Enrique Baca Dodge 29 75 0 Running 19 0
19 5 Michael Annett Chevy 30 75 0 Running 18 0
20 40 Tim Cowen Ford 36 75 0 Running 17 0
21 52 Joey Gase Chevy 39 75 0 Running 16 0
22 3 Scott Lagasse Jr Chevy 26 75 0 Running 15 0
23 74 Cody Ware Dodge 40 75 0 Running 0 0
24 78 Stephen Young Chevy 37 75 0 Running 13 0
25 9 William Byron Chevy 23 67 0 Accident 12 17
26 2 Ben Kennedy Chevy 7 67 0 Accident 14 0
27 24 Dylan Lupton Toyota 15 67 0 Accident 10 0
28 18 Regan Smith Toyota 12 67 0 Accident 0 0
29 8 Josh Bilicki Chevy 22 67 0 Accident 9 0
30 0 Garrett Smithley Chevy 33 67 0 Accident 7 0
31 7 Justin Allgaier Chevy 8 67 0 Accident 13 8
32 98 Casey Mears Ford 19 64 0 Engine 5 0
33 16 Ryan Reed Ford 4 57 2 Accident 11 5
34 01 Sheldon Creed Chevy 32 56 0 Running 3 0
35 00 Cole Custer Ford 9 54 0 Running 2 0
36 23 Spencer Gallagher Chevy 24 51 0 Accident 1 0
37 51 Jeremy Clements Chevy 20 51 0 Accident 6 0
38 90 Matthew Bell Chevy 27 15 0 Accident 1 0
39 93 Jeff Green Chevy 31 9 0 Transmission 1 0
40 89 Morgan Shepherd Chevy 38 5 0 Handling 1 0


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