Road America Recap & Photos
Brian Scott Quotes:
“I am really proud of Kevin Kidd and all of the guys on this Joe Gibbs Racing Team. They put me in a position to be a factor in this race. Unfortunately we just got wrecked by the 22 car while running third. We didn’t get the finish that we wanted but that has kind of been the story of our season. We were in good position though. I think we were going to make it on fuel. Kevin had a really good strategy for this race. It was good to lead some laps and the Shore Lodge Toyota was good all day. We just would have liked to have had a better finish than what we got.”
Brian Scott Race Highlights:
- Brian Scott picked up the 13th starting spot for the Bucyrus 200 at Road America in Elkhart, Wis., on Saturday afternoon. A flat-spotted tire however forced the driver of the No. 11 Shore Lodge Toyota to start at the rear of the field for the 50-lap race.
- Scott didn’t let the pre-race setback hold him back as he quickly climbed through the field, moving into the top 25 by lap two.
- As is typical of road course racing, fuel strategies varied up and down pit road. Crew chief Kevin Kidd laid out his own strategy by having Scott stop during the caution on lap eight for a fuel-only pit stop. That pit stop was followed up with another stop for tires and fuel less than 20 laps later on lap 27. Scott returned to pit road one more time before racing resumed on lap 28 to top off the fuel cell. The strategy resulted in Scott being good to go to the end of the race.
- Scott was in the 23rd position when green-flag racing resumed at lap 30, and he steadily climbed through the field. He was up to the fourth position by lap 37 and drove to the lead at lap 39.
- Scott gave up the lead to the very fast Michael McDowell with only seven laps to go in the race. The No. 11 Shore Lodge Toyota team was sitting in third place and poised for a top-five finish when the driver of the No. 41 car spun and brought out the caution with four laps left in the race. The caution resulted in the first attempt at a green-white-checkered flag finish. When racing resumed Scott was punted by the No. 22 car which also took out a number of other top-10 running cars.
- Scott was able to stay on the lead lap and get to pit road for repairs to damage sustained by the contact with the No. 22 car. With four fresh tires, Scott was able to climb back to the 12th position during the last attempt at a green-white-checkered flag finish. Going into the sixth turn Scott was hit from behind by driver Josh Wise and finally limped his way home to a 16th-place finish.
- Reed Sorenson scored the win on Saturday. He was followed across the line by Ron Fellows, Jacques Villeneuve, Elliott Sadler and Mike Wallace to complete the top-five finishers.
- Scott remains ninth in the NASCAR Nationwide Series driver point standings. He is 12 points out of eighth place and 73 points out of the top five. With his win on Saturday Sorenson takes over the top spot in the championship point standings. He owns a five-point lead ahead of Elliott Sadler.
Michael McDowell Quotes
“I’m not going to dwell on what happened here today, because there is nothing you can do to change it. I’m not mad and I’m not disappointed. Would I have wanted to win this race and did I think we were the best car? Sure and we showed it out there on the track. The Pizza Ranch Toyota was just awesome. But things like that happen. We were the leader of the race and we hit some oil or other fluid on the track and we just slid off. That is what happens in racing sometimes. I’m not going to hang my head though. I’m still out here getting to race and getting to run in such great equipment like they have here at Joe Gibbs Racing and for a company like Pizza Ranch. I’m just fortunate for the opportunity.
“We had a great car all weekend long. We were fast right from the start and we were consistently fast all weekend long. We tried a few things in practice and got the car handling great. I had a great weekend with the guys and felt so comfortable working with them. This is where I feel really comfortable is on these road courses, so I feel like my feedback is even better and I can tell Jason and the team what I want exactly. We went out and got the pole for the race by nearly a second, which was huge. It was an honor to get my first Nationwide Series pole and something I’ve been waiting for for a long time. And we went out, raced our race, led a bunch of laps, but just didn’t come back with the trophy. We’ll be back and we’ll go after it again.
“I want to thank Pizza Ranch for coming on board for this race. They weren’t supposed to be with us this weekend, but they came on board and hopefully we did a good enough job for them. And thanks to the whole JGR organization. Without them, I wouldn’t have even been in the position I was to win the race. I’m excited for what’s next and just thankful to have been able to race as competitive as we did today. We’ll get them next time that’s for sure.”
Michael McDowell Race Highlights
The Finish: Michael McDowell and the No. 18 Pizza Ranch Toyota was the dominate car on Saturday afternoon at Road America in Elkhart Lake, WI, winning the pole and leading 30 of the 50 laps in the Bucyrus 200 before hitting fluid and running off the track with just two laps to go, forcing the team to settle for a 12th place finish in the final rundown.
Highlights: The day started out strong for Michael and the Pizza Ranch team. Michael collected his first-career NASCAR Nationwide Series pole in the afternoon qualifying session, clocking in nearly a full-second faster than the second-place qualifier. When the green flag dropped, Michael shot to the front and led the race’s first six laps before giving way to Steven Wallace during the first round of stops. The Pizza Ranch team, led by Crew Chief Jason Ratcliff, played their race strategy perfect all day long, bringing Michael in for fuel and tires at intervals that would get them to the finish. On the track, Michael continued to be the fastest car lap-after-lap and continually found himself at the front of the field. With just four laps to go and a 10-second lead, the caution came out setting up a number of green-white-checker runs to the finish. During the second green-white-checker attempt, Michael went into turn five and hit fluid on the track from a previous accident, causing him to slip off the track and fall back to second. In the following corner, Michael again hit more fluid and spun into the grass, ending his shot at winning. Despite falling back to 17th, Michael was able to climb back to 12th position as the checkers flew.