Road America Sure To Be Wild
ELKHART LAKE, Wis. – Wild card-type atmosphere, intense competition and one fantastic facility is what lies ahead for the NASCAR Nationwide Series this weekend at Road America.
At 4.048 miles, Road America is the longest track in NASCAR’s national series. It boasts 14 turns on a track with 171 feet of elevation changes.
The track alone could be enough to produce a wild card type atmosphere but last season’s race was the diamond in the rough. It had 12 lead changes, third-most all-time in 30 NNS road course events.
In its short, two-race series history, Road America has been long on drama. In the inaugural event in 2010, Carl Edwards won after Jacques Villeneuve’s heartbreak due to a failed alternator just one lap from the finish.
Last year, Reed Sorenson ended up in victory lane after leader Justin Allgaier ran out of gas on the final lap of a second green-white-checkered attempt – while running under caution.
Ron Fellows was penalized for passing under yellow on that last lap, which he felt was undeserved. Add to that a late-race dispute between Villeneuve and Max Papis, created by an aggressive pass by Villeneuve that spun Papis out of contention, and it was the perfect recipe for an exciting race.
Highlighting the entry list this weekend are famous international road course specialists like Villeneuve and Fellows from Canada, Papis, who hails from Italy, and Victor Gonzalez, Jr. via Puerto Rico.
The Brazilian duo from Turner Motorsports, Nelson Piquet Jr. and Miguel Paludo, are also entered.
Additionally, Bill Prietzel, a Plymouth, Wis., native whose most extensive experience is in the Mid-American Stock Car Series, will make his NASCAR Nationwide Series debut for R3 Motorsports at Road America. Prietzel, 59, won in ASA competition at Road America and at Daytona in 2006.
But the driver the field should fear most is Kurt Busch. He will travel to and from Sonoma to race his brother Kyle’s No. 54 Monster Toyota this weekend; in his three series road course starts, he has an average finish of 1.6.
He has sat on the Coors Light pole in each of his three series road course starts and won from there twice. His series worst road course finish is third.