Smith Hangs On For Michigan Victory
Kligerman’s luck ran out with 14 laps left as he was forced to come down pit road for fuel, giving the lead to Smith. Larson slowly began to cut into Smith’s lead over the next 10 laps, getting to within two car lengths of the race leader.
Larson tried, but he couldn’t get any closer to Smith in order to challenge for the race lead. Smith hung on to win his second race of the season, beating Larson to the checkers by .311-second.
“We worked hard on this car all weekend,” said Smith. “Our TaxSlayer.com Chevy was great today. I couldn’t be more proud of Greg Ives (crew chief). He made a pit call about the halfway through the race that got us the track position and won us the race.”
Smith dedicated the win to Jason Leffler, who lost his life Wednesday being involved in crash while racing a sprint-car a New Jersey’s Bridgeport Speedway.
“All of our hearts are with the Leffler family right now. We’re thinking about those guys and we’re going to donate a good portion of these winnings to Charlie Dean’s (Leffler’s son) fund,” Smith said.
Larson finished second for the second time during his rookie season. He also dedicated the race to Leffler and his family.
“I could inch to him and get a big draft down the front stretch, but I’d just get tight off of turn two and he’d get back away from me down the backstretch,” Larson said. “It was a pretty emotional second-place for our whole team. Leffler was really important to everybody here at Turner-Scott Motorsports and a friend of everyone.”
Paul Menard finished third for Richard Childress Racing. Kyle Busch ended up fourth with Iowa winner Bayne in fifth. Brad Sweet, Chris Buescher, Elliott Sadler, Nelson Piquet Jr. and Brian Scott completed the top 10.