Mid-Ohio Belongs To Allmendinger
“This Discount Tire Ford, just like Road America, was awesome on long runs. On short runs it was slick and this is a place where they can easily move you out of the way,” said Allmendinger, who scored his first Nationwide victory earlier this year at Wisconsin’s Road America. “I was nervous. I felt it (the final caution flag) for a whole lap coming. With the lapped traffic ahead of me I thought, ‘this is too easy right now, something is going to happen.’
“This is a dream come true,” Allmendinger added. “For Penske to sweep all three road courses just shows how good these cars are.”
McDowell’s second-place finish matched his career-best in Nationwide competition.
“I wanted that win bad,” McDowell said. “I was pushing hard to try and catch A.J. We weren’t sure if we were good on fuel so we really didn’t want to see that last caution. It gave us another shot at him, but that outside into turn one just wasn’t the preferred line. I had to hold off Sam (Hornish Jr.) and by the time I got those guys cleared A.J. was already gone.”
Hornish finished third and took the Nationwide Series championship lead by 13 points over Elliott Sadler, who was sixth on Saturday. Max Papis and Brian Vickers completed the top five.
Papis had a last-lap disagreement with Kyle Larson and on the cool down lap Larson showed his displeasure by spinning Papis out. Parker Kligerman had a similar disagreement with seventh-place finisher Marcos Ambrose that saw Ambrose spun out after the checkered flag waved.
The victory by Allmendinger in the No. 22 gave Penske Racing the lead in the owner’s championship standings over the No. 54 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota driven by Kelly, who ended Saturday’s race in 23rd after the late gravel trap visit.