|Sadler pads his point lead|
Sadler caught a break when an ill-timed caution flag trapped Stenhouse’s dominant Ford deep in the field following a pit stop in the late going. Stenhouse slashed his way through the field and was closing quickly on Sadler when Sam Hornish, Jr. turned Kyle Busch’s Toyota into the outside wall, collecting Brendan Gaughan and triggering the race’s final caution with just seven laps remaining.
That stoppage erased Sadler's lead, but the Richard Childress Racing driver bested Stenhouse on a green-white-checkered flag restart, using a push from Justin Algaier to claim his third victory of the season and eighth of his NASCAR Nationwide Series career. Stenhouse finished second, followed by Allgaier, Kenny Wallace and Michael Annett. Austin Dillon, Parker Kilgerman, Hornish, Cole Whitt and Ryan Truex completed the Top-10.
"I knew we had to get a good restart there," said a hoarse Sadler in Victory Lane. "I knew Justin had to push me and push me straight."
"I felt like Elliott had good restarts all day and (Stenhouse) struggled a little bit," said winning crew chief Luke Lambert afterward. "I hoped that would work in our favor."
Sadler credited his doctor and pit crew for the win, which earned him a $100,000 bonus from the Nationwide Dash 4 Cash program. A lingering stomach virus left him at approximately 60% of capacity for the race, but he left Chicagoland Speedway leading Stenhouse by 11 points in the battle for the 2012 Nationwide Series title.
“The guys worked hard yesterday,” said Sadler. “We knew we had a good car on the long run, and we knew we had to make it better on the short runs today. Luke made a great call, made some good adjustments at the end. It was all about track position (and) our car was really fast out front.”
Photo Credit: LAT Photographic