NASCAR Winners and Losers: Tech-Net Auto Service 300
Saturday afternoon, the NASCAR Nationwide series was back home in Charlotte at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Check out the winners and losers of the Tech-Net Auto Service 300.
Kyle Busch has found ways to lose a race and then somehow he ends up in victory lane. This has happened on multiple occasions this season. Saturday afternoon was no different for Busch.
Busch was struggling with the handling of his race car hit pit road with a problem on the right front tire on lap 48. He was caught speeding and served the pass-through penalty, and was two laps down.
His team never gave up and he worked his way through the field. After taking advantage of the cautions he was back in the lead by lap 142.
Busch was able to hold onto the lead in the final laps with a hard-charging Brad Keselowski. Busch went on to his fifth win this season but the last time he will be in the car until New Hampshire.
Points: Second (not running entire schedule)
Since his crew chief change about a month ago, Jason Leffler has been one of the hottest drivers in the series. He is proving sometimes a change does you good.
Saturday, Leffler started a dismal 40th but by halfway he was up in the top five. In fact, Leffler ran majority of the race in the top 10.
His run was impressive after where they started and where they finished in seventh. The team had flawless pit stops and really did a great job adjusting on the race car.
This weekend when they head to Nashville Superspeedway, the team will be looking continue this momentum that they have built.
It will take some work if they want this streak of three top 10 finishes to continue at Nashville. He needs to finish the race and that would mean finishing better than his average of 19.3.
After a hot start to the season that included a win at Bristol Motor Speedway, Justin Allgaier has cooled off a bit. Some of it not of his own making and other times it was mistakes that cost them solid finishes.
Allgaier on Saturday started 11th, and quickly made his way toward the front. Although he did not lead a lap, he spent 96 percent of the laps in the top 15.
They did not make mistakes on pit road or get caught up in someone else’s. He finished fourth but this team did a good job just running their own race.
At Nashville, he finished fourth in April and ran majority of the race in the top 15. With every start he has had at Nashville he has statistically gotten better.
His cars also have been better in terms of how they are handling. I think Allgaier has been quietly sitting back while his teammate Keselowski steals the headlines.
Kasey Kahne had one of the best cars on the track on Saturday afternoon. In fact he was running down the leader prior to the first green flag stop on lap 64. He took the lead off of pit road and built an 11-second lead, but that would be for naught.
Kahne was forced to pit road when he started to feel battery issues on lap 92. The team replaced the battery but the damage was done when he fell two laps down.
The car was running well after the change but there were not many opportunities to make up ground. He finished 26th.
Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
It is not for lack of trying in Ricky Stenhouse Jr.'s case. He qualified well, but it wasn’t more than eight laps before his day was over before it even began.
On lap eight on the second restart of the day, Brian Scott sputtered. His misstep set up a chain reaction crash that saw Stenhouse suffer excessive damage to his car and headed to the garage.
Another disappointing finish in what has become a disappointing season, he finished 40th.
Heading to Nashville, this will be his fourth race and his numbers are not very impressive. In fact his best finish is 23rd and that was last April.
Stenhouse can’t get the experience needed when he continues to get wrecked. He has shown he can qualify near the front but this team needs to find a way to finish the races.
Another driver just needing to get seat time was Steve Arpin. He is essentially keeping the seat warm for when Danica Patrick gets back in the car at New Hampshire. Arpin, though, just needed to run laps and bring the car home in one piece.
Early in the race, he spun out on lap three and in the process the cars of Mike Wallace and Mike Green trying to avoid the wreck crashed also.
Arpin admitted it was his mistake that caused damage on Paul Menard's car. The damage to the rear of his car sent them to the garage and he finished 34th.
The NNS race was one of the final events of Speed weeks at CMS and the race itself was very good. We once again saw the Sprint Cup drivers dominate and win, but we have seen guys like Allgaier and a surging Leffler show they are ready to contend.
Now the part of the season where there are less companion races and more travelling for the double duty drivers. We will see how this affects them both at the NNS races and the NSCS races.
Nashville should be a fun race to watch. These races are the perfect opportunity for the NNS only drivers to showcase their talent and steal spotlight.
I would watch for Allgaier to make some noise, he has been close but this team seems to find ways to take them out of a win. He is capable of winning multiple races this season and just needs to put it all together.
As we head to Nashville, we should not forget that many families there are still struggling to recover from the flooding last month.
The Federate Auto Parts 300 is Saturday night at 7:30 ET on ESPN2.
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