A.J. Allmendinger withstood a green-white-checkered finish to win his second NASCAR Nationwide Series of the year – both on natural-terrain road courses – in the Nationwide Children’s Hospital 200 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.
A caution with less than two laps to go triggered the first of potentially three GWC attempts and led to worries that his No. 22 Penske Racing Ford would run out of fuel. The final lap saw Aussie pilot Owen Kelly spin out of fourth place and Nelson Piquet Jr. run out of fuel after rolling off fifth on the last restart.
But ‘Dinger, who led 73 of 94 laps, was able to keep ahead of the mayhem and hold off pole sitter Michael McDowell to claim the checkered flag.
Sam Hornish Jr. finished third and was able to take over the NASCAR Nationwide Series championship lead by 13 points over Elliott Sadler (finished sixth) and Regan Smith (finished 15th).
Austin Dillon, the points leader going in, looked set for a solid Top-10 finish despite having to start from the rear after missing qualifying because of his duties replacing the injured Tony Stewart at Michigan.
But multiple incidents on late restarts eventually took their toll, and Dillon was saddled with a 21st-place result instead; he is now fourth in the standings, 15 points behind the 2006 Indianapolis 500 champion.
Stewart’s original replacement racer, Max Papis, came home fourth with Brian Vickers rounding out the Top 5 finishers.