After winning $100,000, Brian Scott now wants to cash in on Nationwide wins and championship

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Brian Scott came away with mixed feelings after Saturday’s EnjoyIllinois.com 300 NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Chicagoland Speedway.

On the one hand, Scott was disappointed that he and his car could manage nothing more than a sixth-place finish.

“I’m a little disappointed with sixth,” Scott told MotorSportsTalk. “I thought we had a better car than that. We had to make some pretty big adjustments on our pit stops.

“We had it pretty close at the end, we needed a couple of cautions and opportunities to fine tune it and have a shot at the victory. This is one of those times where I wish the race was a little longer, maybe 400 miles than 300.”

But on the other hand, Scott’s wallet was made a lot fatter by virtue of winning the $100,000 Nationwide Insurance Dash-4-Cash race within a race. He was the highest finishing driver of the four that were in contention for Saturday’s race.

“I’m really happy to be $100,000 richer,” Scott said. “This is such a cool promotion that Nationwide Insurance gives us to let us race for some big money.

“I told myself coming in here if we won the Dash-4-Cash it was going to be a good night, so it was a good night.”

Although he’s currently fifth in the NNS points standings, 47 points behind series leader – and Saturday night’s race winner, Chase Elliott – Scott has had a strong season through the first 18 races on the Nationwide slate.

He’s been particularly strong in the last nine races since his wreck at Talladega in April, with two top-five and five other top-10 finishes.

“We have another year of experience, we have track notes everywhere we go and Phil (crew chief Phil Gould) and I continue to work better,” Scott said. “We got stronger with some personnel changes in the off-season and our pit crew’s gotten better, we’ve gotten our engines and bodies a lot better.

“So, we continue to make improvements and we have knowledge and experience together. It’s coming together nicely.”

With 15 races remaining this season, including this Saturday’s Indiana 250 at the fabled Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Scott is taking it one race at a time.

He’s still looking for his first career Nationwide Series win, but the most important thing is just to remain – and continue – the consistency he’s shown thus far in the No. 2 Shore Lodge-sponsored Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet.

“I just take each race as it comes,” Scott said. “Now that we’ve finished this one (Chicagoland), my focus is entirely on Indy. I’m going to go 100 percent on Indy, dig my heels in, focus on what I can to do to give my team the best performance behind the wheel. Hopefully we have a fast car, qualify well and run up front and have a good finish.

“We’ve been performing well and I’m excited about the upcoming tracks because I think we can continue to click off some top-five finishes and challenge for wins.”

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Fernando Alonso completes first test with United Autosports

Photo: United Autosports
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Two-time Formula 1 World Champion Fernando Alonso enjoyed his first outing with United Autosports, with whom he will contest the 2018 Rolex 24 at Daytona, in their Ligier JS P217 LMP2 chassis.

The McLaren Formula 1 driver completed the test at Motorland Aragon in Spain alongside co-driver Phil Hanson, who will be a teammate with Alonso at next year’s 24-hour Daytona enduro. Filipe Albuquerque, a former GT class winner at the Rolex 24, was also on hand to help Alonso and the team ahead of Alonso’s first run in an LMP2 car, which comes only a couple days after he made his LMP1 testing debut with Toyota. Albuquerque races with Mustang Sampling Racing in IMSA, but will return to United’s European Le Mans Series program for all but one race in 2018.

“I had a great first test with United Autosports. Obviously, we are on a really tight schedule between now and Daytona, but it was nice to jump in the car for the first time,” said Alonso, who will rejoin the team at the official Roar Before the 24 test on January 5-7.

Alonso added, “There’s quite a few switches and things to study so it was important to do this initial shakedown before Daytona, so I could fully learn about the car. I’m happy with everything – the car felt great and the team were fantastic. The atmosphere here is wonderful, like a big family, so today has been amazing. I cannot wait for Daytona.”

Team owner Zak Brown, who also serves as executive director of McLaren Technology Group and helps lead the McLaren Formula 1 effort, shared Alonso’s enthusiasm and was not surprised he was able to acclimate himself relatively quickly.

“Fernando’s first test with United Autosports went awesome as expected. He is a world champion and it is a pleasure to have him in our car,” he said of Alonso’s debut with the team.

Alonso is currently schedule to contest the Rolex 24 with the aforementioned Hanson and McLaren test driver Lando Norris.