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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NHRA: Brittany Force cleared to race this weekend in Phoenix after bad wreck 2 weeks ago

Photo: John Force Racing
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Drag racing is a Force family tradition. So, too, is not keeping a Force family member down.

Just 12 days after the most serious wreck of her six-year drag racing career, Brittany Force and John Force Racing announced late Thursday afternoon that the defending 2017 NHRA Top Fuel champion has been medically cleared and will indeed race in this weekend’s NHRA Arizona Nationals at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park in suburban Phoenix, Arizona.

“I flew into Phoenix early this (Thursday) morning and headed straight out to the race track to meet up with my team,” Force said. “I suited up and got belted back into my car that I ran all last season.

“It honestly felt good to be strapped back in and I was surprised how comfortable I was. I’m looking forward to getting back in my car tomorrow (Friday’s first two rounds of qualifying) and getting back in the swing of things with my guys.”

The 31-year-old Force, one of four daughters of 16-time NHRA Funny Car champ John Force, suffered a concussion and bruising after the hard crash she was involved in on February 11 in the first round of eliminations of the season-opening NHRA Lucas Oil Winternationals in Pomona, California.

Shortly after leaving the starting line in a race vs. Terry Haddock, Force’s dragster crossed from the right to left lanes, impacted the retaining wall with a very hard lateral crash, bounced off, spun, went on its side and briefly caught fire after crossing the finish line wheels-up.

While she is still recovering from the bruising, Force feels strong enough to get back behind the wheel. Getting back in the race car could be the best medicine of all, since she has three runner-up finishes in Phoenix, including back-to-back second-place showings in both the 2016 and 2017 national events.

The three-day event kicks off Friday with qualifying rounds at 4 and 6:30 p.m. ET, the same times as Saturday’s qualifying. Final eliminations begin at 1 p.m. ET Sunday.