Tiptoeing at high speed around a rain-slicked track under the pressure of a two-lap overtime, Brendan Gaughan handed away the lead to Chase Elliott. Then he snatched it right back a few corners later.
He’d still have two more drivers to hold off on the final lap – including a last-ditch charge from Alex Tagliani, the man who appeared to have the race all but won with a little more than a lap left in regulation.
Gaughan already had gone sliding off the track a couple of times earlier. Oh, and his team forgot to bring a windshield wiper to install on his car. Through all that, Gaughan held on to win a rainy and wild NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, on Saturday.
Gaughan won for the first time in the series, breaking through in his 98th career start.
Tagliani was second, followed by Kevin O’Connell, Elliott and J.J. Yeley as NASCAR drivers got a rare opportunity to race in the rain. It was the third time in Nationwide history that grooved rain tires have been used in a race; the previous two were in Montreal. NASCAR only uses rain tires on winding road courses, not on oval tracks.
Sprint Cup qualifying
Jamie McMurray has won the pole for today’s race at Sonoma (California) Raceway with a new track record that bumped AJ Allmendinger from the top starting spot.
Allmendinger appeared to have the pole locked down until McMurray turned a lap at 96.350 mph in the final minute of Saturday’s qualifying session.
Felipe Massa felt like he was kick-starting his Formula One career after earning his first pole position since 2008 as Williams stunned Mercedes in Austrian Grand Prix qualifying in Spielberg, Austria.
Massa and Williams teammate Valtteri Bottas posted the two fastest times, setting up the first race of the season without Mercedes in the front row.