XFINITY: Strategy Helps Gaughan Win Stage Two

Rence Brown Featured, NASCAR, XFINITY 0 Comments

Brendan Gaughan wins stage 2 at Iowa Speedway on Saturday night. (Jeremy Thompson)

NEWTON, Iowa– After a caution flew late in the second stage, a strategy call helps propel Brendan Gaughan to his first stage victory of the season at Iowa Speedway.

With eight laps to go in the second stage, Kyle Benjamin lost control of his car entering turn 3, spun and tagged the wall.  Benjamin then came back down the track and made contact with Ty Majeski. This set up a two lap shootout for the end of the stage.

Gaughan’s crew chief Shane Wilson elected to keep his driver out in the closing laps to take the lead and restart the race in the lead. Guaghan was able to hang on to score the stage victory as the cars on fresh tires made a late push to try to grab the top spot.

“Shane Wilson’s a force to work with but when you got the title sponsor on the hood, you got to perform.” Guaghan said. “The E15 wasn’t looking very good early but Shane Wilson turned it around and played a little strategy there and we were trying to get the playoff point. This American Ethanol Chevy is going to start working our way through the pack through this summer and those’ll be really important when it comes down to the fall so really excited we finally got one.”

William Byron who pitted for four tires under that last caution finishes the second stage in second, with pole sitter Christopher Bell finishing in third. Elliott Sadler and Jeremy Clements finish out the rest of the top five.

Ben Kennedy, Ryan Sieg, Justin Allgaier, Ryan Reed and Dakota Armstrong round out the rest of the top-10.

There were three cautions in the second stage.

The first caution involved two front runners as Bell and Sam Hornish got together entering turn one. Bell got loose and slid up into the side of Hornish, sending the No.22 Ford Mustang into the outside wall, sustaining heavy damage and ending his race early. Bell apologized over the radio, admitting fault to the incident.

A disappointing end for the Team Penske driver who won is the defending champion of the race.

“It was pretty good.” Hornish said. “I felt this thing was getting better and headed into the direction we needed to be. I tried to move my line up just a tad bit through 3 and 4 and that allowed the 20 to get a run on me. Seemed like he just overdrove down in the corner, got loose and into us.”

“It’s a shame for all the guys on this car. Not the way I wanted to debut being back here at Team Penske. I made my own fair share of mistakes but I hate being on that end of it and hoping to get the opportunity to come back here and run later on this year and also some other races. Just not how we wanted it to go at all.”

The other two cautions were for the incident involving Benjamin and Majeski and for the end of the second stage.

About the Writer

Rence BrownRence Brown is Race Chaser Online’s West Coast-based correspondent, who currently resides in California and carries a deep passion for NASCAR, but is a follower of multiple forms of auto racing across multiple disciplines.

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