NASCAR Xfinity Series, Road America 180, Road America

ELKHART LAKE, WI - AUGUST 27: Michael McDowell drives the #2 Rheem Chevrolet celebrates his victory after the NASCAR Xfinity Series Road America 180 fired up by Johnsonville at Road America on August 27, 2016 in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin. (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/NASCAR via Getty Images)
ELKHART LAKE, WI - AUGUST 27:  Michael McDowell drives the #2 Rheem  Chevrolet poses with the trophy after his victory at the NASCAR Xfinity Series Road America 180 fired up by Johnsonville at Road America on August 27, 2016 in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin.  (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/NASCAR via Getty Images)
ELKHART LAKE, WI – AUGUST 27: Michael McDowell drives the #2 Rheem Chevrolet poses with the trophy after his victory at the NASCAR Xfinity Series Road America 180 fired up by Johnsonville at Road America on August 27, 2016 in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin. (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/NASCAR via Getty Images)

 

It was Michael McDowell driving the No. 2 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet dueling with his teammate, Brendan Gaughan in the final laps of an overtime finish before collecting his first NASCAR Xfinity win at the Road America 180.

ELKHART LAKE, WI - AUGUST 27:  The green flag waves for the start of the NASCAR Xfinity Series Road America 180 fired up by Johnsonville at Road America on August 27, 2016 in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin.  (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/NASCAR via Getty Images)
ELKHART LAKE, WI – AUGUST 27: The green flag waves for the start of the NASCAR Xfinity Series Road America 180 fired up by Johnsonville at Road America on August 27, 2016 in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin. (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/NASCAR via Getty Images)

 

McDowell led 24 of the final 25 laps having to dodge raindrops, punting Alex Tagliani out of the way and fending off Mid-Ohio winner, Justin Marks before the race settled out to a green-white-checkered finish with Gaughan passing Marks and Daniel Suarez on the white flag lap.

ELKHART LAKE, WI - AUGUST 27:  Michael McDowell drives the #2 Rheem  Chevrolet ahead of Owen Kelly drives the #18 Tunity Toyota during the NASCAR Xfinity Series Road America 180 fired up by Johnsonville at Road America on August 27, 2016 in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin.  (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/NASCAR via Getty Images)
ELKHART LAKE, WI – AUGUST 27: Michael McDowell drives the #2 Rheem Chevrolet ahead of Owen Kelly drives the #18 Tunity Toyota during the NASCAR Xfinity Series Road America 180 fired up by Johnsonville at Road America on August 27, 2016 in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin. (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/NASCAR via Getty Images)

 

“It means a tremendous amount to me,” said McDowell, who finished second at Road America in 2012.  “I’ve been so close here at Road America.  To finally finish it off was huge.”  He finished second in 2012 on the four-mile road course.

McDowell later explained what happened with Tagliani on the restart as the two leaders battled for the same spot.  “He went wide in Turn 5 and I got under (Justin Marks) and (Tagliani),” McDowell said.  “I was alongside of him and he just decided to turn in.  Once we made contact, I just came off the brake and pushed him out of the way.  And the reason I did that is because if had I not, I’d have been stuck there too and I would have got run over.”

ELKHART LAKE, WI - AUGUST 27:  Michael McDowell drives the #2 Rheem  Chevrolet celebrates his victory after the NASCAR Xfinity Series Road America 180 fired up by Johnsonville at Road America on August 27, 2016 in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin.  (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/NASCAR via Getty Images)
ELKHART LAKE, WI – AUGUST 27: Michael McDowell drives the #2 Rheem Chevrolet celebrates his victory after the NASCAR Xfinity Series Road America 180 fired up by Johnsonville at Road America on August 27, 2016 in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin. (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/NASCAR via Getty Images)

 

Of course, the pole-sitter, Tagliani driving the No. 22 Roger Penske Ford Mustang saw things in a completely different light stating his tap from McDowell was intentional as his only way to win.

“We were the car to beat,” said Tagliani, who led 17 laps and had just regained the top position going into turn five eventually to wind up seventh after the mishap.  “The opportunity presented itself and he took the fastest car on the track out.”

ELKHART LAKE, WI - AUGUST 27: Alex Tagliani drives the #22 Discount Tires Ford during the NASCAR Xfinity Series Road America 180 fired up by Johnsonville at Road America on August 27, 2016 in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin. (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/NASCAR via Getty Images)
ELKHART LAKE, WI – AUGUST 27: Alex Tagliani drives the #22 Discount Tires Ford during the NASCAR Xfinity Series Road America 180 fired up by Johnsonville at Road America on August 27, 2016 in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin. (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/NASCAR via Getty Images)

 

Brennan Poole was third, followed by Daniel Suarez and Ryan Reed to round out the top five.

The NASCAR Xfinity series Chase of 12 only has only three more races before the title chase begins in Kentucky Speedway on Sept. 24.  Ryan Sieg anchors the 12th place, 15 points ahead of Dakoda Armstrong, 33 over Jeremy Clements and 34 from Ross Chastain.

The series now moves to the track “Too Tough to Tame” for the running of the VFW Sports Clips Help a Hero 200 on Saturday, Sept. 3 on the NBC network.

About Jay Wells 321 Articles
Jay Wells, 61, is a veteran motorsports public relations and marketing official. He spent 33 years at the track working with NASCAR, IndyCar, IMSA, and NHRA series' before retiring in 2009. He began writing for RacingJunk.com in September of 2013 covering the NHRA and NASCAR circuits with post race coverage along with feature and breaking news stories. Wells resides in Mooresville, North Carolina. Follow Wells on Twitter @ jaywells500.
Copyright © 2005-2017 RacingJunk.com All Rights Reserved.

Designated trademarks and brands are the property of their respective owners. Use of this Web site constitutes acceptance of the RacingJunk.com
Terms of Use, Classifieds Disclaimer, Privacy Policy, and Cookie Policy