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Regan Smith Wins Alliance Truck Parts 250 at Michigan International Speedway

June 15th, 2013 at 5:22 PM
By Clayton Caldwell

It came down to a late race battle between Kyle Larson and Regan Smith and pit strategy for Regan Smith to win his third career NASCAR Nationwide Series race and the second of the 2013 season. Smith held off Larson in the late stages to pull off the victory. 

"Couldn't say enough about Greg Ives he made the call that put us there," Smith said in victory lane. Smith also said that he was going to donate some of his winnings to the Jason Leffler Charity fund to help out Leffler's son Charlie. 

Larson battled hard to finish second with Paul Menard coming home third, Kyle Busch fourth and Trevor Bayne finished fifth. Brad Sweet finished sixth, Chris Buescher was seventh, eighth was Elliott Sadler, Nelson Piquet Jr finished ninth and Brian Scott finished tenth. 

'Regan Smith' photo (c) 2012, Mike Kalasnik - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

The Alliance Truck Parts 250 began with Austin Dillon and Paul Menard on the front row. Dillon pulled ahead early as they entered turn three before the races' first caution of the day flew on lap 1 when Brian Vickers, Travis Pastrana, Jeffery Earnhardt and Alex Bowman spun in turn three. It was a chain reaction as Bowman was the first to spin, then Vickers then Pastrana. Earnhardt collided with the spinning Pastrana car and slammed him in the front right corner. All cars would continue but the shot to win for all the drivers was done after one lap. Earnhardt and Vickers spent several laps behind the wall to repair their cars. Vickers finished 33rd, Earnhardt finished 31st. Pastrana finished 17th and Bowman finished 14th. 

The race restarted on lap five and Dillon pulled away once again. He led until lap eight when Dexter Stacey blew a right front tire and slammed the outside wall in turn three. Stacey's day was done after the incident and he finished 39th in a 39 car field.

When the race restarted on the lap 12 restart Austin Dillon was the leader once again and tried to pull away from second place Joey Logano. Logano kept Dillon in his sights but Dillon eventually began to pull away. On lap 37 Dillon's lead was 2.3 seconds. On lap 40 green flag pit stops began as some teams had issues on the pit stops. First it was the #5 team of Brad Sweet. Sweet's car coasted into the pits as it ran out of gas. Then Michael Annett's team had a tire roll away from them on pit road. When the pit stops cycled around Dillon's lead was 3.5 seconds on lap 60. 

On lap 65 the races' third yellow flag flew for debris on the backstretch. That's when all the leaders pitted except for leader Austin Dillon. Dillon and his team elected to stay out as the rain threatened all day long. On the restart on lap 69 Dillon lost the lead to Joey Logano. Also Trevor Bayne and Paul Menard got together and nearly crashed. Both drivers saved it and continued. One lap later Mike Bliss lost control of his #19 Tri-Star Motorsports Toyota. Bliss didn't hit anything and the race would remain green. 

Meanwhile Austin Dillon's car fell off the pace quickly on lap 71. It was discovered that Dillon had a cut in his right rear tire and it went soft on him. Dillon had to pit under the green and lost a lap. On lap 76 the races' fourth caution of the day came out when there was debris on the frontstretch. Joey Logano was the leader when the caution flew but his teammate Sam Hornish Jr had some trouble. Hornish came on pit road and the hood was up on his Alliance Truck Parts Ford. It was discovered that Hornish had engine problems and his day would be done. Hornish finished 32nd. 

The race restarted on lap 87 and Joey Logano pulled away. Logano led until the races' fifth caution on lap 98 for debris. All the leaders would pit except Parker Kligerman. Kligerman was running in the seventh position when he decided to stay on the racetrack and pray for rain. He still needed to pit one more time for fuel but it was a gamble the #77 team was willing to take. 

Kligerman led the field to green on the restart with Trevor Bayne on the inside in second spot. Kligerman pulled away on the lap 102 restart as tire falloff wasn't all that significant. The race was for second as everyone knew Kligerman was going to have to pit one more time if the race stayed green. On lap 105  Kyle Larson passed Trevor Bayne for second, as Bayne's car began to get loose. Then Regan Smith got passed Bayne and began working on Kyle Larson for second. 

Smith passed Larson for second, as Trevor Bayne got extremely loose and slid into Paul Menard's Chevrolet. They both got loose and they both would save it and they continued. On lap 112 Regan Smith took the lead when Parker Kligerman pitted for fuel. Kligerman finished 25th two laps down. Kyle Busch began to show his muscle for the first time as he got past Bayne for the third position on lap 115. On lap 123 Austin Dillon's car fell off the pace and he pulled his Chevrolet behind the wall. Dillon finished 20th after dominating the first part of the race. From that point forward, Smith held off Kyle Larson for the win. 

Other notables in the field included Joey Logano in 11th, Justin Allgaier in 12th, Jeremy Clements in 13th and Cole Whitt in 15th. Johanna Long finished 18th. 

Regan Smith extended his points lead to 58 points over Sam Hornish Jr. Third in the points 59 points back is Justin Allgaier. Fourth in the points 67 points back is Austin Dillon with Elliott Sadler fifth 71 points behind. Sixth in the standings is Brian Scott with Trevor Bayne seventh, Parker Kligerman eighth, Kyle Larson ninth and Brian Vickers is tenth in the standings. 

The NASCAR Nationwide Series will run the Johnsonville Sausage 200 at Road America on June 22nd. 

Tags: Austin Dillon, Joey Logano, Kyle Larson, Motorsports, NASCAR, NASCAR Nationwide Series, Regan Smith, Trevor Bayne

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