Regan Smith wins Nationwide race
The Charlotte Observer
Regan Smith was declared the winner of a crash-filled Aaron’s 312 Nationwide race at Talladega Superspeedway.
Kasey Kahne appeared to hold off Smith and Joey Logano, but a review by NASCAR of when a caution was thrown on the last lap gave Smith the victory and Logano second place on Saturday night.
Several cars behind the leaders were caught up in a crash, and with darkness falling, NASCAR had warned the field that would be the only attempt at a green-white-checkered finish.
“I was really surprised they threw that caution. Some many times they wouldn’t in that situation,” Kahne said. “NASCAR always switches it up. But I saw the caution before I got to the end.”
Smith’s explanation: “Coming down the backstretch I was thinking fifth or sixth. Then a whole bunch of cars got jammed up behind us. I made a move and it worked out for us.”
A wreck by Joey Coulter with seven laps to go caused the green-white-checkered restart.
The race was shortened by 10 laps to 107, due to darkening conditions and the absence of lights at Talladega.
With about 24 laps to go and sprinkles starting to fall, there was a sense this race could be called quickly. Sam Hornish, Jr. tried to thread through a bunch of cars and tapped Johanna Long. Their collision ended up collecting 12 cars in this wreck, at least nine seriously damaged along the bottom of the track.
The race suffered another major crash just past the midway point, involving first-time Nationwide pole winner Travis Pastrana and Reed Sorenson. The problem started with Brian Scott following Sorenson closely along the wall. Sorenson turned toward the wall, then came back down, catching up Pastrana.
Both drivers took heavy damage but walked away once their cars ended up in the mud at the bottom of the track.