Race Weekend Central

Nationwide Series Breakdown: Subway Jalapeno 250

The JR Motorsports duo jumped too early. The Rusty Wallace Incorporated duo didn’t have enough steam. And that opened the door for, go figure, a Joe Gibbs Racing entry to swoop in and steal the Subway Jalapeno 250, with Joey Logano leading only one lap en route to his first Nationwide Series victory of 2011. Jason Leffler, Reed Sorenson, Kyle Busch and Justin Allgaier rounded out the top 5.

Unlike back in February, when it was expected that the Nationwide Series COT cars would not lend themselves to the same tandem-racing that has dominated recent Cup plate events, the tandem-racing was seen from the drop of the green this Friday evening. What was perhaps unexpected was the reduction of yellow flags; after an incident-filled Thursday practice, the race was void of any “big ones” until the final lap.

Nationwide Series Breakdown: Bucyrus 200

When the yellow flag flew on lap 56 for Aric Almirola’s machine being stuck in a gravel trap after the afternoon’s third and final attempt at a green-white-checker finish, Justin Allgaier and crew celebrated the win over the radio. Then, disaster struck as the No. 31 team ran out of gas coming back to the line to take the checkers.

10 minutes and countless reviews later, Allgaier’s Turner Motorsports teammate Reed Sorenson returned to victory lane for the first time since 2007, handed the trophy after it was determined that Ron Fellows, who crossed the finish line first under the lap 56 yellow, passed Sorenson under yellow only because the No. 32 car had slowed to caution speed. Fellows was credited for a runner-up finish, with Jacques Villeneuve, Elliott Sadler and Mike Wallace rounding out the top 5.

Nationwide Series Breakdown: Alliance Truck Parts 250

There wasn’t a soul in the garage or the stands coming into Michigan race weekend that would dare question just how stout the powerplants in Roush Fenway Racing’s Ford Mustangs were, and that strength was on display in the Big Three’s backyard. As expected, Carl Edwards strolled to victory in his fifth consecutive top-2 finish, with teammates Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Trevor Bayne also bringing home top-5 results. Kyle Busch and polesitter Paul Menard were the other top-5 finishers.

The Roush Fords combined to lead 101 of the 125 laps run Saturday during a race that, typical of Michigan, was short on caution flags. What was different on the track this Saturday was both the importance and efficacy of drafting down the tracks sweeping straightaways, as two car pairs could be seen working on the straights throughout the race. The event was also devoid of the tire failures that plagued the ARCA Racing Series event run at the facility the day before.

Nationwide Series Breakdown: STP 300

With 25 laps to go, Carl Edwards stormed past race leader Elliott Sadler, seemingly poised to steal another Nationwide Series trophy on a standalone weekend. This time, the regulars were having none of that. Edwards ran out of gas on the backstretch coming to the checkered flag, allowing a hard-charging Justin Allgaier to pass him…only to run out of gas himself exiting turn 3. But with third-place driver Trevor Bayne having to nurse a nearly-empty fuel tank home himself, Allgaier was able to limp his Chevrolet across the stripe to score his second career Nationwide Series victory. Edwards, Bayne, polesitter Aric Almirola and Jason Leffler rounded out the top 5.

Allgaier’s victory marked the first race a Nationwide Series regular has won on a 1.5 mile oval since Mike Bliss won a rain-shortened event at Charlotte back in the spring of 2009, and also snapped a three-race win streak for Roush Fenway Racing. The event was largely without incident, slowed for only 18 laps on four cautions, three of which did not involve contact of any kind.

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