LEXINGTON, Ohio – A.J. Allmendinger was untouchable on Saturday afternoon as he raced to victory in the inaugural NASCAR Nationwide Series race at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.
Allmendinger started the Nationwide Children’s Hospital 200 in second behind polesitter Michael McDowell. He followed in McDowell’s tire tracks for the first eight laps before taking the lead for the first time on lap nine.
Once in front Allmendinger had the dominant car, but a caution with two laps left when Kenny Habul found his way into a gravel trap suddenly put Allmendinger’s victory in question at the 13-turn road course.
The field returned to racing under green-white-checkered rules and Allmendinger was able to maintain the lead as second-place Michael McDowell battled with Owen Kelly for second. Allmendinger quickly pulled away from the pack as mayhem engulfed the field behind him.
Allmendinger made it back to the white flag, ensuring the race would end after only one green-white-checkered attempt. On that last lap Kelly, driving the No. 54 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota, spun into a gravel trap while running in the top five.
While Kelly was trying to wrestle his car from the gravel trap, Allmendinger was on his way to victory. The No. 22 Penske Racing Ford Mustang crossed the finish line 1.165 seconds ahead of McDowell in second.
Allmendinger led a race-high 73 laps en route to his second NASCAR Nationwide Series victory of 2013 behind the wheel of Penske Racing’s No. 22 Ford Mustang. It was the third-straight victory for the No. 22 Penske Racing entry and the eighth of the season, with Brad Keselowski (four) and Joey Logano (two) also adding victories in the No. 22 this year.
Penske Racing completed a season sweep of the road course races on the 2013 NASCAR Nationwide Series schedule with Allmendinger’s victory on Saturday at Mid-Ohio.