AVONDALE, AZ - NOVEMBER 12: Sam Hornish Jr., driver of the #12 Alliance Truck Parts Dodge, is dropped the checkered flag after winning the NASCAR Nationwide Series WYPALL 200 at Phoenix International Raceway on November 12, 2011 in Avondale, Arizona. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Sam Hornish, Jr. wins the Wypall 200 at Phoenix International Raceway


 

Former IndyCar Series Champion, Sam Hornish, Jr. can now call himself a NASCAR Nationwide Series winner. Hornish led the Team Penske sweep during Saturday’s Wypall 200 NASCAR Nationwide Series raec, the first event on the newly configured one-mile Phoenix International Raceway.

Hornish drove his No. 12 Penske Dodge to the first Nationwide Series victory of his career with his teammate Brad Keselowski finishing second. He joins Stenhouse Jr and Trevor Bayne on the first-time winner list of 2011.

“We had a good car all day and we just tried to take our time,” Hornish said. “(Crew chief) Chad Walter made a great call with two tires and 70 to go. It feels so great to be racing Brad, Carl at the end for the win! We’ve been on and off all year.”

Hornish, Jr is looking to return for the 2012 NASCAR Nationwide Series season with Penske Racing, since trying to come into NASCAR with Penske in the Sprint Cup Series.

“Every 10 years I get to come to victory lane for the first time in a different car,” he said. “It brings back a lot of memories to the Pennzoil car. It really means a lot to us. I sure hope it doesn’t hurt at all! Alliance (Truck Parts) is working hard to get us where we need to be. It’s been a tough couple years waiting to get a checkered flag. As excited as I am for this, I can’t wait to see my girls tomorrow.”

The race got off to a wild start with an eight car crash that involved Danica Patrick in Turn 3 on the first lap.

Current NASCAR Nationwide Series Points Leader, Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. virtually locked up his first championship after Elliott Sadler was crashed out of the race by Jason Leffler that led an 11 minute, 27 second red flag delay.

With 25 laps to go, Sadler made a pass to the inside of Jason Leffler and Aric Almirola by cutting across the paved apron at turn 2. That slowed his momentum as he moved back onto the racing line, and while he slowed to give Leffler enough room, Leffler hit him in the back and knocked him out of the race. Almirola and Morgan Shepherd, the 70-year-old having his best run of the season running 17th, were also involved as the race was red flagged.

“The 38 (Leffler) ran me right in the back,” Sadler said. “There’s not much respect for guys; he hit square in the rear. He’s not running for anything. I cleared him and gave him extra room to try not to crowd him. Everybody’s going below the apron, as it gives guys more room. I thought I was doing the right thing to get away and not crowd them up. I had the line and got run in the back. It’s very frustrating, as you work all season long, and it goes away in a split second.”

This was the second time in eight days that a Kevin Harvick, Inc. driver faced title elimination after being wrecked, however this was completely different from the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Texas Motor Speedway. Leffler later apologized for the mistake in his interview with Jamie Little of ESPN.

Next week is the final race of the 2011 NASCAR Nationwide Series season. The boys will take to the 1.5 mile Homestead-Miami Speedway for the Ford 300. Barring any issues, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. will win the championship.

Unofficial Race Results:

FIN ST CAR DRIVER MAKE SPONSOR PTS/BNS LAPS STATUS
1 5 12 Sam Hornish Jr. Dodge Alliance Truck Parts 47/4 200 Running
2 10 22 Brad Keselowski Dodge Discount Tire 0 200 Running
3 2 60 Carl Edwards Ford World Financial Group 0 200 Running
4 9 18 Joey Logano Toyota GameStop 0 200 Running
5 11 6 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Ford Ford. Drive one. 41/2 200 Running
6 3 16 Trevor Bayne Ford Air Hogs 38/0 200 Running
7 4 33 Clint Bowyer Chevrolet Rheem Heating, Cooling & Water Heating 0 200 Running
8 8 20 Ryan Truex * Toyota Martin Truex Jr. Foundation 36/0 200 Running
9 7 31 Justin Allgaier Chevrolet Brandt / Monterey AgResources 35/0 200 Running
10 19 62 Michael Annett Toyota Oakley / Pilot Flying J 34/0 200 Running
11 20 70 David Stremme Chevrolet Foretravel Motorcoach 0 200 Running
12 14 87 Joe Nemechek Toyota AMFMEnergy.com / Pellet & Wood Stoves 32/0 200 Running
13 42 32 Ron Hornaday Chevrolet Dollar General 0 200 Running
14 13 81 Blake Koch * Dodge Daystar.com 30/0 200 Running
15 27 134 Ricky Carmichael Chevrolet Monster Energy 0 200 Running
16 36 01 Mike Wallace Chevrolet I Hate Steven Singer 28/0 199 Running
17 12 09 Kenny Wallace Toyota Toyota 27/0 197 Running
18 35 15 Timmy Hill * Ford Poynt / Lilly Trucking of Virginia 26/0 197 Running
19 38 14 Eric McClure Chevrolet Hefty BlackOut / Reynolds 25/0 197 Running
20 37 52 Kevin Lepage Chevrolet Tilted Kilt Sports Bar 24/0 197 Running
21 25 7 Danica Patrick Chevrolet GoDaddy.com 23/0 196 Running
22 30 23 Robert Richardson Jr. Chevrolet North Texas Pipe 22/0 195 Running
23 40 40 T.J. Duke Chevrolet Curtis Key Plumbing 21/0 191 Running
24 39 51 Jeremy Clements Chevrolet Phoenix Automotive Cores 20/0 176 Accident
25 1 88 Aric Almirola Chevrolet Suave Men 20/1 174 Accident
26 18 38 Jason Leffler Chevrolet Great Clips 18/0 174 Accident
27 6 2 Elliott Sadler Chevrolet OneMain Financial 17/0 174 Accident
28 21 89 Morgan Shepherd Chevrolet Victory In Jesus 16/0 174 Accident
29 22 66 Steve Wallace Toyota 5-Hour Energy 15/0 174 Running
30 15 30 James Buescher Chevrolet Exide Batteries 0 142 Accident
31 17 19 Mike Bliss Chevrolet Millennium Salon / Spa Software & Element Payment Services 13/0 129 Accident
32 41 28 Derrike Cope Chevrolet Maxelence 12/0 125 Accident
33 34 180 D.J. Kennington Dodge Northern Provincial Pipelines 11/0 82 Accident
34 28 44 Jeff Green Chevrolet TriStar Motorsports 10/0 38 Rear Gear
35 23 182 Reed Sorenson Dodge Foametix / Bullet Liner 9/0 34 Accident
36 26 49 Mark Green Chevrolet Acredale Vending 8/0 15 Brakes
37 16 147 Scott Speed Chevrolet Curtis Key Plumbing 7/0 6 Brakes
38 43 146 Chase Miller Chevrolet Curtis Key Plumbing 6/0 6 Rear Gear
39 29 171 Matthew Carter Chevrolet Rick Ware Racing 5/0 2 Vibration
40 33 141 Johnny Chapman Chevrolet Rick Ware Racing 4/0 1 Accident
41 24 11 Brian Scott Toyota Shore Lodge 3/0 0 Accident
42 32 39 Matt Frahm Ford TSP Powder Coating 2/0 0 Accident
43 31 104 Tim Andrews Ford Go Green Racing 1/0 0 Accident
* Denotes Rookie

 

Tags: Elliott Sadler Jason Leffer NASCAR Nationwide Series Penske Racing Phoenix International Raceway Ricky Stenhouse Jr Sam Hornish Jr.