Monday, June 25, 2018
Sports

Smith takes close Nationwide win

TALLADEGA, Ala. — Regan Smith was declared the winner of a crash-filled NASCAR Nationwide series race Saturday night 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 in the Aaron's 312. Logano was second.

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 that caution. The race was shortened by 10 laps to 107 because of impending darkness. Rain delayed the start by about three hours.

Pole-sitter and former X Games star Travis Pastrana was eliminated about halfway through in a wreck also involving Reed Sorenson and Brian Scott. Danica Patrick, in her second series race this season, was out after 16 laps because of a crash.

IndyCar: Defending series champion Ryan Hunter-Reay set a track record to earn the pole position for today's Sao Paulo 300 on the Brazil downtown streets. Hunter-Reay had a lap of 1 minute, 20.430 seconds on the 2.536-mile circuit, 0.307 seconds ahead of EJ Viso, who earned the first front-row start of his six-year career, and 0.461 in front of Dario Franchitti. Will Power, who has won all three editions of this race, starts 22nd after his fast lap was wiped out when James Jakes' car stopped on the track, bringing out a red flag.

NHRA: Rain forced postponement of the Southern Nationals until next weekend. Two sessions of qualifying are set for Friday at Atlanta Dragway, and eliminations will be run Saturday.

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