Indianapolis the next round in Nationwide 'Dash 4 Cash'
Indianapolis, IN (SportsNetwork.com) - Round three in the four-race Nationwide Series "Dash 4 Cash" bonus program takes place this weekend at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Richard Childress Racing driver Brian Scott won the second round of the Dash 4 Cash with a sixth-place finish in last Saturday's race at Chicagoland. Scott collected a $100,000 bonus from series title sponsor Nationwide Insurance and qualified for the cash award at Indianapolis.
Rookie Chase Elliott, who won at Chicagoland, Trevor Bayne, the second-place finisher, and rookie Ty Dillon, placing fifth, are also eligible for the bonus in Saturday's 250-mile race here.
The highest finisher of the four eligible drivers at Indianapolis will win the money and qualify for the final Dash 4 Cash round of the season on Aug. 2 at Iowa.
This will be the third time Nationwide competes at this historic 2.5-mile racetrack. Brad Keselowski won the inaugural race here in 2012.
One year ago, Scott nearly pulled off a huge victory at Indy. Kyle Busch started on the pole and put on a dominating performance, leading 92 of 100 laps, but had a hard-fought battle with Scott in the closing laps. Busch lost the top spot after a restart with six laps remaining when he and fellow Sprint Cup Series competitor Joey Logano made slight contact and nearly wrecked on the backstretch while battling for position. That allowed third-place runner Scott to slip past them and take the lead.
Scott was attempting to win a Nationwide race for the first time in his career, but Busch spoiled Scott's opportunity when he came roaring back and passed him for the lead with less than three laps to go. Busch beat him to the finish line by 2.1 seconds.
"Indianapolis is a great racetrack," Scott said. "Still one of my favorite memories is taking the lead with six laps to go, battling and almost winning last year. Unfortunately, the 54 [Busch] got back by us and we finished second. It was exciting, and I feel like that is a place normally owned by Cup regulars who come down to race in the Nationwide Series. If anyone can beat them, I think our team can. Our team is strong, and we'll keep plugging away till we get that victory."
Elliott has yet to compete in a Nationwide race at Indianapolis. All three of his Nationwide victories this year have occurred at tracks where he ran for the first time -- Texas, Darlington and Chicagoland.
"Just the word 'Indianapolis' is enough in itself," Elliott said. "It's such a prestigious place with years of racing memories. It is great to see the Nationwide Series share the weekend with the Cup guys now, and it's one date I've been looking forward to all season long."
With the win at Chicagoland, Elliott reclaimed the top spot in the Nationwide point standings. Elliott holds a seven-point lead over second-place and JRM teammate Regan Smith. Elliott Sadler is eight points behind.
"Each of us on the [No. 9 JR Motorsports] team has a very important role each week, and going into Chicago, I felt if we all completed our tasks to the best of our abilities we could have a good night," Elliott added. "I was very proud of our effort there, and hopefully we can keep it going. It feels good to be back in the points lead."
Bayne and Dillon have one Nationwide start each at Indianapolis. Dillon finished third in the 2012 race, and Bayne placed 16th in last year's event.
Forty-two teams are on the entry list for the Lilly Diabetes 250. Kevin Harvick, Matt Kenseth, Kyle Larson, Paul Menard, David Ragan, Josh Wise, Busch and Logano are those Sprint Cup regulars scheduled to compete in this race.
Series: NASCAR Nationwide. Date: Saturday, July 26. Race: Lilly Diabetes 250. Site: Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Track: 2.5-mile oval. Start time: 4:30 p.m. ET. Laps: 100. Miles: 250. 2013 Winner: Kyle Busch. Television: ESPN. Radio: IMS Radio Network/SIRIUS NASCAR Radio.
07/25 16:04:49 ET