(WOMR file photo)
Sunday Elliott Sadler was not the fastest, nor was he the most dominate, race car in the STP 300 at Chicagoland Speedway. However, Sadler was able to hold off the fastest, and the most dominate race car driven by Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. Additionally, Sadler carried off the second round of the “Dash 4 Cash”, totaling a cool $100,00.00!
Sadler had battled a flu bug for the previous three days, at one point spending 36 hours in bed. But when he arrived at the track Saturday, he felt that the worst was behind him, and was ready to practice and then race Sunday.
“I’m still not 100 percent, but it feels good to win here in Chicago,” Sadler said. “My wife and I came here with another couple, which also happens to be my doctor, and we had to put him to work.
“We drank a lot of fluids and I had to have a few IVs just to stay hydrated.”
Even though Stenhouse led 135 of the 200 laps Sunday, his bid for the victory was hurt when Brad Sweet spun for the second time in the race with 33 laps remaining. Stenhouse was caught on pit road as the caution flag fell, dropping him from first to 10th when the race returned to green flag conditions. Stenhouse eventually drove to the rear bumper of Sadler at the checkered flag, finishing second.
Sadler assumed the lead at that point and never yielded in the remainder of the event.
“We were in the right place at the right time,” Sadler said. “Ricky had the strongest car all day, but we kept working at it and eventually got into the right position.
“It was a big win, we won the Dash 4 Cash [$100,000 bonus], we kept our lead in the points and we go now to Indianapolis next week for the first-ever Nationwide Series race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.”
Still, Stenhouse got a great jump on the restart, rode around the track on the high line and began his quest to regain the lead, passing six cars and gaining three spots in the following two laps. He halved Sadler’s two-second lead to just one in seven laps and the pole-sitter appeared as if he would finish off what he started, but it was not to be.
Allgaier made a bid on the second-to-last lap to overtake Sadler, but didn’t have a strong enough car. While he held off Stenhouse as long as he could, Allgaier eventually yielded to the pole-sitter, and finished third..