Menard’s gain was Logano’s pain
CORNELIUS – Sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good. Paul Menard was both on June 14.
Menard, a Cornelius resident, won the NASCAR Nationwide series Ollie’s Bargain Outlet 250 at Michigan International Speedway after leader Joey Logano had a tire slashed and was forced to pit four laps from the finish.
It was the first series race of the season for Menard, who led for 18 laps. Menard now has two Nationwide victories (the first was in hometown Milwaukee in 2006).
Logano, who lives in Huntersville and drives for Mooresville-based Team Penske, was leading with 44 laps left, but pulled into the pit on lap 121 to replace the right rear tire. That gave Menard an avenue to victory and dropped unlucky Logano to 16th.
"I ran over something at some point,” said Logano, who led for 43 laps. “It pretty much sucks. "I could tell it (the tire) was going down on the back straightaway and had to take it in. I hate giving it away like that. The silver lining is we had a fast racecar and should’ve won the race. You win some like that, you lose some like that.”
The Nationwide series heads to Road America at Elkhart Lake, Wisc., for a June 21 race. Last weekend’s race began a stretch of 18 straight weekends for Nationwide teams, who won’t get a break until after the Oct. 10 race in Charlotte.
Wallace Jr. earns truck win
HUNTERSVILLE – Darrell Wallace Jr., a Huntersville resident, overcame a sluggish pit stop to win the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Drivin' for Linemen 200 last weekend in Madison, Ill.
Wallace Jr., a graduate of the NASCAR Drive for Diversity program and a NASCAR Next alum, scored his first win of the season and second overall.
After dominating the early stages of the race, Wallace Jr. encountered problems during his first round of pit stops, when the jack went down instead of up accidentally, costing him valuable track time.
Wallace Jr. reassured crew chief Jerry Baxter and his team that they would get back to the front.
"This Made In America Toyota Tundra was on a roll tonight," Wallace Jr. said. "We got into a little trouble the first pit stop, but a little adversity never hurts anybody. We come through. I’m so proud of my guys. They worked their tails off.”
We rank Herald Weekly-area drivers in the racing world:
1. Paul Menard – Won the Nationwide Race in Michigan last week and capped a strong weekend with a fourth-place finish in the Sprint Cup Series race.
2. Darrell Wallace Jr. – Won the Camping World Truck Series race last weekend. He led 86 of the 160 laps and drove confidently throughout. It was his first truck win this season.
3. Kyle Larson – A consistent weekend – eighth place in the Nationwide race and eighth place in the Sprint Cup. Hey, it’s two top-10s.
4. Sam Hornish Jr. – Finished second to Menard in the Nationwide race. His three races this season have resulted in fifth-, first- and second-place finishes.
5. Joey Logano – He led for 29 laps at the Sprint Cup race last week, but slipped back to ninth. A contender in most races this season.