NASCAR: Regan Smith wins Nationwide Race in Michigan
The NASCAR Nationwide Series raced on Saturday at the Michigan International Speedway with heavy hearts after the death of driver Jason Leffler.
The former series competitor died Wednesday night from injuries sustained in a sprint car wreck. Drivers in both the Nationwide and Sprint Cup Series sported memorial "LefTurn" decals on their cars in Leffler's memory.
Austin Dillon won his fourth straight pole on Saturday, the first driver in series history to do so. Dillon started alongside teammate Paul Menard, and led a race high 61 laps during the Alliance Truck Parts 250.
Parker Kligerman took the lead on lap 99 after not pitting, expecting rain to shorten the race. When it didn't, Kligerman was forced to pit with 13 laps to go, handing the lead- and ultimately the victory- to Smith.
It was Smith's second win of the year. After the race, Smith declared a part of his winnings would be donated to the trust fund set up for Jason Leffler's five year old son, Charlie Dean.
"Our hearts are with Jason Leffler's family," Smith, who now has a 58 point lead over Sam Hornish, Jr., said in Victory Lane. "We are going to donate a good proportion of our winnings to his son's (trust fund). Jason is in a better place and is looking down on us today."
Rookie Kyle Larson continues his impressive first year in the series by finishing second, followed by Menard in third. Kyle Busch and Trevor Bayne rounded out the top five.
With his 12th place finish and Sam Hornish, Jr.'s engine problems, Justin Allgaier is now just one point out of second in the standings.
Next Saturday, June 22nd, the Nationwide Series will pay their only visit to a road course in 2013 when they hit the track at Road America. Coverage of the Johnsonville Sausage 200 Presented by Menards begins at 5 pm Eastern time on ESPN and MRN.
Thanks to Sporting News, USA Today, Racing Reference, NASCAR on ESPN and NASCAR.com for the quotes, statistics and information used in this piece.