Elliott Sadler came down with the flu earlier in the week. He said before the race that he was only "60 percent" healthy. But Sadler was able to overcome the flu, a poor qualifying effort, and a green-white-checkered restart to win today's STP 300 from Chicagoland Speedway.
Sadler started 15th, and didn't have a great-handling race car early, but was able to race his way forward and use a good pit strategy by crew chief Luke Lambert to win the race.
Defending series champion Ricky Stenhouse Jr. dominated much of the race, leading a race high 135 laps, but wasn't able to pass Sadler on a late restart. Stenhouse was stuck deep in the field after pitting with just over 20 laps remaining. He made his way back up to second and was closing on Sadler for the win when the final caution came out.
With seven laps to go, Sam Hornish Jr. hit Kyle Busch in the rear causing Busch to turn right into Brendan Gaughan and into the wall. The caution set up a green-white-checkered finish with Sadler leading and Stenhouse beside him on the front row.
Stenhouse wasn't happy to see the caution come out, because he struggled on restarts throughout the course of the race.
When the green flag flew Sadler was pushed ahead of Stenhouse by Justin Allgaier. Stenhouse made one last charge on Sadler but got into the wall exiting turn two on the final lap.
Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
Sam Hornish Jr.