Alex Tagliani wins XFINITY pole at Road America
RELATED: Starting lineup Alex Tagliani won the Coors Light Pole Award at Road America on Friday in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin. Tagliani wheeled his No. 22 Team Penske Ford around the 4.05-mile road course at a top speed of 109.866 mph. That was better than Michael McDowell l, who finished second in his No. 2 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet at 109.561 mph. For Tagliani , it was his fourth pole win in the NASCAR XFINITY Series and his second at Road America . Justin Marks (No. 42 Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet), Owen Kelly (No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota) and Daniel Suarez (No. 19 JGR Toyota) rounded out the top five qualifiers. Alon Day, who hails from Israel, is a NASCAR Next driver and is driving the MBM Motorsports No. 13 Dodge, found trouble in Round 1 of qualifying when he went into the sand trap off Turn 12 (of 14) with just over 16 minutes remaining in the opening session. The incident brought out a red flag. Another red flag came out during Round 1 when Josh Bilicki, who was driving the No. 77 Obaika Racing Chevrolet, spun coming off Turn 1, slid through the sand trap and impacted the tire barrier. The Road America 180 Fired Up by Johnsonville gets underway at 3 p.m. ET on Saturday (NBCSN, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) and marks the third road-course race in four events for the series.
Alex Tagliani wins pole at Canada
RELATED: Full lineup for Sunday's race Wheeling the No. 29 BK Racing Ford at 110.539 mph in a second-lap attempt, road course veteran Alex Tagliani earned the Keystone Light Pole Award at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in Saturday's two-round qualifying session. The Quebec native and road course veteran shattered the previous track record with a 80.084-second lap around the track. This marks Tagliani's first Camping World Truck Series start of 2015 and his second consecutive pole win in this event. Tagliani's late run took the top spot away from Erik Jones , who settled for second with a fastest lap of 110.492 mph in his No. 4 Kyle Busch Motorsports Toyota. Reigning series champion Matt Crafton (110.113 mph), BKR's Tyler Reddick (110.002 mph) and JR Motorsports' Cole Custer (109.777 mph) rounded out the top five. Reddick led the first round, propelling his No. 19 Ford at 110.276 mph, while teammate Tagliani drafted with him. Robert Mitten brought out the red flag in the first round of qualifying when he smacked the tire wall off Turn 8, leaving his No. 53 Dodge nearly vertical. Mitten climbed out unharmed and ultimately secured a 22nd-place starting position. The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series is back on track Sunday at 1:30 p.m. ET for the Chevrolet Silverado 250 (FOX Sports 1, MRN, SiriusXM).
Irked Tagliani after Road America spin: 'Everything goes'
ELKHART LAKE, Wis. -- Alex Tagliani has made a handful of NASCAR starts across the XFINITY and Camping World Truck Series over the past several years, remaining winless despite often, if not always, looking like the man to beat. Being the accomplished road course ace that he is -- along with the horsepower and backing from Team Penske / Brad Keselowski Racing that he's enjoyed since 2014 -- you can typically count on the 42-year-old to start up front, and stay there. A third career Coors Light Pole for Saturday's Road America 180 Fired Up by Johnsonville at Road America -- in just his eighth XFINITY start -- once again put Tagliani in prime position to compete for his first NASCAR national series victory, but once again he came up short. For the second consecutive year, his sole XFINITY start was foiled by contact from the eventual race winner. Last year it was Regan Smith at Mid-Ohio; Michael McDowell was Saturday's culprit. With 17 laps remaining in the 48-lap event (extended three laps by overtime), Tagliani -- who'd led a dominating 17 laps already at that point -- retook the lead from Erik Jones , only to be spun after left-rear contact from the No. 2 of McDowell in Turn 5. He was relegated to 30th place after the contact, having to battle back to salvage a seventh-place finish. "I could basically say what I want to say, but I don’t know if it's going to matter at the end," Tagliani told NASCAR.com on pit road following the race. "I think the 2 realized that we were the car to beat and it's unfortunate he presents himself to take us out, and he did it to take away some competition from him. In those instances, I'm a firm believer that you have to resist the temptation of doing it, but it seems in this world, in this series, in this sport, everything goes. "I think I should try to play smarter and drive him that way. At that time, instead of trying to fight clean with the 2 and give him a hard time and try to be creative and try to go around me, I should've let him go by and do what he did to me and take away the competition. It crossed my mind, but I said 'Walk, man.' Because other than the 2, there was nobody else that could touch us. After what I saw, I should've. Should've, could've, but it's not the way you win races." Looking at the replay, it's tough to tell whether or not McDowell should've lifted, or Tagliani shouldn't have dove into the corner, but it was evident neither driver was willing to budge. Particularly after some prior in-race contact between the two. Regardless, McDowell -- while implying in his post-race press conference that he was in a bit of a damned-if-you-do, damned-if-you-don't situation -- stands by his declaration that the spin was not intentional. "No, it wasn't intentional; I wasn't intentionally doing it, but at the same time I was clearly in there and I wasn't really sure what he was doing when he came across the nose … " the Richard Childress Racing driver said. "… I don't know. I didn't see the replay yet. The 22 and I had a little run-in earlier in the race and basically I kept putting my nose in and he kept slamming the door. He went wide in Turn 5 and I got underneath the 42 ( Justin Marks ) and 22 and I was alongside of him and he decided just to turn in. Once we made contact, I just came off the brake and pushed him out of the way. The reason I did that is because had I not, I would've been stuck there, too, and I would've gotten ran over. Once he committed to turn in and I was on the inside, we already made the contact. "But I haven't seen a replay. A lot of times, I watch the replay and I go, 'Yeah, yeah, yeah, I was right.' And a lot of times I go, 'Oh, gosh … ' I hope it's not an 'Oh, gosh' moment. But by no means did I come out of Turn 5 and be like 'Here's my shot. I'm going to wipe him out.' That wasn't the case at all. I got a run and went underneath him and when he slammed his door, I wasn't expecting him to slam the door." McDowell now heads to Michigan International Speedway , where he will race in Sunday's Sprint Cup Series race.
Alex Tagliani takes Coors Light Pole at Ohio
RELATED: Qualifying speeds Alex Tagliani won the Coors Light Pole Award on Saturday at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, posting a speed of 96.056 mph in the No. 22 Team Penske Ford during the second and final round of group qualifying. He'll start first later today in the Nationwide Children's Hospital 200 (3:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, MRN, SiriusXM), with defending race winner Chris Buescher starting second. In his No. 60 Roush Fenway Racing Ford, Buescher posted a speed of 95.776 mph. Ty Dillon will start third, followed by Boris Said and Brian Scott . Defending series champion Chase Elliott claimed the sixth starting spot. Saturday's road-course qualifing consisted of a 25-minute first round, with the 12 cars advancing to a 10-minute final round. The results of the final round set the order for the top 12. The opening round was delayed for approximately 15 minutes after Darrell Wallace Jr . appeared to lose power and needed help back to pit road. Justin Marks , who led Friday's second practice, will start 13th.
Tagliani , Jones storm Canada with blistering practice paces
RELATED: Full Practice 1 results Defending Chevrolet Silverado 250 pole winner Alex Tagliani got off to a hot start at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park on Saturday, topping the opening practice session of the weekend by a landslide. Tagliani's best speed of 109.853 mph topped runner-up Erik Jones ' effort of 108.916 mph, making his way around the 2.459-mile, 10-turn course at a 1:20.584 clip. It's just Tagliani's second career start in the Camping World Truck Series, but he has experience at the Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada track in the Canadian Tire Series. Reigning champion Matt Crafton was third (108.894 mph), with Ben Kennedy (108.584 mph) and Gray Gaulding (108.509 mph) rounding out the top five. RELATED: Full Practice 2 results Tagliani again was fast in the final session, but it was Jones who topped the leaderboard with an even faster pace at 110.436 mph. The Brad Keselowski Racing driver was just off Jones' pace at 110.364 mph. Canada native Cameron Hayley was third at 110.273 mph, followed by teammate Johnny Sauter at 110.177 mph. Ben Kennedy rounded out the top five with a best speed of 110.132 mph. The practice was halted twice for drivers who ran into the tire barriers. Both Jennifer Jo Cobb and John Wes Townley were checked and released from the infield care center after their respective incidents. Tune in Sunday to see the Chevrolet Silverado 250 , when trucks hit the track for a 1:30 p.m. ET start on FOX Sports 1, MRN, SiriusXM.
Alex Tagliani wins Keystone Light Pole Award
Driver sets new track record at Canadian road course Related: See the full race lineup BOWMANVILLE, ONTARIO -- Alex Tagliani won the Keystone Light Pole Award at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park with a track-record lap of 80.558 seconds (109.889 mph), and will make his first NASCAR Camping World Truck Series start at the front of the field Sunday. Tagliani , who competes in IndyCar and the Canadian Tire Series, has one other start at the track, a 2008 Canadian Tire Series event in which he started 10th and finished fifth. Rookie Gray Gaulding , driver of the No. 20 NTS Motorsports Chevrolet, will start alongside him. Gaulding's 80.991-second lap was just shy of the pole. Erik Jones will start third, with German Quiroga and Cole Custer starting fourth and fifth. Tagliani waited until less than half of the 30-minute first round of qualifying remained before laying down the round's top speed, a lap of 108.906 mph around the 2.459-mile track. Brennan Newberry , driver of the No. 9 NTS Motorsports Chevrolet, was the first driver who did not advance to the final session as the 13th-place finisher. Several drivers struggled to keep their trucks on course. Joey Coulter drove straight into a barrier in his Allegiant Travel Chevrolet, but the displaced tires seemed to have prevented serious damage to the No. 21. Jones took the No. 51 Toyota slightly off track in the first round of qualifying but did not appear to have sustained any damage to his Toyota Tundra. Ryan Blaney also had to fight to keep his truck on asphalt after getting sideways. Eighth-place qualifier Matt Crafton had a similar incident on his last run after making a pass. The Chevrolet Silverado 250 is scheduled for Sunday at 1:30 p.m. ET, with coverage on FOX Sports 1 and MRN. MORE: READ: Latest NASCAR news WATCH: Latest NASCAR video PLAY: NASCAR Fantasy Live FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Alex Tagliani wins the pole at Road America
Tagliani qualifies up front in first return to the Nationwide Series since 2012
Tagliani spins while battling for the lead
Alex Tagliani and Michael McDowell make contact while battling for the lead at Road America sending Tagliani spinning.
Alex Tagliani to pilot No. 22 on road courses
Tagliani's first Nationwide appearance this season will be June 21 at Road America
Tagliani on Smith: 'I don't respect his win'
RELATED: Watch Smith's late pass to steal the win from Tagliani at Mid-Ohio LEXINGTON, Ohio -- Regan Smith ended a 52-race XFINITY Series winless streak in Saturday’s Nationwide Children's Hospital 200 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course -- but at what cost? That's the question runner-up Alex Tagliani , who Smith moved out of the way coming around the final corner of the 2.4-mile road course, found himself asking after the race. The No. 22 Team Penske driver, whose only scheduled XFINITY start this season came this weekend, felt that Smith's aggressive move was out of line based on how the two had raced throughout the event's 75 laps -- and it's something he won't forget. "The pass I put on Regan early on, it took a lot of time to put that pass in because I know he's working for the championship and he was very vocal about what happened last weekend so he seemed to be very aggressive, too," Tagliani said after the race. "I'm a little guy, so I didn't want to get into a fist fight. Knowing what I know now, I probably would've done a little bit less of an in-between pass, and it's really unfortunate what happened at the end. Take your point and walk away happy, but to celebrate this way ... winning this way is not winning for me. "From my perspective, there's going to be some bumpers. That's going to happen and I know that. The thing is, where I really don't appreciate is moving. I don't respect his win today. He didn't really try. He could've tried Turn 2 and put the fender on me and just moved me out of the way a little bit and get a run on the back straightaway. He could've bonsaied me going into Turn 4. He could've come out of 4 and just dove on the inside of (Turn 5). He could've done all kinds of things, but he never tried." The "last weekend" that Tagliani refers to is the late-race fracas between Smith and Ty Dillon , who finished third at Mid-Ohio and sided with Tagliani in their joint post-race press conference, when the JR Motorsports driver vehemently disagreed with Dillon's move on him that left Smith with a 20th-place finish. RELATED: Smith offers his side of Watkins Glen incident Thus, it's interesting that the roles were nearly reversed, and Smith saw things in a different light. To hear the two drivers each describe the final lap, it's like they weren't even at the same race. "We took the white flag, I made an adjustment inside the car with something I can do," Smith said. "Went into Turn 1 and pretty much sailed it in there because I at least needed to close it up and make him nervous. As soon as I got on his bumper, I noticed him start to get a little more squirrelly, a little bit more trouble through the corners and that allowed me to stay with him that whole last lap. We went through Turns 9 and 10 and that allowed me to stay right on his back bumper and was pushing him through there and just letting him know that I was there and right on top of him. We went in the carousel and he went to play it cautious ... and I pretty much went the speed that I thought I needed to go, which was a little bit faster than the speed he thought he needed to go and just kind of pushed him up the race track a little bit. I hate doing that to him; he's raced me clean throughout the years ... these wins are hard to come by and it’s been a long time since I've had one. I was pretty hungry and after last week, I was even more hungry. "The fact of the matter is, I moved him out of the way and he finished second. I didn't wreck him, I didn't spin him, I didn't do anything like that. Obviously, I don't expect him to be happy about that. I wouldn't be either. I've been on the receiving end of many of them here on these road courses. We had to take that opportunity." While Tagliani likely won't see Smith on the track for at least the rest of the season -- he has no other scheduled XFINITY starts announced, and Smith's plans for next year are still up in the air -- this one is sure to sit heavy on his mind for some time. He'll be waiting. "I thought maybe it was a mistake on my part, to think that because I'd (raced him clean) early in the race, he was going to race me clean until the end. I was unprepared," Tagliani said. "Next time I will be prepared."
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