ELKHART LAKE, Wis. — Brendan Gaughan took the lead after a green-white-checkered restart, then held on to win the rain-soaked and wild NASCAR Nationwide series race at Road America on Saturday.
Alex Tagliani was second, followed by Kevin O’Connell, Chase Elliott and J.J. Yeley as NASCAR drivers got a rare opportunity to race in the rain. It was a disappointing finish for Tagliani, who led in the closing stages of regulation but ran out of gas after a late caution flag came out.
It was the third time in Nationwide history that grooved rain tires have been used in a race. The previous two were in Montreal.
NASCAR only uses rain tires on road courses, not on oval tracks.
ROAD AMERICA INTERESTED IN SERIES RACE: In Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, in its fifth year on the NASCAR Nationwide series schedule, Road America has proved it can put on a pretty good — and, at times, pretty wild — show with stock cars.
Now track president George Bruggenthies is after a Sprint Cup series race.
Bruggenthies said improvements have been made to the track with an eye toward landing a Cup date, adding, “Will it happen? All I can tell you is, I hope so. But we’re certainly aware that the schedule is the challenge.”
The possibility of changes to the 2015 schedule has been debated since NBC Sports signed on to broadcast the second half of the NASCAR schedule beginning next season.
NASCAR officials have not ruled out changing race dates, but there’s been little talk of adding new venues to the calendar.
MASSA TAKES POLE FOR AUSTRIAN GP: In Spielberg, Austria, Felipe Massa earned his first pole since 2008 as Williams stunned Mercedes in Austrian GP qualifying on Saturday.
Massa and teammate Valtteri Bottas posted the two fastest times, setting up the first Formula One race of the season without Mercedes in the front row.
It’s Massa 16th career pole but first since the Brazilian GP six years ago. Williams had not had a 1-2 in qualifying since the German GP in 2003.
Championship leader Nico Rosberg was third, while Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton went off track in the final qualifying round and will start ninth. Four-time champion Sebastian Vettel will start 12th.