Race Winner Regan Smith to Dave Burns: “I hate doing that in the last corner…I have been wrecked so many times on these road courses, I had to do what I had to do right there.”
Runner-up Alex Tagliani to Alex Hayden on Regan Smith’s final turn nudge: “He knows I’m not going to be there next weekend to retaliate, and to give him payback.”
NBCSN presented NASCAR XFINITY Series Racing from Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course this afternoon. The 2.25 mile road race culminated with Regan Smith bumping Alex Tagliani out of the lead in the last lap. Smith broke his personal losing streak, but found himself embroiled in a second straight controversial finish. Play-by-Play announcer Leigh Diffey and hall of fame driver Dale Jarrett hosted Countdown to Green and called the race action, while pit road reporters Jim Noble, Alex Hayden and Dave Burns contributed to the trackside coverage.
The man from Quebec, Tagliani, secured pole position during Saturday morning’s qualifying and hoped to secure his first XFINITY win. After last week’s fierce post-race confrontation between Smith and Ty Dillon, Smith aggressively worked to gain points towards the Championship.
The following are highlights from this afternoon’s XFINITY pre-race and race coverage on NBCSN.
Jarrett on today’s task for the drivers: “I can tell you one thing; I am glad I’m talking into a microphone and not holding a steering wheel today. This is one tough place, especially for the drivers battling for points.”
Reigning Mid-Ohio champion, Chris Buescher, to Noble before the race: “We are on a good roll here. Watkins Glen was a lot of fun. We are looking forward to getting into the race.”
Regan Smith to Burns regarding his altercation with Ty Dillon at Watkins Glen: “It is a new week, and we are here in Mid-Ohio.”
Ty Dillon to Noble on how he is going to race Smith after last weekend’s scuffle: “I’ll race him like I do every week…Hopefully we stay up front, lead a bunch of laps and win this thing.”
Jarrett on Suarez’s improvement on road courses: “I’m impressed with Daniel Suarez here today. He had a difficult day yesterday learning this racetrack. He spent more off in the grass then he did on the actual racing surface, but it served him well.”
Jarrett on fuel conservation in the final 25 laps: “All you can do is save what you can, and hope that you can make it to lap 75, that is the advertised distance. If a green-white-checker comes about, then you have to deal with it at that point in time.”
Jarrett on Tagliani with less than 20 laps to go: “Anything besides winning this race today, in Alex’s mind, is going to be a failure for him. Because he realizes he is probably the best road racer, and he has an excellent team behind him. He looks at this as an opportunity to go take the checkered flag. This is the only time he is going to get his chance this year, and I think he is going to do whatever it may take to put himself in that position.”
Tagliani’s crew chief Greg Erwin to Burns during the seventh caution: “Alex has not made a mistake that I am aware of this weekend. He is doing a terrific job not only in practice but in qualifying. I think the No. 7 has found a little speed here.”
Jarrett on Smith’s last lap pass: “Great pass, Regan Smith did everything he had to do at the end.”
Runner-up Alex Tagliani to Hayden on Regan Smith’s final turn nudge: “He knows I’m not going to be there next weekend to retaliate, and to give him payback. It is just really unfortunate to win like that.”
Race Winner Regan Smith to Burns: “I hate doing that in the last corner, but it has been a year and eight months (since a win). I wasn’t going to pass an opportunity up. I have been wrecked so many times on these road courses, I had to do what I had to do right there.”
NBCSN’s NASCAR coverage continues tomorrow with NASCAR America Sunday presented by DraftKings at 1:30 p.m. ET, followed by Countdown to Green, Served by Sonic pre-race show at 2 p.m. ET and Sprint Cup Racing from Michigan International Speedway at 2:30 p.m. ET.
–NBC SPORTS GROUP–