Mid-Ohio: final road-course race for Nationwide this season

Lexington, OH ( - While the Sprint Cup and Camping World Truck Series run at Michigan International Speedway, the Nationwide Series has a stand-alone race this weekend at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

Mid-Ohio is the third and final road-course race on the Nationwide schedule this year. Brendan Gaughan won at Road America on June 21, and Marcos Ambrose scored the victory at Watkins Glen International last weekend.

Located roughly 60 miles north of Columbus, Ohio, Mid-Ohio is a 2.258-mile, 13-turn road course. Nationwide competed here for the first time one year ago.

A.J. Allmendinger won the inaugural Nationwide race at Mid-Ohio. Allmendinger, who drove the No. 22 Ford for Team Penske, dominated the event by leading 73 of 94 laps. He held off pole sitter Michael McDowell during a green-white- checkered finish for his second career win in the series. Two months prior, he had claimed his first victory at Road America.

Last Sunday, Allmendinger won a race in the Sprint Cup Series for the first time in his career at Watkins Glen. He is not competing in this year's event at Mid-Ohio.

Canadian Alex Tagliani will be behind the wheel of the No. 22 car for Penske in this race. Tagliani is a road-course expert who is racing in the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series this season.

When Nationwide ran at Road America earlier this year, Tagliani, making his first start of the season in the series, won the pole position and led a total of 19 laps. He gave up the lead late in the race when he ran out of fuel during a caution. After restarting from the 23rd position, Tagliani quickly charged through the field during the last two laps and finished second, crossing the line just 0.8 seconds behind Gaughan.

"Since racing Road America, I have learned a race is not over until it is over, and you see the checkered flag," Tagliani said. "I felt with the strength of our car we deserved to take the win. Nevertheless, the team did a great job, and we had a great recovery, finishing in second place but will go get them this weekend at Mid-Ohio."

Tagliani has seven starts at Mid-Ohio between the CART Series and the IndyCar Series. He has completed over 1,366 miles, led 30 laps and scored seven top-10 finishes.

"Mid-Ohio is a nice track," he said. "It is narrow but has a lot of flow. Hopefully knowing the track from the other series that I have raced there will help me to get back into the pace of a Nationwide car as soon as I can."

Rookie Chase Elliott enters Saturday's 200-mile race at Mid-Ohio with a 12- point lead over Regan Smith, his teammate at JR Motorsports. Elliott Sadler and Ty Dillon, also a rookie this season, are both 13 points out of the lead.

Thirty-nine teams are on the entry list for the Nationwide Children's Hospital 200.

Series: NASCAR Nationwide. Date: Saturday, Aug. 16. Race: Nationwide Children's Hospital 200. Site: Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. Track: 2.258-mile, 13-turn road course. Start time: 2:45 p.m. ET. Laps: 90. Miles: 203.22. 2013 Winner: A.J. Allmendinger. Television: ESPN. Radio: Motor Racing Network (MRN) /SIRIUS NASCAR Radio.