By admin | May 17, 2008
By Richard Allen
It’s the month of May so it must be time to talk about open wheel drivers having success. Thing is, that success is supposed to happen in Indiana, not North Carolina.
Leading into the NASCAR Sprint Showdown the names Kahne, Ragan, Vickers, Sadler and Robby Gordon were mentioned as favorites to grab the two transfer spots into the Sprint All Star race. However, when the smoke cleared it was A.J. Allmendinger and Sam Hornish who claimed those coveted positions.
Allmendinger took the win, but not without controversy. In the race’s first segment his car moved up the track and tagged Elliott Sadler’s machine, knocking the pole winner into the wall and out of the race.
“There’s a reason why he had to be taken out of that car,” Sadler said, referring to the fact that Allmendinger was replaced by Mike Skinner earlier in the season for a few races.
That incident aside the former CART driver took the lead early in segment 2 and held off a hard charging Hornish on the last lap.
Hornish is used to success in May. He won the 2006 Indianapolis 500 by executing a pass on the last lap. Stock car success has eluded Hornish so far in 2008 and although he did not win the Showdown he proved he could be a competitive factor in a full bodied car.
Allmendinger never really contended for the Top 10 at any point during the All Star Race. He finished 17th.
Hornish on the other hand brushed the wall early and fell two laps off the pace. But, with the help of a couple of lucky dog awards he moved all the way up to 7th in the final order of the All Star event.
Richard Allen is a member of the National Motorsports Press Association. His weekly column appears in The Mountain Press every Wednesday.
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