Concord, N.C. – It was beginning to look like the 2013 NASCAR Nationwide Series championship was going to come down to Austin Dillon versus Sam Hornish Jr.
Dillon led Hornish by only eight points entering tonight’s Dollar General 300 at the Charlotte Motor Speedway as the next closest was Regan Smith who was 35 points out in third.
Elliott Sadler, Justin Allgaier and Brian Vickers each had an outside shot at the championship as they were 43, 65 and 67 points out respectively with four races to go counting tonight’s race, but they needed some luck.
The luck worked against them as two of those drivers’ title hopes were dashed on a Lap 54 incident.
JGR drivers Sadler and Vickers were caught up in a bizarre wreck on the front stretch to bring out the first caution of tonight’s 200 Lap race.
The incident started in the tri-oval, where Reed Sorenson got too low and clipped the edge of the infield grass with his left-side tires and shot up the track into Eric McClure. Brian Vickers, darted to the inside to avoid the wreck, but clobbered Sadler, his JGR teammate, just as Sadler was exiting pit road.
That pretty much ended both their titles hopes despite both returning to the track.
Sadler crashed again on Lap 66 in Turn 3 ending his night with a 36th place finish. Vickers would go on to finish 31st himself as both were all but eliminated from title contention.
Sadler lost a spot as he’s down to fifth in the standings 78 points out as the points leader Dillon finished second while Hornish led the most laps and finished third.
Vickers also lost spots in the standings as he fell from sixth to eighth and is 97 points behind Dillon. With only three races left after the rare two weeks off it doesn’t give these two drivers much of a shot.
This crash pretty much ended their title dreams.
Eric Smith is the Lead Motorsports Writer for Race Review Online. Follow him on Twitter @ericsportsguru
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