NASCAR XFINITY Series Race Report - Road America

August 27, 2016

Track:  Road America
Race:   Road America 180 Fired Up by Johnsonville
Date:   August 27, 2016

No. 22 Discount Tire Mustang – Alex Tagliani

Start:   1st 
Finish:  7th
Status: Running
Laps Completed: 48/48
Laps Led:  17
Owner's Points Position (Points Behind):  4th (-73)                       

Recap:  Alex Tagliani posted his fifth top-10 finish in five career starts with Team Penske Saturday in the Road America 180 Fired Up by Johnsonville, but after a strong weekend in the No. 22 Discount Tire Ford Mustang, Tagliani had hoped for better results for the team. After winning his second career NASCAR XFINITY Series pole position at the four-mile Road America road circuit Friday, Tagliani ran at the front early before he was spun from behind. He worked his way back to the lead pack but ultimately braking and front-end handling issues hampered the No. 22 team and led to a seventh-place finish. Tagliani, the Canadian veteran road course racer, led the first nine laps Saturday as the race was run under overcast and cool conditions. After his first pit stop, Tagliani worked his way back to front of the field and led again from laps 16-23. On a lap 29 race restart, Tagliani had just passed his way back to the front of the field when the car of eventual race winner Michael McDowell made contact with the Discount Tire Ford in Turn 5 and sent the No. 22 car spinning. No damage was done to the car in the incident but Tagliani was forced to pit for new tires as he dropped to the rear of the field. Patiently, Tagliani worked his way forward and he improved to sixth position with just a handful of laps left. "Tag" took the green flag restart with three scheduled laps remaining in sixth place but a front-end vibration caused him to lose momentum and positions, falling back to 16th place. As a late caution forced the race into overtime with a green-white-checkered flag finish, Tagliani ran strong to the end and secured a seventh-place result.

Quote: "It was really amazing to work again with Team Penske and get the chance to race the Discount Tire Ford Mustang. When you come to the race track with a team and car like this, it's really disappointing to not win, but I think we learned a lot of things this weekend with car performance and technical aspects that will help the team overall in the future and I was glad to be a part of that. Races like this make you realize that sometimes you need to be a little bit more savvy. (On the incident with McDowell) It's really too bad that someone can just do that and take out the leader but we still had our opportunities. We had some challenges on the car but we had our chances. I was just glad to be part of this weekend and I want to be able to get a win for this team."