Starting from the pole position, Alex Tagliani ran up front throughout the Chevrolet Silverado 250, and despite falling back mid-race following a poor pit stop, he was able to work his way back up into contention. He would come up short in his bid for victory, though, as a third gear would break coming up the final straightaway on the last lap. Tagliani limped his truck home to finish fifth.
“It was a really good day for us and a really good weekend, in all,” he commented. “The BKR team did a really good job.”
Starting from the pole, Tagliani led the first six laps of the event before heading down pit road at lap seven. He returned to the track, making his way back up through the field to retake the lead on lap 27. He then headed back down pit road at lap 35, where there would be a slight mishap with taking one of the wheels off.
“We had an unfortunate situation first in the pits when we couldn’t get the left rear tire off of the truck,” he explained. “We lost valuable time and track position is important. Without that, we could’ve stayed in the lead and maintained the lead.”
Running in the fifth spot once the cycle worked itself out, he moved back up through the field, moving into second on lap 54. He then worked at chasing down race leader Erik Jones, having a chance to close the gap when a late caution flew.
“After that, when I have to race those guys, I have to think that they’re there for the championship, I don’t want to make anybody mad – it’s kind of catch-22,” he explained. “You want to win the race, but you have to respect those guys. I want to do many more of those races, like I said yesterday, so I’m not about making too many people mad out there. I want to be good for the team, Brad, and the sponsor. So overall, I think mission accomplished.”
He would stay right on Jones’ back bumper throughout the course, making a move in turn five, but Jones would shut the door. Tagliani admitted that he could’ve got in there and spun him around, but didn’t feel that was the right move.
“I was in the pick-up truck before and told him, ‘You don’t have to worry about me. I’m not going to take you out. You’re in for the championship.’ and I respected my word,” Tagliani commented. “If I would’ve stayed in there, he would’ve been gone in 5b. I don’t drive that way. I just want to continue the trend and hopefully that will get me in the truck and XFINITY more times.”
Coming off that corner and working his way through the back half of the course, the gear would then break as he came up the Andretti straightaway.
“It shredded completely,” he said. “It felt good all race. I felt a couple of times it was kind of scratchy on downshift, but no sign that it was going to be bad. As soon as I put third gear on the backstraightaway, it went. There was no third gear to go and the RPM went really down so I put fourth in and it just kind of limped all the way home in fifth.”
If the gear hadn’t broke, Tagliani felt that he had a piece strong enough to get around Jones for the lead and the victory as he felt he was quicker in the final three turns of the course.
“I had a plan – you’re trying to play the strengths to your advantage and where you’re quick, and for the final checkered flag run, trust me – I had something,” he noted.
But he was able to make that run to the checkered, he wasn’t going to try and win the race with a pass that involved contact as he noted he’s not there to mess up things for the regulars and their championship battle.
“Winning races is hard enough when you’re running for the championship, but when you’re doing 25 races a year, to win three is really amazing,” he commented. “When you do one and everything is into that one, it’s tough, but I’m not willing to throw everything into it just for that one because there’s going to be 30 guys out there that are gonna wanna kill me and I’m going to have a target on my back.
“That’s not the way I drive, but I was going to try something.”