NASCAR XFINITY Series - Road America 180
August 27, 2016 - Road America - Elkhart Lake, WI
Michael McDowell’s No. 2 Rheem Chevrolet was the class of the field for much of Saturday’s Road America 180 Fired Up by Johnsonville, but as the NASCAR XFINITY Series race went into overtime conditions he had to fend off a hard charge from teammate Brendan Gaughan’s No. 62 South Point Chevrolet.
"This win means so much to me. I've been close here at Road America so many different times and to finally get the win, it feels great. I can't thank Rheem and Richard Childress Racing enough for this opportunity. It's not every week you get a call to come drive equipment like this. I've been able to drive a lot of great cars here but haven't been able to execute and get the win, but today we did. I was dreading the last two restarts. It happens here. You build up a good lead and the caution comes out then you have to fight for it on the restarts. I was trying to be really disciplined today by saving my tires for a green-white-checkered finish. I was anticipating there being a late-race caution, so I tried to learn a lot of the other cautions to be able to get a good restart. Brendan (Gaughan) did a great job and I had fun racing him for the lead at the end. It's awesome for RCR to have two teams battling for the win. Thank you to everyone at RCR and everybody on this Rheem team. This is great."
As Gaughan closed the gap around the 14-turn road course, McDowell was able to keep his Chevrolet out front to earn his first-career NASCAR victory. The one-two finish with Gaughan was also Richard Childress Racing’s second consecutive victory, third overall in 2016 and third-straight at Road America.
Leading 24 of the 48 laps, McDowell earned the win in his first series start this season and his first with RCR.
The victory was also the second-straight for crew chief Justin Alexander, who guided Austin Dillon to the win last weekend at Bristol Motor Speedway. With its second victory in as many weeks, the No. 2 team extended its lead in the owner championship standings to 28 points.