Regan Smith tapped Alex Tagliani in the last turn and drove past him to win the NASCAR Xfinity Series race Saturday at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington.
This was Smith’s first win of the year and fifth overall.
Tagliani placed second, Ty Dillon was third, followed by Chris Buescher and Chase Elliott. Buescher won the race last year.
“I did what I had to do,” Smith told reporters.
Tagliani was upset in a TV interview following the race.
“I’m very, very sorry for the whole Penske organization and the Discount Tire team,” Tagliani said. “They did a fantastic job for me this weekend and I really wanted to win for them so bad. If I knew he was going to try to win like that, instead of passing him fair and square early on in the race, I would probably have pushed him off a bit. But he knows I’m not going to be there next week to retaliate and to give him the payback. It’s just unfortunate to see him win like that, but then also to see him celebrate after a win like that … I mean, he knows he was not going to win unless he pushed us off.”
Smith said he was happy about the win.
“It feels great. These guys worked their butts off all week,” Smith told reporters after the race. “This car was destroyed (last week). They rebuilt it in one day, and I got my road car back. They’ve stuck by me. We’ve had a lot of opportunities to win. I hate to do that in the (next-to-last) corner, but it’s been a year and eight months (since his last win). It’s been too long and I wasn’t going to pass that opportunity up. I’ve been wrecked so many times on these road courses that I had to do what I had to do there.”
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