Sam Hornish Jr. wins at home for Team Penske on the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.
Hornish led 61 of 75 laps en route to the victory.
“Man it’s just super important having my family here and a bunch of friends,” he said in Victory Lane. “This is a place I’ve finished second in three or four other series here. To finally get the win … flawless day.”
Hornish started from pole position, leading the way over Elliott Sadler and Black Koch at the conclusion of the first lap.
The first caution came early for fluid from Cole Custer’s machine. Hornish maintained control of the race on the ensuing restart and led until a huge impact for Matt Bell just after 15 laps of racing. Bell suffered a brake failure in Turn 1, slamming the tire barrier and moving the concrete wall behind them. The red flag was displayed as the car was removed from the top of the tire barriers, which lasted roughly 15 minutes.
When the cars got rolling again, Hornish gave up the race lead to pit. Sadler led the way for the following restart, coming with just two laps to go in the opening stage. Things quickly went awry for the veteran driver, spinning off the nose of a pursuing Brennan Poole. Poole was then overtaken by Blake Koch, who went on to win his second stage of the 2017 season.
Poole was second, Brendan Gaughan third, Ryan Reed fourth and Ross Chastain fifth. Jeremy Clements, Ryan Sieg, Daniel Hemric, Hornish and Josh Bilicki rounded out the top ten. Sadler was scored back in 30th after the contact with Poole.
Reed stayed out while Koch and the rest of the leaders pitted, taking control of the race. However, Reed had yet to pit and was promptly dispatched by Hemric on the restart that followed. Hornish then retook control and began to stretch his lead while Reed fell back. Ultimately, he went spinning after contact with Ben Kennedy.
More trouble for Sadler in the second stage as he was forced to pit with a flat tire. The stage went caution-free with Hornish taking the green-and-white checkered flag. Hemric was second, James Davison third, Allgaier fourth and Andy Lally fifth. Justin Marks, Regan Smith, Kennedy, Poole and Koch rounded out the top ten.
The final stage got underway with 31 laps to go with Hemric leading Hornish, Allgaier, Marks and Davison. After a brief battle, Hornish was able to clear Hemric for the top spot.
But with 27 laps to go, the yellow flag returned when Stephen Young got beached in the gravel. On the following restart, Stage 1 winner Koch got turned around by Poole. Reed, Spencer Gallagher and Jeremy Clements then piled into the No. 11.
As the old adage goes, cautions breed cautions. Hemric was able to snatch the race lead away from Hornish on a restart with 18 laps to go, but the race quickly went back to yellow as Justin Marks spun and got drilled by Reed.
On the restart, Hornish was able to get back ahead while Davison muscled his way into second. Moments later, Allgaier spun from third. Davison then went off track from second, giving Hornish some breathing room up front.
But that soon went away as another caution was called with eleven laps to go for Casey Mears’ stricken No. 98 machine.
With eight laps to go, the race went back green with Hornish leading Gaughan and Hemric. But carnage erupted at the rear of the field, causing the second red flag of the race. Among those involved: Byron, Smith, Lupton, Kennedy, Bilicki, Garrett Smithley, Sieg, JJ Yeley.
Racing resumed with five laps to go. Guaghan ran wide out of Turn 1 and went into the dirt, jumping off the ground, but somehow hanging onto it. Despite being able to wheel his way out of it, he did lose multiple positions. Hemric took over second, but he was unable to run the No. 22 down.
Hornish took the checkered flag, collecting his fifth career Xfinity Series victory. Hemric finished second, Matt Tifft third, Davison fourth and Lally fifth. Sadler, Gaughan, Poole, Marks, and Armstrong rounded out the top ten.