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Nascar Nationwide Series Returns to Road America Saturday

Road America will play host to the Nascar Nationwide Series Saturday for the Gardner Denver 200 Fired up by Johnsonville
(WFRV-TV) - Nascar Nationwide Series drivers are gearing up for the first road course race of the season Saturday.

"Road courses are just so much different," says Elliott Sadler who currently sits in 2nd place in the Nationwide points standings.  "The driving styles different.  You get to shift, all the breaking, going right and left.  To me, it's a lot of fun, I love it."

Road Circuit ringers and NASCAR's future stars a like will test their skills at Road America in Elkhart Lake, a four mile tricky track that features twists and 14-turns, often times separating the good drivers from the great ones.

"Road America is so fast," adds Sadler.  "It's got such long straightaways and such elevation changes that you can't see all the time, it's a blind corner.  It's a fast race track with not a lot of run off room in a lot of the places, so it can reach out and bite you pretty quick."

"There's parts of Road America as a road course that are very intimidating," says Nationwide points leader Regan Smith.  "There's one straightaway with a bend in it and it's walls on either side of you, trees hanging over the sides of the walls, and you get a real feeling for 'hey I'm going pretty fast for a road course here.'  There are parts on the racetrack that force you to respect it and understand where you're at."

In three of the last four Nationwide races at Road America the pole sitter led wire to wire and took the checkered flag.  But with only 50 points separating the first and fifth place driver in the points standings, it could be a "close" race... in more ways than one.

"Not a lot of room on road course so what happens?" says Sadler.  "You get mad at each other.  One guy dive-bombs you or pushes you in the back a  little bit.  Well you want to do the same thing to him the next corner to kind of show your displeasure, and that creates a little bumping heads sometimes."

"I have to find that fine line between being as aggressive as the other guys are, but also not going out there and going against what I believe is the proper way to race is going to be the challenge," says Smith.  "Who knows, if they piss me off enough, I'll just start dumping them and do what they do."

And when the smoke clears Saturday, it appears there will be some new blood in Victory Lane at Road America, as none of the last 4 winners are slated to return.


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