News & Media

Never a dull moment in Montreal

August 18, 2012, Mark Aumann,

Circuit Gilles Villeneuve provides fans with everything that makes sport great

MONTREAL -- You can call it crazy, weird or unpredictable. But there's no way you can ever call racing at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve "boring."

Ron Fellows finished fifth and had a few choice words for Kyle Busch, calling him "classless" after he felt Busch spun him on purpose late in the race. Sam Hornish Jr. got knocked off the track by Michael McDowell, then wrecked later on the same lap with Mike Wallace -- and all three wound up in the top 10.

NAPA Auto Parts 200

2.Sam Hornish Jr. Dodge
3.Jacques Villeneuve Dodge
4.Elliott Sadler Chevrolet
5.Ron Fellows Chevrolet


2.--R. Stenhouse Jr.-22
3.--S. Hornish Jr.-22
4.--A. Dillon-35
5.--J. Allgaier-68

Quebecer Jacques Villeneuve tagged fellow Quebecer Alex Tagliani and apologized, although many fans in the grandstands weren't particularly pleased, giving him double thumbs down signs on his next trip by. Villeneuve wasn't nearly so willing to accept Justin Allgaier's request for forgiveness when he wound up getting knocked out of the way for the win.

And Danica Patrick was leading the race when she ran over a shoe that someone threw onto the track.

That's the kind of day -- and the kind of racing -- that Montreal seems to provide every time the Nationwide Series visits.

Want crashes? Nearly every car that got loaded onto the haulers at the conclusion of the event had some body damage, or in some cases, was missing large chunks of sheet metal.

Want drama? Two green-white-checkered finishes had Villeneuve running on fumes on the final lap as he tried desperately to conserve enough fuel to make it to the finish. And he did, running an amazing 35 laps on his final tank load.

Want finger-pointing? Look no further than the guys who were running 1-2 when they took the white flag.

Villeneuve got a great final restart and pulled out to a commanding lead over Allgaier, who admitted he was pretty much settling for second place at that point. But Villeneuve began to slow on the final lap.

Villeneuve said his fuel situation had nothing to do with it. Instead, he blamed Allgaier for knocking him out of the way. When Allgaier crossed under the checkered flag, it was the only lap he had led all day.

Villeneuve: "It was very frustrating because Dodge and Penske gave me a car that was unbeatable today, but I guess Justin Allgaier decided he had to win and so the only way he could do that was to take me out, which was really frustrating.

Allgaier: "When we came into Turn 3 on the last lap, he slowed way down and really babied it through 3 and 4, and then around the bend. We got down into [Turn] 6 and he under-braked by a lot and I was trying to brake as deep as I could, wheel-hopped a little bit and got into the back of him."

Oh, and just to add to the intrigue: Allgaier's teammate is Alex Tagliani. And Villeneuve's teammate -- Hornish -- made up 22 positions in the span of 11 laps.

"I felt like we had a winning car today," Hornish said. "We just didn't get the win. Another lap and I think I would have had [Allgaier]. To be able to come back from where we were at and have those kinds of problems, I feel pretty good about it."

A victory celebration with the flag bearing the fleur-de-lis in the background will have to wait another year, but the fans who attended Saturday's race couldn't have asked for much more. It was, to quote Ed Sullivan, "a really big shoe."