August 12, 2017 | 7:02 P.M. EST
Sam Hornish Jr. protected his lead on the day’s final restart and drove to victory on Saturday at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. (Photo: Getty Images)
LEXINGTON, Ohio – Team Penske’s Sam Hornish Jr. was “King of the Road” on Saturday at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, starting from the pole and leading a race-high 61 laps to notch his first win of the season.
Hornish kept the No. 22 Ford in front over the final 14 laps, protecting his lead through a pair of late restarts in posting his fifth career win. The margin of victory over rookie runner-up Daniel Hemric was 1.335 seconds with Matt Tifft, James Davison and Andy Lally completing the top five.
Regular-season points leader Elliott Sadler came home in sixth place and extended his advantage to 81 points over William Byron, who labored to a 25th-place finish.
Brendan Gaughan ran alongside Hornish on one of the late-race restarts and battled for the lead before fading to seventh place. However, he advanced his playoff hopes by outrunning both Ryan Sieg (who finished 12th) and Michael Annett (19th). Those three are battling for the final two post-season spots.
Saturday’s race included nine lead changes among just five drivers: Hornish, Sadler, Hemric, Blake Koch and Ryan Reed. There were nine cautions for 27 laps.