Photo: Andy Lally

Lally Shines at Mid-Ohio, Scoring First Career Top-Five Finish

By David Morgan, NASCAR Editor

On a normal day, Andy Lally can be found driving his No. 93 Acura in the GT Daytona division of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, but from time to time the New York native takes a break from his full-time sports car efforts to try his hand at NASCAR.

The road course specialist was called upon once again for this year’s NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Mid-Ohio and Lally did not disappoint, turning in a top-five finish when the checkered flag waved on the Mid-Ohio Challenge.

Driving for team owner Bobby Dotter, Lally, the 2011 Cup Series Rookie of the Year, would climb behind the wheel of the team’s No. 07 Chevrolet for Saturday’s race and had his work cut out for him at the start of the race after flat spotting his tires in qualifying and having to start the race at the back of the pack.

Despite the long odds against him when the green flag flew, Lally was able to show off his road racing prowess throughout the day, picking his way through the field and was scored in fifth place at the end of the second stage.

Though he had a firm foothold in the top-10, Lally had to pit for tires in the final stage, forcing him to have to drive back through the field a second time. Once again, Lally methodically worked his way forward as the laps wound down, moving back into fifth place in the closing laps to score his best NASCAR finish and a second straight top-10 finish at Mid-Ohio after leading three laps and finishing seventh at the track last season.

Along with the top-five being Lally’s best NASCAR finish, it was also a milestone for owner Bobby Dotter as the finish was the first top-five finish for the team since finishing fifth at Myrtle Beach in June 1995.

The finish for the fan favorite came as no surprise to many, including NASCAR Hall of Famer Mark Martin.

Saturday’s race is currently the only Xfinity Series race that Lally has scheduled for this season, but with one more road course race coming up in a couple of weeks, it wouldn’t be a shock to see him back behind the wheel when the series rolls into Road America.

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David Morgan is the Associate Editor for Motorsports Tribune. A 2008 graduate from the University of Mississippi, David has followed NASCAR since the early 90’s and became hooked at an early age after attending his first race at Talladega Superspeedway in 1993. He has traveled across the country since 2012 to cover some of the most prestigious events both IndyCar and NASCAR have to offer, with an aim to only expand on that in the near future.