Sunday, August 7, 2011

Stenhouse Wins at Iowa in a Wild Finish

Photo Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR


By Jim Pedley
Special to the Sporting News NASCAR Wire Service

(August 6, 2011)

NEWTON, Iowa—Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Roush Fenway Racing teammate Carl Edwards insist they like each other. But for the second weekend in a row, they sure didn’t act like it.

Saturday night at Iowa Speedway, Stenhouse and Edwards banged doors, fenders and feelings as they fought for the victory in the U.S. Cellular 250 NASCAR Nationwide Series race.

Their final banging occurred a couple of hundred feet from the finish line on the last lap, and it produced a smoky, screeching, metal-bending finish as Edwards rammed Stenhouse’s car from behind and actually pushed it to the victory.

“Wow,” both drivers said after climbing from their cars.

Stenhouse’s car had blown an engine after exiting Turn 4 and had laid down a glaze of oil on the track.

Edwards said he tried to go around Stenhouse but couldn’t as his car slid on the oil and his windshield filled with smoke. Stenhouse admitted to watching Edwards speeding up on him and then blocking his teammate.

And then, Stenhouse thanked Edwards for smashing into the rear end of his RFR Ford.

“If he wouldn’t have hit us, we definitely would have ended up second,” said Stenhouse, whose victory was his second of the season at the seven-eighths-mile oval. “I knew we had enough momentum to get there (the finish line). I just wasn’t sure if we were going to be first or second. It worked out that we were first.”

Edwards led 109 of the race’s 250 laps. Stenhouse led 25.

Polesitter Elliott Sadler finished third, Josh Wise was fourth and Aric Almirola fifth. Rounding out the top 10 were Reed Sorenson, Kenny Wallace, Steve Wallace, Michael McDowell and David Mayhew, who was making his first Nationwide start.

While the race-ending rear-end job by Edwards to Stenhouse was the final run-in between the two drivers Saturday, it was far from the first.

They sideswiped each other about halfway through the race. And then, after the final restart of the night with less than 25 laps to go, they went at each other several times before Stenhouse was able to break free.

Their physical race at Iowa came a week after they frayed each other’s nerves and tempers at Lucas Oil Raceway in Clermont, Ind.

Still, both said they hold no grudges against the other.

“Ricky and I are fine,” Edwards said. “Jack (Roush, the team owner) came over and said, ‘Hey, this is exactly what’s supposed to be happening. You’re supposed to have a young guy who’s fast and is frustrating everybody because he’s too aggressive.’ Ricky, he’s really, really fast.

“We had a little issue last week, we talked about it and he got excited tonight. He’s just being a little bit overaggressive.”

Stenhouse, the Nationwide points leader, left Iowa with a 12-point lead over Sorenson. Sadler is third, 29 behind Stenhouse.

Sorenson won the second of four NASCAR Nationwide Series “Dash 4 Cash” races, where a $100,000 bonus was on the line between him and three other eligible drivers. The next “Dash 4 Cash” race is at Richmond on Sept. 10.



2011 NASCAR Nationwide Series
U.S. Cellular 250
Newton, Iowa

Iowa Speedway
Race Results 
  1. 6 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Ford
  2. 60 Carl Edwards Fastenal Ford
  3. 2 Elliott Sadler OneMain Financial Chevrolet
  4. 7 Josh Wise Chevrolet
  5. 88 Aric Almirola Ragu/HyVee Chevrolet
  6. 32 Reed Sorenson Dollar General Chevrolet
  7. 9 Kenny Wallace American Ethanol/Iowa Corn Toyota
  8. 66 Steve Wallace 5-hour Energy Toyota
  9. 18 Michael McDowell Pizza Ranch Toyota
  10. 33 David Mayhew Rheem/Menards Chevrolet
  11. 20 Drew Herring SportClips Toyota
  12. 62 Michael Annett Northland Oil Toyota
  13. 38 Jason Leffler Great Clips Chevrolet
  14. 11 Brian Scott Shore Lodge Toyota
  15. 70 Scott Wimmer Foretravel Motorcoach Chevrolet
  16. 87 Joe Nemechek D.A.B Constructors, Inc. Toyota
  17. 51 Jeremy Clements Clements Racing Engines Chevrolet
  18. 19 Mike Bliss TriStar Motorsports Chevrolet
  19. 30 Mikey Kile AccuDoc Solutions Chevrolet
  20. 39 Joey Gase Agrigold Seed Ford
  21. 15 Timmy Hill  Lilly Trucking Ford
  22. 40 Charles Lewandoski  Key Motorsports Chevrolet
  23. 23 Robert Richardson Jr. North TX Pipe Chevrolet
  24. 22 Sam Hornish Jr. Discount Tire Dodge
  25. 16 Trevor Bayne 3M Ford
  26. 14 Eric McClure Hefty BlackOut/Reynolds Chevrolet
  27. 52 Tim Schendel Marr Promotions Chevrolet
  28. 81 Blake Koch Dodge
  29. 31 Justin Allgaier Brandt Chevrolet
  30. 28 Derrike Cope Chevrolet
  31. 1 Mike Wallace Iowa 80 Truckstop Chevrolet
  32. 89 Morgan Shepherd Victory In Jesus Racing Chevrolet
  33. 13 Jennifer Jo Cobb Dodge
  34. 2 Jamie Dick Chevrolet
  35. 41 Matt Carter Lilly Trucking Chevrolet
  36. 74 Mike Harmon IPT Pellet Grills Chevrolet
  37. 49 Mark Green Jay Robinson Racing Chevrolet
  38. 75 Johnny Chapman Ford
  39. 46 Chase Miller Key Motorsports Chevrolet
  40. 71 Carl Long Lilly Trucking Ford
  41. 42 Tim Andrews Key Motorsports Chevrolet
  42. 47 Brian Keselowski Key Motorsports Chevrolet
  43. 44 Jeff Green TriStar Motorsports Chevrolet

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