A Smashing “Iowa” Victory For Stenhouse Jr.

Photo Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. had one goal Saturday night, do whatever it takes to get the win- a plan that was interrupted but not altered.

Stenhouse, who was bumped and thumped by teammate Carl Edwards for most of the night, tracked down his teammate in an impressive fashion to win the U.S. Cellular 250 National Series race at Iowa Speedway.

As Stenhouse neared the checkered flag, his engine blew up and he slowed on the track. Edwards, who was trailing Stenhouse at the time, slipped behind him and instead of driving around Stenhouse’s “blown up” car to the win, he hit the Stenhouse Mustang in the rear, shoving it across the finish line to the win.

It was crazy finish, not only for its unlikely result but also because Stenhouse and Edwards had battled aggressively for the lead earlier and were placed opposite each other again for the finish.

“The motor was kind of messing up on us,” Stenhouse said in victory lane, where he celebrated minus his crumpled race car.

Stenhouse confirmed that there was not any question he would race Edwards hard, after the two bumped several times during Saturday night’s event.

“I was aggressive there at the end,” he said. “You have to do what you have to do to win. He (Edwards) kind of ran us up the race track. I wasn’t about to back down.”

Edwards dominated the race, but pit-road problems dropped him from the lead with 66 laps to go. A missing lugnut during a caution-flag pit stop forced Edwards to back up on pit road, dropping him to 16th for the restart.

It didn’t take Edwards long to catch the leaders, as he was trying to reel down Stenhouse.

“He started turning a little,” Edwards said. “When I tried to turn more, the front tires were sliding. I hoped he would be out of the way. I don’t think anyone’s ever finished 1-2 with two wrecked race cars like that.”

Edwards stated that he and Stenhouse “will work it out at the shop. Ricky’s very fast. He does a great job. We really get along. He has a lot of enthusiasm. I think we both were thinking about wrecking each other, but we didn’t plan on doing it like that.”

With Saturday night’s win, Stenhouse swept both NASCAR Nationwide Series races at Iowa.

Elliott Sadler bounced back from problems early in the race to finish third and was followed by Josh Wise and Aric Almirola.

Sam Hornish Jr. ran well early in the race filling in for the injured Brad Keselowski, but dropped off the lead lap after blowing a tire near the race’s halfway point.

Unofficial Results:

1. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
2. Carl Edwards
3. Elliott Sadler
4. Josh Wise
5. Aric Almirola
6. Reed Sorenson
7. Kenny Wallace
8. Steve Wallace
9. Michael McDowell
10. David Mayhew
11. Drew Herring
12. Michael Annett
13. Jason Leffler
14. Brian Scott
15. Scott Wimmer
16. Joe Nemechek
17. Jeremy Clements
18. Mike Bliss
19. Mikey Kole
20. Joey Gase
21. Timmy Hill
22. Charles Lewandoski
23. Robert Richardson, Jr.
24. Sam Hornish, Jr.
25. Trevor Bayne
26. Eric McClure
27. Tim Schendel
28. Blake Koch
29. Justin Allgaier
30. Derrike Cope
31. Mike Wallace
32. Morgan Shepherd
33. Jennifer Jo Cobb
34. Jamie Dick
35. Matthew Carter
36. Mike Harmon
37. Mark Green
38. Johnny Chapman
39. Chase Miller
40. Carl Long
41. Tim Andrews
42. Brian Keselowski
43. Jeff Green

 

 

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