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Nationwide: Stenhouse blows up, wrecks - and wins

A blown engine and a wreck with his team mate Carl Edwards - and that was just the last corner of Saturday night's Nationwide Series event for race winner Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
It's safe to say that Ricky Stenhouse Jr.'s second Nationwide Series win was unlike any other: it culminated in a blown engine and a mutual wreck with his Roush Fenway team mate Carl Edwards after neither man would back down in his determination to get to the finish line of the US Cellular 250 at Iowa Speedway in first place.

The two had been engaged in a lengthy battle all evening, after they had a fierce tangle for the lead and also sideswiped each other midrace while battling for position. There didn't seem anything too friendly in their ongoing battle for position all evening, with Stenhouse vowing at one point "He's done when I get to him" after feeling that Edwards had cut him up.

Both drivers seemed hellbent on getting and keeping the lead: Edwards would be out front for 109 laps in total, while Stenhouse only took the lead for more than the odd lap during pit stops when it got to the final 22 laps of the race, and he was determined not to give it up. When Carl Edwards emerged close behind in second place in the closing lap it looked like the former champion was set to pull off a crowd-thrilling last-corner overtaking dive.

Instead, Stenhouse's engine blew as he came off turn four, which lay down oil on the track and caught out Edwards who ploughed straight into the back of the #6 and sent them both spinning. Fortunately for both drivers they were spinning and sliding in the right direction - toward the finish line - and third placed man Elliott Sadler, who had started from pole, was simply too far back to take advantage of the situation.

"If he wouldn't have hit us, we definitely would have ended up second," said Stenhouse, whose other Nationwide Series victory also came at Iowa, earlier this year. "I knew we had enough momentum to get there. I just wasn't sure if we were going to be first or second. It worked out that we were first."

Stenhouse joins Edwards, Kyle Busch and Brad Keselowski (neither of whom were racing at Iowa this week) as a multiple winner in this year's Nationwide season. Stenhouse had completed 17 of the 22 races so far in the top ten, which attests not only to his race-winning speed but to his consistency as well.

In Edwards' view, however, "He's just being a little bit overaggressive." They had words last week and while he insists that "Ricky and I are fine," it's clear that this has the potential to flare up into something more serious.

Not that team owner Jack Roush seems to mind. In fact, he's probably delighted by Stenhouse's performance all around, especially as he's looking for a new lead Nationwide driver in 2012 after Edwards announced he was scaling back on the series next year to focus on his Sprint Cup racing from now on.

"Jack came over and said, 'Hey, this is exactly what's supposed to be happening!'" said Edwards. "'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."




Related Pictures

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Ricky Stenhouse Jr., driver of the #6 Ricky vs Trevor.com Ford, races Carl Edwards, driver of the #60 Fastenal Ford, during the NASCAR Nationwide Series U.S. Cellular 250 at Iowa Speedway on Aug. 6 in Newton, Iowa. [Photo Credit: Tom Whitmore/Getty Images for NASCAR]
Sam Hornish Jr., driver of the #22 Discount Tire Dodge, and David Mayhew, driver of the #33 Rheem/Menards Chevrolet, lead the field to a restart during the NASCAR Nationwide Series U.S. Cellular 250 at Iowa Speedway on Aug. 6 in Newton, Iowa. [Photo Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR]
Ricky Stenhouse Jr., driver of the #6 RickyvsTrevor.com Ford, celebrates with crew members in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Nationwide Series U.S. Cellular 250 at Iowa Speedway on Aug. 6 in Newton, Iowa. [Photo Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR]
Ricky Stenhouse Jr., driver of the #6 RickyvsTrevor.com Ford crosses the finish line to win, ahead of Carl Edwards, driver of the #60 Fastenal Ford, after colliding on the final lap during the NASCAR Nationwide Series U.S. Cellular 250 at Iowa Speedway on Aug. 6 in Newton, Iowa. [Photo Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR]
Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Taxslayer.com Chevrolet, signs autographs for fans during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sprint Unlimited at Daytona International Speedway on February 12, 2016 in Daytona Beach, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Defending Sprint Cup Champion Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser/Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS, races to a second place finish, Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet SS finishes in sixth place, and Martin Truex, Jr., driver of the #78 Furniture Row/Visser Precision finishes in twelfth place Sunday, November 22, 2015 in the final race of the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida. This Chevrolet drivers finished 2nd, 3rd and 4th (respectively) in the Chase of the Cup Championship. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Series championship contenders Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 AXALTA Chevrolet, Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser/Jimmy John`s Chevrolet, Martin Truex Jr., driver of the #78 Furniture Row/Denver Mattress Chevrolet, and Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Crispy Toyota, take part in pre-race ceremonies for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 22, 2015 in Homestead, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser/Jimmy John`s Chevrolet, Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Crispy Toyota, Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 AXALTA Chevrolet, and Martin Truex Jr., driver of the #78 Furniture Row/Denver Mattress Chevrolet, race during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 22, 2015 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Defending Sprint Cup Champion Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser/Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS, qualifies for thirteenth position Friday, November 20, 2015 for Sunday`s Championship 4, the final race of the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida. Harvick will be joined by Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet SS and Martin Truex, Jr., driver of the #78 Furniture Row/Visser Precision Chevrolet SS to compete for the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship. (Photo by Rusty Jarrett/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Martin Truex, Jr., driver of the #78 Furniture Row/Visser Precision Chevrolet SS, qualifies for eleventh position Friday, November 20, 2015 for Sunday`s Championship 4, the final race of the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida. Truex, Jr. will be joined by Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser/Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS and Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet SS to compete for the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship. (Photo by Rusty Jarrett/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet SS, qualifies for fifth position Friday, November 20, 2015 for Sunday`s Championship 4, the final race of the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida. Gordon will be joined by Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser/Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS and Martin Truex, Jr., driver of the #78 Furniture Row/Visser Precision Chevrolet SS to compete for the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship. Sunday will be Gordon`s last race as a full-time NASCAR Sprint Cup driver. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Martin Truex Jr., driver of the #78 Furniture Row/Denver Mattress Chevrolet, practices for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 20, 2015 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Jonathan Ferrey/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Martin Truex, Jr., driver of the #78 Furniture Row/Visser Precision Chevrolet SS, advances to the Championship 4 with his fourteenth place finish Sunday, November 15, 2015 in the final round of the Eliminator 8 NASCAR Sprint Cup Chase race at Phoenix International Raceway in Avondale, Arizona. Truex, Jr. is joined with Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Pepsi Chevrolet SS, and Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser/Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS to the Sprint Cup Series Championship 4 at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida next Sunday. (Photo by Garry Eller/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Pepsi Chevrolet SS, advances to the Championship 4 with his sixth place finish Sunday, November 15, 2015 in the final round of the Eliminator 8 NASCAR Sprint Cup Chase race at Phoenix International Raceway (renamed Jeff Gordon Raceway for the day to honor the four-time champion) in Avondale, Arizona. Gordon is joined with Martin Truex, Jr., driver of the #78 Furniture Row/Visser Precision Chevrolet SS  and Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser/Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS to the Sprint Cup Series Championship 4 at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida next Sunday. (Photo by Garry Eller/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet SS, races to victory Sunday, November 15, 2015 in the final round of the Eliminator 8 NASCAR Sprint Cup Chase race at Phoenix International Raceway in Avondale, Arizona. Defending Sprint Cup Champion Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser/Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS advances to the Champion 4 with his second place finish. Harvick is joined with Martin Truex, Jr., driver of the #78 Furniture Row/Visser Precision Chevrolet SS and Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Pepsi Chevrolet SS to the Sprint Cup Series Championship 4 at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida next Sunday. (Photo by Garry Eller/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser/Jimmy John`s Chevrolet, leads Carl Edwards, driver of the #19 Stanley Toyota, during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Quicken Loans Race for Heroes 500 at Phoenix International Raceway on November 15, 2015 in Avondale, Arizona.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet, and Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser/Jimmy John`s Chevrolet, lead the field onto pit road due to rain during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Quicken Loans Race for Heroes 500 at Phoenix International Raceway on November 15, 2015 in Avondale, Arizona.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet, celebrates on pit road after winning the rain-shortened NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Quicken Loans Race for Heroes 500 at Phoenix International Raceway on November 15, 2015 in Avondale, Arizona.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)

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