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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]
Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 Quicken Loans Chevrolet SS, races to an eighth place finish with Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet SS who finished in second place Saturday night, April 9, 2016 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Texas.  (Photo by Alan Marler for Chevy Racing)
Chase Elliott, driver of the #24 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet SS, stops in his pit on his way to a fifth place finish Saturday night, April 9, 2016 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Texas. Elliott takes over the #24 car from retired driver Jeff Gordon.  (Photo by Ashley R Dickerson for Chevy Racing)
Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet SS, finishes in second place Saturday night, April 9, 2016 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo by Brian Cleary for Chevy Racing)
Carl Edwards, driver of the #19 Stanley Toyota, leads the field to the green flag to start the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Duck Commander 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on April 9, 2016 in Fort Worth, Texas.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Robert Laberge/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Martin Truex Jr., driver of the #78 Bass Pro Shops/TRACKER Boats Toyota, practices for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Duck Commander 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on April 7, 2016 in Fort Worth, Texas.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Jared C. Tilton/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Carl Edwards, driver of the #19 Stanley Toyota, poses with the Coors Light Pole Award after qualifying for the pole position for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Duck Commander 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on April 8, 2016 in Fort Worth, Texas.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Jared C. Tilton/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Carl Edwards, driver of the #19 Stanley Toyota, poses with the Coors Light Pole Award after qualifying for the pole position for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Duck Commander 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on April 8, 2016 in Fort Worth, Texas.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Jared C. Tilton/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS, celebrates his eighth Phoenix win with his crew Sunday, March 13, 2016 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Phoenix International Raceway in Avondale, Arizona. He won by a hundredth of a second, closest finish in NASCAR Sprint Cup History. This was Harvick`s 500th consecutive series start, a feat accomplished only by 14 others throughout the history of NASCAR.  (Photo by Harold Hinson for Chevy Racing)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS, races to his eighth Phoenix win with Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Monster Energy/Haas Automation Chevrolet SS who finished in sixth place Sunday, March 13, 2016 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Phoenix International Raceway in Avondale, Arizona. Harvick won by a hundredth of a second, closest finish in NASCAR Sprint Cup History. This was his 500th consecutive series start, a feat accomplished only by 14 others throughout the history of NASCAR. (Photo by Andrew Coppley for Chevy Racing)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS, takes the chequered flag for his eighth Phoenix win Sunday, March 13, 2016 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Phoenix International Raceway in Avondale, Arizona. He won by a hundredth of a second, closest finish in NASCAR Sprint Cup History. This was Harvick`s 500th consecutive series start, a feat accomplished only by 14 others throughout the history of NASCAR. (Photo by Andrew Coppley for Chevy Racing)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS, celebrates his eighth Phoenix win Sunday, March 13, 2016 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Phoenix International Raceway in Avondale, Arizona. He won by a hundredth of a second, closest finish in NASCAR Sprint Cup History. This was Harvick`s 500th consecutive series start, a feat accomplished only by 14 others throughout the history of NASCAR. (Photo by Gregg Ellman for Chevy Racing)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy John`s Chevrolet, leads Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Monster Energy / Haas Automation Chevrolet, during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Good Sam 500 at Phoenix International Raceway on March 13, 2016 in Avondale, Arizona.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 Skittles Toyota, leads the field to the green flag to start the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Good Sam 500 at Phoenix International Raceway on March 13, 2016 in Avondale, Arizona.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy John`s Chevrolet, beats Carl Edwards, driver of the #19 Stanley Toyota, to the chequered flag to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Good Sam 500 at Phoenix International Raceway on March 13, 2016 in Avondale, Arizona.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/NASCAR via Getty Images)

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