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Nationwide: Sadler bounces back on top

Justin Allgaier had taken the top spot for the green flag, leaving Sam Hornish Jr. and Michael McDowell fighting over second spot ahead of Jason Leffler and Cole Whitt. Further back, Danica Patrick and Kurt Busch were battling over ninth place; Busch was one of four drivers (along with Hornish, Mike Bliss and Joe Nemechek) to have flown in from Sprint Cup Series duties at Pocono in time to do a double shift in Iowa.

By the time the race reached half distance, Allgaier's lead was an impressive two seconds over Elliott Sadler who had calmly worked his way back up to second ahead of Hornish, Dillon and Michael McDowell. McDowell made light contact with a lapped car down the backstretch and lost a couple of positions, while Dillon came to pit road very early on lap 138 complaining of a serious vibration.

The rest of the field weren't expecting to pit until around lap 180m but before that could materialise there was a debris caution on lap 172 to make the visit to pit road more amendable. Allgaier and Sadler remained in charge of the front row for the subsequent restart, with Kurt Busch, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Sam Hornish Jr. making up the rest of the top five.

Allgaier was once again unbeatable at the restart and blasted away, but Sadler was safe enough in second place and the comparatively old hand bided his time, started to make in roads into Allgaier's impressive lead, and then - when he judged the moment to be right - he made his move. On lap 192, Sadler dived under the inside of the #31 and emerged from turn 1 with the lead of the race for the first time in over a hundred laps.

"When I got to Justin, I had a hard time passing him," said Sadler."He kind of knew where my car was fast. He made one slip off turn four and opened the door for me. I got a really good bite under him. I knew once I got out front we were in really good shape."

Not that Allgaier was about to let Sadler walk off with the race after having led 101 laps of the race. Anytime Sadler threatened to break way, Allgaier would put his foot down and close right back up to the the #2 and it was impossible to tell which of them truly had the upper hand for the closing stint of the race.

A caution could have changed the entire complexion of the race, but none appeared> Austin Dillon's spotter made the case for debris on lap 206 when his man was in the lucky dog position, but that came to nothing. Nor did Danica Patrick's slide up the race track into a light brush against the wall in turn 4 a couple of laps later while running in tenth place, costing her a few positions in the process. By this point, only 15 cars were on the lead lap - and that was reduced by one more near the end when Kurt Busch pitted on lap 244 with a shredded right tyre and a small fire in the wheel well, having complained of high temperatures for much of this final stint. He'd been running in third when the tyre let go, and ended up finishing in 17th as a result.

The longer the run went uninterrupted, the happier Sadler was looking out on front and the less likely it seemed that Allgaier was holding anything back for a last minute challenge. The gap between first and second remained steady at around a second, and while a final half-hearted charge from Allgaier cut that to 0.649s he could do nothing more about preventing Sadler from claiming the chequered flag.

"It's tough to see Elliott out there and know you're catching him and there's not really much you can do," admitted Allgaier after the race ended. But he didn't appear too downhearted: "To come here and lead the most laps and run as good as we did, I was proud of that."

Sadler was delighted with the win, although clearly the issue last week at Indianapolis was still playing on his mind. "This would be three wins in a row for my race team" if not for last week's penalty, he said.




Related Pictures

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Elliott Sadler, driver of the #2 OneMain Financial Chevrolet, celebrates with his team in victory lane after winning the US Cellular 250 race at Iowa Speedway on August 4, 2012 in Newton, Iowa. (Photo Credit: Rainier Ehrhardt/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Elliott Sadler, driver of the #2 OneMain Financial Chevrolet, celebrates in victory lane after winning the US Cellular 250 race at Iowa Speedway on August 4, 2012 in Newton, Iowa. (Photo Credit: Rainier Ehrhardt/Getty Images for NASCAR)
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Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Toyota, leads the field past the green flag to start the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series MyAFibStory.com 400 at Chicagoland Speedway on September 14, 2014 in Joliet, Illinois. (Photo Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/NASCAR via Getty Images)
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Kyle Busch, driver of the #51 Dollar General Toyota, crosses the finishline to win the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Lucas Oil 225 at Chicagoland Speedway on September 13, 2014 in Joliet, Illinois. (Photo Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #51 Dollar General Toyota, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Lucas Oil 225 at Chicagoland Speedway on September 13, 2014 in Joliet, Illinois. (Photo Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #51 Dollar General Toyota, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning during the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Lucas Oil 225 at Chicagoland Speedway on September 13, 2014 in Joliet, Illinois. (Photo Credit: Daniel Shirey/Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #51 Dollar General Toyota, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning during the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Lucas Oil 225 at Chicagoland Speedway on September 13, 2014 in Joliet, Illinois. (Photo Credit: Daniel Shirey/Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #5 Jimmy John`s Chevrolet, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Nationwide Series Jimmy John`s Freaky Fast 300 at Chicagoland Speedway on September 13, 2014 in Joliet, Illinois. (Photo Credit: Matt Sullivan/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #5 Jimmy John`s Chevrolet, takes the chequered flag to win the NASCAR Nationwide Series Jimmy John`s Freaky Fast 300 at Chicagoland Speedway on September 13, 2014 in Joliet, Illinois. (Photo Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #5 Jimmy John`s Chevrolet, celebrates in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Nationwide Series Jimmy John`s Freaky Fast 300 at Chicagoland Speedway on September 13, 2014 in Joliet, Illinois. (Photo Credit: Nick Laham/Getty Images)
Brian Scott, driver of the #2 Shore Lodge Chevrolet, leads thre field past the green flag to start during the NASCAR Nationwide Series Jimmy John`s Freaky Fast 300 at Chicagoland Speedway on September 13, 2014 in Joliet, Illinois. (Photo Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Darrell Wallace Jr., driver of the #54 ToyotaCare Toyota, sits on the grid under an umbrella prior to qualifying for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Lucas Oil 225 at Chicagoland Speedway on September 12, 2014 in Joliet, Illinois.  (Photo Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Toyota, practices for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series MyAFibStory.com 400 at Chicagoland Speedway on September 12, 2014 in Joliet, Illinois.  (Photo Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/NASCAR via Getty Images)
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(Back Row L - R) Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive to End Hunger Chevrolet, Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Toyota, Carl Edwards, driver of the #99 Kelloggs/Frosted Flakes Ford, Ryan Newman, driver of the #31 Catepillar Chevrolet, Miss Sprint Cup Madison Martin, Miss Sprint Cup Kim Coon, Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Insurance Chevrolet, Matt Kenseth, driver of the #20 Dollar General Toyota, Aric Almirola, driver of the #43 Gwaltney Ford, (Front Row L- R) Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Miller Lite Ford, Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Express Toyota, Greg Biffle, driver of the #16 3M Call Before You Dig Ford, AJ Allmendinger, driver of the #47 Bush`s Beans Chevrolet, Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 Farmers Insurance Chevrolet, Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford, Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet, and Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, pose with the Sprint Cup Trophy after qualifying for the Chase  (Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Jamie McMurray, driver of the #1 Cessna Chevrolet, races Clint Bowyer, driver of the #15 5-hour ENERGY Toyota, and Joe Nemechek, driver of the #66 Friedman Law Firm Toyota, during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond International Raceway on September 6, 2014 in Richmond, Virginia. (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)

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