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Nationwide: Stenhouse goes top with Iowa win

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. went to the top of the NASCAR Nationwide Series standings after clinching victory in Saturday afternoon's Dollar General 300 at Chicacgoland Speedway.
Reigning NASCAR Nationwide Series Ricky Stenhouse Jr went to the top of the 2012 standings, after claiming victory over Kyle Busch on Saturday at Chicagoland Speedway on Saturday afternoon.

"This is cool," Stenhouse said in victory lane, recalling the near-miss last time that the series ran here. "I felt like we should have been here last time. It is good to get redemption after a dominating performance last time."

Stenhouse had started the race off the second row alongside Sam Hornish Jr. behind a front row line-up consisting of Joey Logano and Austin Dillon, who came close to knocking each other out of the race at the very start which allowed Hornish to nip past Dillon for second spot shortly before Dexter Stacey spin in turn 4 on lap 3 to bring out the first caution of the 200-lap race.

Logano cruised away at the restart taking Kyle Busch with him in second, leaving an indecent scramble for third to be played out between Dillon, Stenhouse, Hornish and Elliott Sadler which was finally won by Stenhouse as the race finally started to settled into some organised green flag laps through to lap 40 when a half spin from Brad Sweet brought out the second caution of the night.

That allowed the leaders to pit under yellow, and the caution flags were back out within seconds of the restart when Cole Whitt spun with a flat tyre while trying to get back to pit road on lap 47. When the race resumed properly on lap 51 it was Logano leading Stenhouse and Dillon at the green flag, but Kyle Busch doing all the charging from fourth place as he made it three-wide with Stenhouse and Dillon to claim second place and then hunted down Logano for the lead on lap 60.

Dillon had followed Busch through, and within seconds of having taken the lead Busch had lost it again, this time to the series rookie. Dillon put his foot down and started to pull away, demonstrating that surging to the front had been no fluke, and he was able to pick up the lead again even after a cycle of green flag pit stops around the midway point of the race.

After 73 laps the green flag stint came to an end with a mechanical problem for Benny Gordon bringing out the fourth caution of the afternoon. That allowed the leaders to come back onto pit road under yellows, albeit somewhat earlier than they would have liked if they were going to make it all the way to the finish from here, at least another 73 laps even assuming no green-white-chequered extensions.

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. probably wished he hadn't even bothered to pit at all, after stalling on pit road and the crew going the wrong way on a wedge adjustment leaving him well out of shape, dropping seven spots fourth to 11th in the process. Meanwhile Joey Logano had beaten Austin Dillon off pit road, and at the restart Dillon was further demoted by a newly-enlivened Kyle Busch wanting another shot at a turn in the lead which he finally got when he got under Logano on lap 135.

Logano was now going backwards at about the same rate Stenhouse was intent on regaining his earlier lost ground: with 50 laps to go, Busch's lead over Dillon was edging toward the two second mark while Stenhouse had just claimed third from Sadler and Logano was bumping along back in fifth place, his chances of a victory quickly fading despite having led a total of 67 laps to that point which no one else would be able to top.



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Ricky Stenhouse Jr., driver of the #6 Blue Bird Ford, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Nationwide Series Dollar 300 at Chicagoland Speedway on September 15, 2012 in Joliet, Illinois. (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Ricky Stenhouse Jr., driver of the #6 Blue Bird Ford, celebrates after winning the NASCAR Nationwide Series Dollar General 300 at Chicagoland Speedway on September 15, 2012 in Joliet, Illinois. (Photo Credit: Tyler Barrick/Getty Images)
Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 Farmer`s Insurance Chevrolet SS, races to win with Kyle Larson, driver of the 42 Target Chevrolet SS beside him finishing in eighth place Sunday, August 31, 2014 in the Nascar Sprint Cup race at Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton, Georgia. With this win, Kahne, a Hendrick Motorsports driver, is in the Chase. (Photo by Alan Marler/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 Farmer`s Insurance Chevrolet SS, is congratulated by his Hendrik Motor Sports teammates Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Panasonic Toughbook Chevrolet SS (left), Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe’s/Kobalt Tools Chevrolet SS (center) and Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 National Guard Chevrolet SS (right) after his victory Sunday, August 31, 2014 in the Nascar Sprint Cup race at Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton, Georgia. With this win, Kahne joins Gordon, Johnson, and Earnhardt Jr. in the Chase. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #5 Bad Boy Buggies Chevrolet, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Nationwide Series Great Clips 300 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on August 30, 2014 in Hampton, Georgia. (Photo Credit: Jeff Curry/Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #5 Bad Boy Buggies Chevrolet, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Nationwide Series Great Clips 300 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on August 30, 2014 in Hampton, Georgia. (Photo Credit: Jeff Curry/Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #5 Bad Boy Buggies Chevrolet, crosses the finish line to win the NASCAR Nationwide Series Great Clips 300 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on August 30, 2014 in Hampton, Georgia.  (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #5 Bad Boy Buggies Chevrolet, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Nationwide Series Great Clips 300 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on August 30, 2014 in Hampton, Georgia. (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #5 Bad Boy Buggies Chevrolet, races Chris Buescher, driver of the #60 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Ford, during the NASCAR Nationwide Series Great Clips 300 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on August 30, 2014 in Hampton, Georgia. (Photo Credit: Jeff Curry/Getty Images)
Chase Elliott, driver of the #9 NAPA AUTO PARTS Chevrolet, takes the green flag waved by Evander Holyfield to start the NASCAR Nationwide Series Great Clips 300 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on August 30, 2014 in Hampton, Georgia. (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 National Guard Chevrolet, practices for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Oral-B USA 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on August 30, 2014 in Hampton, Georgia. (Photo Credit: Nick Laham/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Larson, driver of the #42 Target Chevrolet SS, qualified for third position Friday, August 29, 2014 for Sunday`s Nascar Sprint Cup race at Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton, Georgia. Larson is 12th in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (Photo by Christa L. Thomas/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kevin Harvick (L), driver of the #5 Bad Boy Buggies Chevrolet, talks to Regan Smith, driver of the #7 TaxSlayer Bowl Chevrolet, in the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Nationwide Series Great Clips 300 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on August 29, 2014 in Hampton, Georgia. (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Paul Menard, driver of the #27 Serta/Menards Chevrolet SS, finished ninth and Austin Dillon, driver of the #3 Dow Great Stuff Chevrolet SS, finished 28th Saturday, August 23, 2014 in the Nascar Sprint Cup race at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo by Alan Marler/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS, finished fifth Saturday, August 23, 2014 in the Nascar Sprint Cup race at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet SS, finished fourth and Kyle Larson, driver of the #42 Target Chevrolet SS, finished twelfth Saturday, August 23, 2014 in the Nascar Sprint Cup race at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo by Rusty Jarrett/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, leads a pack of cars during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Irwin Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 23, 2014 in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo Credit: Tom Pennington/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, and his team celebrate in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Irwin Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 23, 2014 in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo Credit: Matt Sullivan/NASCAR via Getty Images)

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