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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.



Related Pictures

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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 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)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 Interstate Batteries Toyota, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Duck Commander 500 as Texas Motor Speedway President Eddie Gossage (L) and John Godwin of Duck Commander (R) look on at Texas Motor Speedway on April 9, 2016 in Fort Worth, Texas (Photo Credit: Photo by Jared C. Tilton/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 Interstate Batteries Toyota, celebrates after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Duck Commander 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on April 9, 2016 in Fort Worth, Texas.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Jared C. Tilton/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 Interstate Batteries Toyota, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Duck Commander 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on April 9, 2016 in Fort Worth, Texas.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Sarah Crabill/Getty Images for Texas Motor Speedway)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 Interstate Batteries Toyota, celebrates winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Duck Commander 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on April 9, 2016 in Fort Worth, Texas.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Sarah Crabill/Getty Images for Texas Motor Speedway)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 Interstate Batteries Toyota, takes the chequered flag to win 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)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s 75th Anniversary Toyota, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway on April 3, 2016 in Martinsville, Virginia. (Photo Credit: Photo by Matt Sullivan/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s 75th Anniversary Toyota, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway on April 3, 2016 in Martinsville, Virginia. (Photo Credit: Photo by Sean Gardner/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s 75th Anniversary Toyota, celebrates with the chequered flag after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway on April 3, 2016 in Martinsville, Virginia. (Photo Credit: Photo by Sarah Crabill/Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s 75th Anniversary Toyota, crosses the finish line to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway on April 3, 2016 in Martinsville, Virginia. (Photo Credit: Photo by Sean Gardner/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s 75th Anniversary Toyota, leads Matt Kenseth, driver of the #20 Dollar General Toyota, and Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Express Toyota, during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway on April 3, 2016 in Martinsville, Virginia. (Photo Credit: Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)
Austin Dillon, driver of the #3 Dow Chevrolet SS, finishes in fourth place, Sunday April 3, 2016, in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Martinsville Speedway in Ridgeway, VA (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kyle Larson, driver of the #14 Target Chevrolet SS, finishes in third place, Sunday April 3, 2016, in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Martinsville Speedway in Ridgeway, VA (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)

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