Grudgingly, Stenhouse finally complied and backed off. With Sadler still running three places behind him at the chequered flag, it was enough to ensure that Stenhouse had retained his Nationwide Series championship ahead of his full time switch to Cup racing with Roush Fenway in 2013.
"A lot of people put a lot of effort into this and I'm just the lucky guy who gets to drive it," said Stenhouse as the team celebrated around him.
"It's really neat to be able to go back-to-back, when only now six of us have done it," said Stenhouse, the first to complete back-to-back wins since Martin Truex Jr. in 2004-5. "That's pretty special. It really makes me see how hard that #48 team works on the Cup side with five in a row.
"It was a great two years, and we've had a lot of fun. We look forward to our opportunity next year," he added.
There was no disguising the disappointment in the Sadler camp, after a second straight year of finishing as runner-up. "It's way more disappointing this year because we had control of the points the whole entire season," admitted Sadler, whose race was undone by the three-car accident last week near the end of the Phoenix race.
"We raced as hard as we could every weekend, but we came up short. Didn't take but a few races to put us behind," he said. "Second is not what we wanted, but we ran competitive all year long. I apologise again for coming up short, but we did the best we could."
Full race results, plus qualifying and practice
speeds and full Nationwide Series championship standings