Full race results, plus qualifying and practice speeds and full Nationwide Series championship standings

He might not be a full-time driver in the NASCAR Nationwide Series this year, but Sam Hornish Jr. certainly hasn't lost any of his skill behind the wheel as he drove the #54 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota to victory lane in the Get to Know Newton 250 at Iowa Speedway.

"I knew this would be a great opportunity for me," said Hornish, who has a limited race deal in 2014 with JGR. "I know it's seven races, but it's also seven chances to win, every time you get into the car."

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For only the second time this year after Talladega, Hornish was substituting in the car for Kyle Busch who was otherwise engaged at Charlotte Motor Speedway this weekend. Hornish had qualified for the front row of the grid but had been narrowly pipped to pole position by three thousandths of a second by Penske's Ryan Blaney - the 20-year-old's maiden pole position in the series in 21 starts.

Despite Blaney's pole advantage, Hornish got the better start and scampered away at the front, while Blaney had to see off a challenge from Michael McDowell before he could take up the hunt. It took less than 20 laps of the 0.875-mile Iowa Speedway before the leaders were in the thick of heavy traffic, which held up Hornish and allowed Blaney to get right up on his rear fender. Hornish was able to hold him off and the #54 was still in the lead when the first caution came out on lap 40 after the right front tyre on Cale Conley's car blew out.

After the green flag, Hornish and Blaney resumed their duel at the front but it wasn't until lap 90 that Blaney was finally able to get his nose in front and stay there. At the same time, McDowell was displaced from third place by teenage sensation Chase Elliott, who was having quite the weekend of it as he'd been forced to miss Saturday's practice session in order to celebrate his graduation from high school.

Elliott had just gone on to pass Hornish for second when a debris caution on lap 104 for a disintegrating advertising banner enabled a round of pit stops. Blaney retained the lead afterwards but Elliott slipped back to fifth behind Hornish, McDowell and Richard Childress Racing's Brian Scott for the green flag. Blaney and Hornish continued their battle at the front to the next caution on lap lap 143 for Carlos Contreras apparently blowing an engine.

All the leaders pitted under the caution and almost got caught out when the pits initially appeared open only for a marshall to suddenly display a red flag at the last minute because of a problem with the electronic indicator. Blaney, Hornish and Scott won the race off pit road ahead of Landon Cassill who'd jumped up nine spots on a two-tyre strategy. Once again Elliott had suffered a slow pit stop with a delay on the front tyre changes that dumped him out of the top ten through no fault of his own, but leaving him needing to make up the lost time on track.

Hornish was able to take the lead from Blaney at the restart and went on to pull out a comfortable lead, but as the stint wore on it seemed that Hornish's handling was once again on the wane and Blaney was able to close back up and retake the lead again on lap 207, going three-wide with lapped traffic to effect the pass. That was just before the fourth caution of the night, for debris seemingly from a tyre issue on Dylan Kwasniewski's car. The yellow was well-times, as with just over 40 laps remaining in the race everyone now had to make their final pit stop fo the day.

McDowell took a two-tyre gamble to emerge from pit road ahead of Blaney and, Hornish, with Scott in fourth ahead of Chase Elliott, Elliott Sadler, Regan Smith and Trevor Bayne. The restart quickly resulted in a new caution for Mike Bliss hitting the wall, and when racing finally resumed there were just 22 laps remaining in the race and all to play for. McDowell's two-tyre strategy left him with nothing to compete with the leaders and he dropped back. Hornish took the lead and succeeded in pulling out a half second led over Blaney who was under no threat while Smith and Elliott entertained themselves with some fierce squabbling over third place.

The race ran to the chequered flag without further incident, meaning that Blaney never had a chance to make in roads into Hornish's lead and when the flag dropped the #54 had a convincing victory after leading for 167 of the 250 laps, Hornish's third career win in the Nationwide Series.

"When it got down to the end of the race, I just drove my guts out to try and get us a lead. It was just an awesome day," he said. "It's just awesome ... To get out there and get in this car seven times a year, we take advantage of it. We got a pole at Talladega, finished fifth and then we did what we had to do today."

To his disappointment Blaney was forced to settle for second place: "Just didn't have enough there at the end," he sighed. "Our car was good but just not good enough today, but proud of this Discount Tire Mustang team and everyone at Team Penske for the effort today."

Behind Blaney, Regan Smith emerged as the victor in his battle for third place with Chase Elliott, while Elliott Sadler and Brian Scott succeeded in passing Michael McDowell in the closing laps to pick up fifth and sixth place respectively.

In championship terms, Chase Elliott maintains his two point lead in the standings over Elliott Sadler and Regan Smith, while in the team owner's standings the JGR #54 now has a 43 point lead over the Penske #22 thanks to Hornish continuing the high standard set by the car's usual incumbent.

Full race results, plus qualifying and practice speeds and full Nationwide Series championship standings