Pulling a tough double duty weekend in both Pennsylvania and Iowa Brad Keselowski held off a late race challenge from Michael McDowell to land the No. 22 Team Penske Ford in Iowa Speedway's victory lane in the US Cellular 250. It was Keselowski's third win of 2014 and 30th of his NASCAR Nationwide Series career.
After a late caution flag Keselowski and McDowell were on the front row for a restart with three laps left and McDowell was able to pass Keselowski into and out of turns one and two. However, McDowell got loose in Turn 3 and Keselowski went back by to claim the win.
"I know there are a lot of people watching that want to see Nationwide only guys in this car, but circumstances didn't work out for that and I'm glad to be here," Keselowski said in victory lane. "Glad to support this team and glad to be in victory lane at Iowa."
It is Keselowski's third Nationwide Series win at the 0.875 mile Iowa Speedway. Keselowski will try to sweep the Nationwide-Sprint Cup weekend for the third time this season albeit this time at two different track if he can win Sunday's Cup race at Pocono Raceway.
McDowell, who was driving the No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota, held off Trevor Bayne to finish second and Bayne won the Nationwide Dash4Cash $100,000 prize by finishing third and highest of the four eligible drivers.
Bayne led the field to the green flag in Newton, Iowa after winning the pole on Saturday afternoon. He held off Keselowski's challenge for the lead and led when the first caution of the race flew on lap 25 of 250 for debris. Elliott Sadler was one of only a few cars to pit and dropped from ninth to 21st for the lap 31 restart.
Keselowski was able to pass Bayne for the lead on lap 32 and he led when the second caution flew on lap 51 when Tanner Berryhill stopped on track. Berryhill finished 35th of the 40 cars. Sadler, who had driven back to the top 10, inherited the lead by staying out along with Chase Pistone, Kenny Wallace, and Kevin Swindell. Dakoda Armstrong took two tires and restarted fifth with Keselowski sixth and Bayne seventh after taking four tires.
On the lap 58 restart Sadler held the lead but Sam Hornish Jr passed him on lap 61 to gain his first lead of the race. Hornish, who was in the Joe Gibbs Racing No. 54 Toyota, restarted ninth with four tires. Keselowski would catch Hornish and pass him for the lead on lap 72.
At lap 100 the top five was Keselowski, Hornish, Bayne, McDowell, and Chase Elliott in the top five. The third caution flew for debris on lap 108 and after pit stops Hornish was in the lead with Keselowski second for the lap 117 restart.
Hornish, the May winner in Iowa, was strong on this run and held the lead over Keselowski until Brad was finally able to get past him on lap 164. The fourth caution then flew on lap 184 when Dakoda Armstrong lost a right-rear tire and spun off Turn 2. He finished in 21st,
Keselowski this time held the lead off pit road over Hornish and led the field back to green on lap 190. He had a comfortable lead over Hornish with only nine laps left when the fifth caution flew on lap 242 when James Buescher hit the front stretch wall after some contact with Brendan Gaughan. Buescher had some significant damage to his No. 99 RAB Racing Toyota and finished 26th.
Sam Hornish Jr committed to coming to pit road and in doing so Keselowski also dove onto pit road before passing the commitment line. Keselowski took two tires and exited the pits with the lead. Michael McDowell got off second also with two tires. Also taking two tires were Trevor Bayne, Brian Scott, Regan Smith, and Ty Dillon. Hornish took four tires and would restart on lap 248 with three laps left in seventh place.
McDowell got a great restart and cleared Keselowski for the lead off Turn 2 but then got loose on the bottom of Turn 3 and Keselowski passed him on the high side and cruised to the win from there. McDowell battled hard with Bayne for the final two laps and off Turn 4 on the final lap Hornish also joined the battle.
In the end it was Brad Keselowski with the victory, Michael McDowell second, Trevor Bayne third, Sam Hornish Jr fourth, Ty Dillon fifth, Regan Smith sixth, Brian Scott seventh, Chase Elliott eighth, Dylan Kwasniewski ninth, and Elliott Sadler tenth. For Kwasniewski it was his first top 10 finish since the season opening race in Daytona.
Finishing in 11th was Brendan Gaughan and Josh Berry finished 12th in his Nationwide Series debut. He was driving the No. 5 JR Motorsports Chevrolet. Landon Cassill finished 13th, Chris Buescher 14th, Ryan Reed 15th, Mike Bliss 16th, JJ Yeley 17th, and Chase Pistone was the final lead lap car in 18th. Rounding out the top 20 were Kenny Wallace in 19th and Ryan Sieg in 20th.
After 20 races Chase Elliott holds a two point lead in the standings over his JR Motorsports teammate Regan Smith. Elliott Sadler is 12 points back in third, and Ty Dillon is also 12 points back in fourth. Trevor Bayne is 41 points back in fifth and Brian Scott is also 41 points back in sixth. Chris Buescher is seventh, Brendan Gaughan eighth, Ryan Reed ninth, and James Buescher tenth.
The next race on the NASCAR Nationwide Series schedule is the Zippo 200 at Watkins Glen International on Saturday, August 9th.
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Tags: Brad Keselowski, Brian Scott, Chase Elliott, Elliott Sadler, Joe Gibbs Racing, JR Motorsports, Michael McDowell, Motorsports, NASCAR, NASCAR Nationwide Series, Regan Smith, sam hornish jr, Team Penske, Trevor Bayne, Ty Dillon
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