Hornish holds off Blaney and wins at Iowa
Sam Hornish Jr. secured his third career NASCAR Nationwide Series victory Sunday at Iowa Speedway.
Sam Hornish dominanted in the Get To Know Newton 250 NASCAR Nationwide Series Race at Iowa Speedway in Newton on Sunday. Hornish led 167 laps of the 250 that made up the race to claim his third-career Nationwide win and his first in two starts for Joe Gibbs Racing this year. Most of the remaining laps were led by Ryan Blaney. Blaney came home second after leading 80 laps.
"I knew this was going to be a great opportunity for me," Hornish said of the chance to drive for JGR.
The No. 7 JR Motorsports of Regan Smith finished third, the No. 9 JR Motorsports Chevrolet of Chase Elliott fourth, and the No. 2 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet of Elliott Sadler rounded out the top-five.
"The only thing working was track position," Smith said. "I think either one of our cars, mine or Chase's could've won if we could've gotten up front."
Blaney started on the pole, but Hornish took the lead on the first lap and remained up front until Blaney claimed his first lead just past lap 90. For most of the race, the battle was a two-man fight between Hornish and Blaney.
Hornish returned to the lead on lap 150, but relinquished the top spot to Blaney, again on lap 207.
Michael McDowell was the only driver other than Hornish or Blaney to lead laps. McDowell inherited the lead for his No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota by taking only two tires and getting off pit road first during the fourth caution of the race. McDowell was credited with leading three laps before Blaney and Hornish overpowered him on the restart.
Hornish took the lead for good when he got by Blaney on the final restart of the race with just 22 laps left to play.
"We weren't good enough on new tires. We took off way too tight," Blaney said. "I thought we made good adjustments on the last stop to help us take off.
By the end of the race, McDowell had dropped back to seventh. The No. 11 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota of Elliott Sadler finished sixth, the No. 2 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet of Brian Scott seventh, the No. 3 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet of Ty Dillon was eighth, the No. 6 Roush Fenway Racing Ford of Trevor Bayne was ninth, and the No. 01 JD Motorsports Chevrolet of Landon Cassill rounded out the top-10.
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