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Stenhouse takes winning momentum to Charlotte

Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - Ricky Stenhouse Jr. is heading in the right direction in his Nationwide Series title defense.

Stenhouse won a Nationwide race at Iowa Speedway for the third straight time last Sunday. The Roush Fenway Racing driver left Iowa with a 28-point lead over second-place Elliott Sadler.

However, NASCAR penalized Sadler with a loss of six points earlier this week for a rules infraction that occurred at Iowa. During post-race inspection, NASCAR officials discovered that Sadler's No. 2 Chevrolet did not meet the minimum rear car heights. His crew chief, Luke Lambert, received a $10,000 fine for the violation.

So Stenhouse now holds a 34-point advantage, as the series runs its 11th race of the season on Saturday at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

"We are coming off a big win at Iowa, so we will carry that momentum with us into Charlotte," Stenhouse said. "Every driver wants to win at Charlotte in front of their family and friends. Last year, we sat on the pole and finished fourth, so we are looking to improve that finish. We are going to try to go for back-to-back wins."

Stenhouse's first two wins this season came at Las Vegas and Texas, which are the same length as Charlotte (1.5 miles).

Kyle Busch, Denny Hamlin, Kevin Harvick, Kasey Kahne, Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano are those Sprint Cup Series regulars competing in this race. Logano will attempt to win his third straight Nationwide event. He won at Talladega Superspeedway and Darlington Raceway earlier this month. He did not compete at Iowa.

"I think we will have a shot this weekend," Logano said. "I would love to make it four wins this year and three-in-a-row. Charlotte is a place that I've always loved racing at, and it is right here in the heart of all the NASCAR world, so to win right here would be huge."

Busch and Mark Martin hold the record for most Nationwide race wins at Charlotte with six each. Busch's most recent victory at this track occurred in May 2010.

Forty-six teams are on the preliminary entry list for the History 300.

Series: NASCAR Nationwide. Date: Saturday, May 27. Race: History 300. Site: Charlotte Motor Speedway. Track: 1.5-mile oval. Start time: 2:45 p.m. (et). Laps: 200. Miles: 300. 2011 Winner: Matt Kenseth. Television: ABC. Radio: Performance Racing Network (PRN)/SIRIUS NASCAR Satellite.

05/23 18:23:19 ET

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