Stenhouse Jr. going for four at Iowa
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - Ricky Stenhouse Jr. is definitely excited that Iowa Speedway is the next stop on the Nationwide Series schedule.
Stenhouse, the defending Nationwide champion, will attempt to win his fourth consecutive race at Iowa. His first two victories in the series came there last year. The series added a second date for this 0.875-mile track on its 2011 calendar and continued with two events there this year.
"I always look forward to Iowa Speedway," Stenhouse said. "Iowa is a driver's racetrack. It is going to be tough to win four in a row, but our No. 6 team is ready for the challenge. Roush Fenway has strong short and intermediate track programs, and Iowa Speedway has similar qualities of both types of tracks."
Kyle Busch is the last driver to win four Nationwide races in a row at the same racetrack. Busch scored a season-sweep at Texas in 2008 and '09. He collected his fifth straight victory there in April 2010.
When Nationwide last competed at Iowa in May, Stenhouse put on a dominating performance by leading 209 of 250 laps. He held off Elliott Sadler in the closing laps, beating Sadler to the finish line by 1.5 seconds. The day before the race, Stenhouse sustained damage to the right side of his primary car when he made contact with the wall. The team avoided having to use their backup vehicle.
Sadler comes to Iowa with only a one-point lead over rookie and Richard Childress Racing teammate Austin Dillon. Stenhouse is currently 13 points out of the lead.
Kurt Busch and Sam Hornish Jr. are those drivers who will attempt the Pocono/Iowa combo this weekend.
Busch is scheduled to drive the No. 54 car for Kyle Busch Motorsports. He raced at Iowa for the first time when Nationwide competed there earlier this year.
"Last race, going into it, I knew guys like Stenhouse Jr. and Sadler had this track figured out, and their cars were dialed in," Kurt Busch said. "It was the first time, however, that myself and the KBM team were seeing the track together. Our (car) was good, and we were competitive."
Sam Hornish Jr., a full-time Nationwide competitor, will drive the No. 22 car for Penske Racing in Sunday's Sprint Cup Series race at Pocono. He will continue to be behind the wheel of that car for the unforeseeable future in wake of A.J. Allmendinger's indefinite suspension by NASCAR for violating its substance-abuse policy. Allmendinger was released by Penske on Wednesday. Hornish has been driving his car since last month's Cup race at Daytona.
Forty-three teams are on the preliminary entry list for the U.S. Cellular 250.
Series: NASCAR Nationwide. Date: Saturday, August 4. Race: U.S. Cellular 250. Site: Iowa Speedway. Track: 0.875-mile oval. Start time: 8 p.m. (et). Laps: 250. Miles: 218.75. Television: ESPN 2. Radio: Motor Racing Network (MRN) /SIRIUS NASCAR Radio.
08/01 18:30:52 ET