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Stenhouse Jr. crowned Nationwide champion again

Homestead, FL (Sports Network) - Ricky Stenhouse Jr. claimed his second consecutive Nationwide Series championship with a sixth-place finish in Saturday's Ford EcoBoost 300 season-ending race at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

Stenhouse beat Elliott Sadler by 23 points and rookie Austin Dillon by 24 markers to become the sixth different driver to win back-to-back titles in NASCAR's second-tier series. Dillon finished the race one spot ahead of Stenhouse in fifth, while Sadler placed ninth.

Regan Smith, who made his first Nationwide start in five years, won the 300- mile race at Homestead. Making his debut in the No. 5 Chevrolet for JR Motorsports, Smith grabbed the lead after a restart with 22 laps remaining and then ran in front from there, beating Kyle Busch to the finish line by 1.4 seconds for his maiden win in the series. Busch also finished second in Friday's Camping World Truck Series season-finale here.

Smith's last Nationwide start came in July 2007 at Daytona (189 races ago).

Brendan Gaughan finished third, while Sam Hornish Jr. took the fourth spot.

11/17 19:37:26 ET

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