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NASCAR - Nationwide - U.S. Cellular 250 Preview

From The Sports Network

 
DATE: Saturday, August 4th
SITE: Iowa Speedway (2006) -- Newton, Iowa
TRACK: 0.875-mile oval - 1,075 feet (Frontstretch); 869 feet (Backstretch)
CAPACITY: 56,000 (Grandstand Seating)
ANNUAL: 4th
TELEVISION: ESPN 2
ANNOUNCERS: Vince Welch, Rusty Wallace, Ricky Craven
RADIO: Motor Racing Network (MRN)/SIRIUS NASCAR Satellite
START TIME: 8 p.m. (ET)
DEFENDING CHAMPION: Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
RUNNER-UP: Carl Edwards
POLE WINNER: Elliott Sadler (Finished 3rd)
LAPS: 250
MILES: 218.75
QUALIFYING RECORD: Ricky Stenhouse Jr, 2009 (135.135 m.p.h.)
RACE RECORD: Ricky Stenhouse Jr., 2011 (106.132 m.p.h.)
TOTAL PURSE: $1,171,305 (2011 figures)
PAYOUTS: 1st Place - $74,343; 2nd Place - $54,675; 3rd Place - $52,218
 
2011 Finish
FinishDriverStartFinishDriverStart
1Ricky Stenhouse Jr.46Reed Sorenson16
2Carl Edwards177Kenny Wallace7
3Elliott Sadler18Steve Wallace12
4Josh Wise189Michael McDowell9
5Aric Almirola1110David Mayhew13
2011 U.S. Cellular 250 Facts and Figures
AVERAGE SPEED: 99.937 m.p.h.
TIME OF RACE: 2 hours, 11 minutes, 20 seconds
MARGIN OF VICTORY: 0.066 second
CAUTION FLAGS: 6 for 38 laps
LEAD CHANGES: 14 among 9 drivers
POLE WINNER: Elliott Sadler (132.386 m.p.h.)
Past U.S. Cellular 250 Winners (Starting Position) Car -- Speed
2011 -- Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (4th) -- Ford -- 99.937 m.p.h.
2010 -- Kyle Busch (2nd) -- Toyota -- 101.222 m.p.h.
2009 -- Brad Keselowski (11th) -- Chevrolet -- 91.858 m.p.h.
 
NOTE: Formerly called U.S. Cellular 250 (2009-11).
 
Past U.S. Cellular 250 Pole Winners (Finish)
2011 -- Elliott Sadler -- 3rd
2010 -- Trevor Bayne -- 5th
2009 -- Ricky Stenhouse Jr -- 22nd
Last Race Results
RACE: Indiana 250 (July 28th)
SITE: Indianapolis Motor Speedway -- Indianapolis, Indiana
MILES: 250
LAPS: 100
WINNER: Brad Keselowski
RUNNER-UP: Sam Hornish Jr.
THIRD: Ty Dillon
FOURTH: Denny Hamlin
FIFTH: Austin Dillon
POLE WINNER: Kasey Kahne (Finished 25th)
TIME OF RACE: 1 hour, 59 minutes
AVERAGE SPEED: 126.050 m.p.h.
MARGIN OF VICTORY: 3.304 seconds
CAUTION FLAGS: 5 for 24 laps
LEAD CHANGES: 9 among 6 drivers
LAP LEADERS: K. Kahne - pole; Kyle Busch 1-17; J. Green 18; D. Hamlin 19-22;
B. Keselowski 23-26; Kyle Busch 27-36; K. Kahne 37-40; Kyle Busch
41-64; S. Hornish Jr. 65-71; B. Keselowski 72-100.
U.S. Cellular 250 Entry List
CarDriver, HometownCar/Name
01Mike Wallace (St. Louis, MO)Chevrolet/TBA
2Elliott Sadler (Emporia, VA)Chevrolet/One Main Financial
3Austin Dillon (Lewisville, NC)Chevrolet/American Ethanol
4Daryl Harr (St. Albert, Canada)Chevrolet/TBA
6 *Ricky Stenhouse Jr (Olive Brnch,MS)Ford/Fastenal
7Danica Patrick (Roscoe, IL)Chevrolet/GoDaddy.com
08Josh Richards (Shinnston, WV)Ford/Randy Hill Racing
10Mike Bliss (Milwaukie, OR)Toyota/TBA
11Brian Scott (Boise, ID)Toyota/Dollar General
12Sam Hornish Jr. (Defiance, OH)Dodge/Wurth
14Eric McClure (Chilhowie, VA)Toyota/Hefty/Reynolds Wrap
15Carl Long (Roxboro, NC)Chevrolet/Rick Ware Racing
18Michael McDowell (Glendale, AZ)Toyota/Pizza Ranch
19Tayler Malsam (Seattle WA)Toyota/G-Oil/Noah's Light Found.
20Darrell Wallace Jr. (Concord, NC)Toyota/TBA
22Ryan Blaney (High Point, NC)Dodge/Discount Tire
23Jamie Dick (Albuquerque, NM)Chevrolet/Viva Auto Group
24Casey Roderick (Lawrenceville, GA)Toyota/West Virginia Miners
30Jason Leffler (Long Beach, CA)Chevrolet/Accudoc Solutions
31Justin Allgaier (Riverton, IL)Chevrolet/Brandt
33Brendan Gaughan (Las Vegas, NV)Chevrolet/Menards
38Brad Sweet (Grass Valley. CA)Chevrolet/Great Clips
39Joey Gase (Cedar Rapids, IA)Ford/Go Green Racing
40Erik Darnell (Beach Park, FL)Chevrolet/TBA
41Timmy Hill (Port Tobacco, MD)Chevrolet/Rick Ware Racing
42Matt DiBenedetto (Grass Valley, CA)Chevrolet/TBA
43Michael Annett (Des Moines, IA)Ford/Northland Oil
44John Blankenship (Williamson, WV)Toyota/TBA
46Chase Miller (Denver, NC)Chevrolet/The Motorsports Group
47Tim Schendel (Sparta, WI)Chevrolet/Curtis Key Plumbing
50T.J. Bell (Reno, VA)Chevrolet/TBA
51Jeremy Clements (Spartanburg, SC)Chevrolet/Clements Automotive
52Justin Jennings (LaGrange, MO)Chevrolet/TBA
54Kurt Busch (Las Vegas, NV)Toyota/Monster Energy
70Johanna Long (Pensacola, FL)Chevrolet/Foretravel
71Matt Carter (Denver, NC)Chevrolet/Lilly Trucking
74Mike Harmon (Birmingport, AL)Chevrolet/Koma Unwind
75Michael Guerity (Rochester Hills, MI)Chevrolet/Rick Ware Racing
81Jason Bowles (Ontario, CA)Toyota/American Majority
87Joe Nemechek (Lakeland, FL)Toyota/AM/FM Energy Wood & Pellet
88Cole Whitt (Alpine, CA)Chevrolet/Clean Coal
89Morgan Shepherd (Conover, NC)Chevrolet/TBA
91Jeff Green (Owensboro, KY)Toyota/TBA
99Brett Moffitt (Grimes, IA)Toyota/TBA
 
Leading Contenders (Finish last three years)
Driver200920102011
Ricky Stenhouse Jr22nd14thWon
Elliott Sadler------3rd
Michael McDowell8th13th9th
Michael Annett11th7th12th
Jason Leffler3rd3rd13th
Sam Hornish Jr.------24th
Justin Allgaier15th8th29th
Brendan Gaughan25th31st---
Austin Dillon28th------
Kurt Busch---------
Danica Patrick---------
 
Mover of the Week
Cole Whitt - Started in 40th position and finished 17th
 
Sports Network Selections
Pick to Win - Austin Dillon
Darkhorse - Joe Nemechek
 
Last Week's Pick to Win (Elliott Sadler) - Finished 15th
Last Week's Darkhorse (Danica Patrick) - Finished 35th
 
NOTES:
The Nationwide Series makes its second stop in Iowa this season for the U.S. Cellular 250.

Points leader Elliott Sadler will seek to improve upon his first race at Iowa Speedway this year, in which he placed second behind Ricky Stenhouse Jr. The No.2 Chevrolet driver has racked up three wins this season, as well as seven top-five finishes and 14 top-10s. Sadler will need a good finish in order to fend off Austin Dillon and Stenhouse, who are one and 13 points behind, respectively.

Last year, Stenhouse won the race thanks to a shove from his Roush Fenway Racing teammate Carl Edwards. Stenhouse blew his engine coming out of the final turn of the last lap and then got rammed from behind by second-place runner Edwards, whose view was blocked by the plume of smoke that came from his teammate's car. The impact helped Stenhouse cross the finish line 0.066 seconds ahead of Edwards.

Stenhouse and Edwards battled during the entire race. In one instance Edwards prevented Stenhouse from taking the lead by shoving him up the track and nearly taking him out. Although Edwards led the most laps, a pit-road blunder cost him valuable track position. He had to roll back into his pit stall after a lug nut was missing from his left-rear tire and fell back into the 16th position.

After the final restart with 24 laps to go, Stenhouse and Edwards touched again while running among the top-five. Stenhouse then took the lead from Sadler three laps later and Edwards moved into second. Stenhouse appeared to be on his way to an easy win before his motor expired on the final lap. Sadler, the pole sitter, wound up finishing third.

In 2010, Kyle Busch put on a dominating performance to easily win the race. Busch claimed his ninth Nationwide victory of that season after leading 209 of 250 laps at the short 0.875-mile oval.

The Nationwide Series made its inaugural visit to Iowa in 2009, as Brad Keselowski passed Kyle Busch with eight laps remaining and then held off Busch on old tires to win the race.

While Busch and several other drivers on the lead lap pitted for tires during a late-race caution, Keselowski and crew chief Tony Eury Sr. decided to gamble, as Keselowski remained on the track. Busch moved around Keselowski to take the top position with 26 laps to go, but the 12th and final caution for an incident involving Justin Allgaier, Erik Darnell and Steve Wallace set up a 10-lap shootout to the finish. Keselowski passed Busch and reclaimed the lead to post his fourth of 14 career Nationwide Series titles.

Although this is just the fourth year of this race, Iowa Speedway has already hosted numerous races. The IndyCar Series has run there since 2007. The ARCA Series began competing at Iowa in 2006, and the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series began in 2009.

The Nationwide Series moves on to Watkins Glen, NY for the August 11 Zippo 200 at Watkins Glen International. Kurt Busch won last year's race there.

07/31 17:24:03 ET

As of July 31, 2012, at 05:24 PM ET

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