Ricky Stenhouse Jr. only had one thing in mind on Saturday and that was to win. And Ricky would do anything it took to win at Iowa even if that would be making a deal with the devil.
Early on in the race it looked as if Sam Hornish Jr. ,who was filling in for the injured Brad Keselowski, was destined to be the winner at Iowa. But dropped off the lead lap after blowing a tire near the race’s halfway point. Which left the door wide open for the Roush Fenway teammates.
Yes, I said teammates but the bumping and thumping between Edwards and Stenhouse made it look like the two couldn’t stay each other. Stenhouse drove hard into the corner and took the lead from Edwards but at that speed couldn’t stick it and came down the track some and that’s when Edwards decided to bump and run and that he did but the evidence was left on Stenhouse’s car.
But in exciting fashion, Stenhouse tracked down his teammate in an impressive fashion to win the U.S. Cellular 250 National Series race at Iowa Speedway. As Stenhouse neared the checkered flag, his engine blew up and he slowed on the track. Edwards, who was trailing Stenhouse at the time, slipped behind him and instead of driving around Stenhouse’s “blown up” car to the win, he hit the Stenhouse Mustang in the rear, shoving it across the finish line to the win.
It was crazy finish, not only for its unlikely result but also because Stenhouse and Edwards had battled aggressively for the lead earlier and were placed opposite each other again for the finish. “The motor was kind of messing up on us,” Stenhouse said in victory lane, where he celebrated minus his crumpled race car.
Stenhouse confirmed that there was not any question he would race Edwards hard, after the two bumped several times during Saturday night’s event. “I was aggressive there at the end,” he said. “You have to do what you have to do to win. He (Edwards) kind of ran us up the race track. I wasn’t about to back down.”
Edwards dominated the race, but pit-road problems dropped him from the lead with 66 laps to go. A missing lugnut during a caution-flag pit stop forced Edwards to back up on pit road, dropping him to 16th for the restart. It didn’t take Edwards long to catch the leaders, as he was trying to reel down Stenhouse.
“He started turning a little,” Edwards said. “When I tried to turn more, the front tires were sliding. I hoped he would be out of the way. I don’t think anyone’s ever finished 1-2 with two wrecked race cars like that.”
Edwards stated that he and Stenhouse “will work it out at the shop. Ricky’s very fast. He does a great job. We really get along. He has a lot of enthusiasm. I think we both were thinking about wrecking each other, but we didn’t plan on doing it like that.”
With Saturday night’s win, Stenhouse swept both NASCAR Nationwide Series races at Iowa.