The US Cellular 250 NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Iowa Speedway in Newton on Saturday was dominated by the two most recent winners at the track -- Brad Keselowski, who won last August, and Sam Hornish Jr., the victor when the series last visited the track in May. The two combined to lead all but 39 laps of the 250-lap race, most of those led by Keselowski. Keselowski led 146 laps en route to his second-career win at Iowa. Hornish, meanwhile, wound up fourth.
"Great night for the Discount Tire Mustang. When Brad makes his trek across the country, the only mission is to win," crew chief Jeremy Bullins said, noting Keselowski's travel between Pocono Raceway, site of this weekend's Sprint Cup Series race, and Iowa Speedway.
Keselowski and Hornish rand first and second for most of the remainder of the race after Hornish took the race lead for the first time on lap 61. He lost that lead a few laps later to Keselowski. Hornish then retook the top spot by getting off pit road first during a caution that came out on lap 108. He maintained the position until Keselowski moved back into the lead on 164. Keselowski was then credited with leading all of the remaining laps.
Hornish lost second due to pit strategy during the fifth and final caution of the race with eight laps remaining when he opted to take four tires while several others took two. As a result, he restarted seventh. Instead, it was Michael McDowell who lined up next to Keselowski for the restart.
"It was the chance that we had to go out and win," Hornish said. "Maybe we would've done it with two."
McDowell briefly got in front of Keselowski when the race returned to green with three laps to go, but by the time the lap was completed, Keselowski was back up front. McDowell held on to finish second. Trevor Bayne finished third, and by the end, Hornish got back up to fourth. Ty Dillon rounded out the top-five.
"Our Pizza Ranch Camry was really strong," McDowell said. "Took two tires on that stop there at the end, and the Pizza Ranch crew had a great stop."
With his third-place finish, Trevor Bayne won the fourth and final $100,000 Nationwide Dash 4 Cash bonus as the highest finisher among the four drivers eligible. Bayne started the race on the pole and led the first 31 laps before losing the lead to Keselowski on lap 32.
"It's really cool for our team," Bayne said of winning the bonus. "This weekend we had speed. Sometimes we don't know where it comes from. Some weeks we have speed; some weeks we don't."
Elliott Sadler also led significant laps early in the race. He wound up finishing 10th. Other top-10 finishers included Regan Smith, Brian Scott, Chase Elliott and Dylan Kwasniewski. By finishing higher than Elliott, Smith closed to within two points of Elliott and the championship points lead.