Sam Hornish Jr. dominated the Get To Know Newton 250 NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Iowa Speedway in Newton on Sunday, leading 167 laps of the 250 that made up the race en route to his third-career win. It was his first-ever Nationwide win on a short track and his first win in two of seven scheduled starts behind the wheel of the No. 54 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota.
"I knew this was going to be a great opportunity for me," Hornish said of the chance to drive for JGR.
Ryan Blaney, who led most of the remaining laps, finished second after leading 80 laps. For most of the race, the battle up front was a two-driver battle between Hornish and Blaney. The only other lap leader was Michael McDowell, who led three laps under caution after taking only two tires to get off pit road first on lap 214. With two older tires, McDowell dropped back to seventh by the end.
Regan Smith finished third, his JR Motorsports teammate Chase Elliott was fourth, and Elliott Sadler rounded out the top-five.
"The only thing working was track position," Smith said. "I think either one of our cars, mine or Chase's could've won if we could've gotten up front."
Hornish took the lead from pole sitter Blaney at the start of the race and led until Blaney took the lead for the first time just past lap 90. Hornish got back by to reclaim the top spot on lap 150.
Blaney was back up front on lap 207, and Blaney and Hornish ran one-two until McDowell used pit strategy to take the lead under caution on lap 214. As soon as the race returned to green, Blaney raced back into the lead and Hornish into second. The yellow flag waved one more time with 29 laps to go, and when the race restarted, Hornish took over the lead for good.
"We weren't good enough on new tires," Blaney said. "We took off way too tight. I thought we made good adjustments on the last stop to help us take off."
Brian Scott finished sixth, Ty Dillon was eighth, Trevor Bayne ninth, and Landon Cassill finished 10th.