The checkered flag in the Pioneer 250 NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Iowa Speedway in Newton was delayed significantly after rain on Saturday evening pushed the event that was originally scheduled to be a Saturday night race to a Sunday 10 a.m. local start and a red flag halted the race for awhile, also for rain, with 86 laps to go. But when the race was finally completed on Sunday afternoon, Trevor Bayne was the driver in victory lane, celebrating the race win.
“I am so proud of this team and what they accomplished here today, nnot giving up even until the end,” Bayne said. “We were so far back, we could barely see the lap car. We got caught in some lap traffic. I can’t even catch my breath right now.”
The win was Ford’s 200th in the Nationwide Series and the 999th across all three of NASCAR’s national series (Sprint Cup, Nationwide and Camping World Truck). It was the second-career victory for Bayne. He was driving the No. 6 Roush Fenway Racing Ford, two-time reigning series champion Ricky Stenhouse Jr. drove to three wins in the four most-recent Nationwide races at Iowa.
“This team, at Iowa, has been so good,” Bayne said. “It’s such and opportunity and a blessing to be a part of this team.”
The win capped off a week in which Bayne also exchanged vows with longtime girlfriend, and now wife, Ashton.
“It’s such a special week for me,” Bayne said.
Austin Dillon dominated the race prior to the Sunday rain delay after starting from the pole for the third-consecutive event. After starting the race from the 14th spot, Bayne made his way to second in the running order by lap 100.
With Dillon in the lead and Bayne running second, a caution came out with about 90 laps to go for a multi-car incident involving Travis Pastrana, Alex Bowman and Ryan Blaney, along with a couple of others. Blaney was driving the No. 22 in a substitute role for Joey Logano, who had to leave Iowa for Sunday’s Sprint Cup Series race at Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, Pa.
It was during that caution that rain returned to the track and red-flagged the race with 86 laps to go. With the race already past the halfway point, if rains had continued and the race couldn’t be restarted on Sunday, the event would have been considered official and then-leader Dillon declared the winner.
But the weather did clear and the race did get back underway. In all, Dillon wound up leading more than 80 percent of the race — 207 of the 250 laps that made up the event. Bayne caught Dillon in lap traffic with about 15 laps to go and the two drivers raced-side-by side and then made contact, loosening up Dillon’s car and allowing Bayne to take the lead with 11 laps to go.
“We ran him (Dillon) down,” Bayne said. “We raced him hard.”
Dillon finished third, followed by former teammate Elliott Sadler in third. Sam Hornish was fourth, and Kyle Larson rounded out the top-five.
– Photo courtesy of Getty Images for NASCAR