Sam Hornish was dominant in the Get To Know Newton 250 NASCAR Nationwide Series Race at Iowa Speedway in Newton on Sunday. Hornish led 167 laps of the 250 that made up the race to claim his third-career Nationwide win, his first in two starts from behind the No. 54 Joe Gibbs Racin Toyota this year. Most of the remaining laps were led by Ryan Blaney. Blaney finished second after leading 80 laps.
“I knew this was going to be a great opportunity for me,” Hornish said of the opportunity to drive for JGR.
Regan Smith finished third, Chase Elliott 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.”
Blaney started on the pole, but Hornish took the lead on the first lap and remained up front until Blaney claimed his first lead just past lap 90. For most of the race, the battle for the lead was a two-man battle between Hornish and Blaney.
Hornish returned to the lead on lap 150, but he relinquished to top spot to Blaney, again, on lap 207.
Michael McDowell was the only driver other than Hornish or Blaney to lead laps. McDowell inherited the lead by taking only two tires and getting off pit road first during the fourth caution of the race on 214. McDowell was credited with leading three laps before Blaney and Hornish passed him to return to the first and second spots in the running order soon after the restart.
Hornish took the lead for good when he got by Blaney on the final restart of the race that followed a caution with 29 laps to go.
“We weren’t good enough on new tires. We took off way too tight,” Blaney said. “I thought we made good adjustments on the last stop to help us take off.
By the end of the race, McDowell had dropped back to seventh. Brian Scott finished sixth, Ty Dillon was eighth, Trevor Bayne was ninth, and Landon Cassill rounded out the top-10.
– Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images