Hornish Iowa Winner

Sam Hornish

Hornish celebrates his third career win and first driving for Joe Gibbs Racing. (Photo: Jeff Wackerlin)

Race Results

NEWTON, Iowa - Sam Hornish Jr. turned in a dominating performance to win Sunday’s NASCAR Nationwide Series Get to Know Newton 250 at Iowa Speedway.

Hornish led 167 laps on his way to his third career series win and his first behind the wheel of the Joe Gibbs Racing Monster Toyota. He became the sixth different winner at Iowa Speedway and the eighth of the 2014 season.

“I knew this would be a great opportunity for me,” Hornish said, who has a seven race deal this season with JGR. “I know it’s seven races, but it’s also seven chances to win, every time you get into the car.”

Hornish started from outside the front row and quickly showed he was a force to be reckoned with by leading the early laps of the race. The day’s run made him more excited for his five other opportunities this season with the team.

“It’s just awesome,” Hornish said. “To get out there and get in this car seven times a year, we take advantage of it. We got a pole at Talladega, finished fifth and then we did what we had to do today.
“When it got down to the end of the race, I just drove my guts out to try and get us a lead. It was just an awesome day.”

Ryan Blaney, Regan Smith, Chase Elliott and Elliott Sadler rounded out the top five.

“Just didn’t’ have enough there at the end, “ said a dejected Blaney, who started the race from the pole. “Our car was good but just not good enough today, but proud of this Discount Tire Mustang team and every at Team Penske for the effort today.”

Smith and his JR Motorsports teammate Elliott gave the team a solid day with a pair of top-five finishes.

“We were just struggling all day long for clean air,” Smith said. “We had two of our (JR Motorsports) cars in the top-five. You can’t be mad about that.”

Elliott, who graduated from high school earlier this weekend, came into the race as the series point leader and remained there after his performance.

“We just kept having to play catch-up all day,” Elliott said. “This Nationwide Series is tough. Our program needs a little work. We’ll go back and work on it and get ready for next week at Charlotte.”

Brian Scott, Michael McDowell, Ty Dillon, defending race winner Trevor Bayne and Landon Cassill completed the first ten finishers.

McDowell tried to steal the show with a two-tire stop when the leaders came to pit road under caution on lap 215. But fresh tires proved to be the difference and McDowell was methodically run down by Hornish, who jumped into the top spot on a lap 229 final restart.

Elliott has a two-point lead over Sadler and Smith in the standings.

The NASCAR Nationwide Series now heads to Charlotte Motor Speedway next Saturday afternoon.

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