Stenhouse Jr. picks up first Nationwide win

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, Last Updated: 4:15 AM ET

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. claimed his first NASCAR Nationwide Series win after holding off his Roush Fenway Racing teammate and Sprint Cup Series regular Carl Edwards in the closing laps of Sunday's Iowa John Deere Dealers 250 at Iowa Speedway.

Stenhouse and Edwards swapped the lead numerous times in the second half of the 250-lap race before Stenhouse moved in front for good following the last restart with 21 laps to go. He crossed the finish line 0.4 seconds ahead of Edwards for his first win in his 51st start.

"During that last caution, I was praying for a good restart," Stenhouse said. "My restarts haven't been that great all year, but it came through."

Stenhouse became the first Nationwide regular to win a race in this series since March 2010 when Justin Allgaier took the checkered flag for the first time in his career at Bristol Motor Speedway.

When the series most recently competed at Iowa last July, Stenhouse wrecked his primary car in practice and then crashed his backup vehicle in qualifying. He managed to finish the race in 14th in his second backup car.

"Iowa was definitely not my favorite place; now it is," he said.

Last year, Stenhouse got off to a slow start during his rookie season and almost lost his ride with Roush Fenway. But Stenhouse bounced back later in the year to claim Nationwide rookie-of-the-year honors.

Edwards arrived at the 0.875-mile Iowa track early in the morning after winning Saturday night's NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway. He and Brad Keselowski were the only Sprint Cup regulars to compete in this race.

"Our car was really fast during the earlier run," Edwards said. "I was going kind of easy right before the final run. I asked for some air pressure adjustments that I shouldn't have, and I was really loose from there."

Keselowski finished third, while Reed Sorenson and Elliott Sadler rounded out the top-five. Sadler rebounded from an early-race pit-road speeding penalty.

"I definitely put my team in a hole, but my guys had such good pit stops," Sadler said. "They got my track position back for me."

Sadler now holds a seven-point lead over Sorenson, while Stenhouse is only one point behind Sorenson.

Kenny Wallace placed sixth in his 500th career Nationwide start. Wallace joined Jason Keller as the only drivers in the series that have reached the 500 mark.

Michael McDowell took the seventh spot. McDowell drove the No.18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota, which is normally occupied by Kyle Busch.

Justin Allgaier, James Buescher and Camping World Truck Series regular Austin Dillon completed the top-10.


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