Nationwide Series points battle is heating up as they head back to Iowa

[media-credit id=2 align=”alignright” width=”210″][/media-credit]The march to the 2012 Nationwide Series championship begins its stretch drive this weekend at Iowa Speedway and somewhere Ricky Stenhouse Jr. is smiling. If there ever was a driver who has a track on lock down it would be Stenhouse at Iowa.

Since May 2011, Stenhouse has been nothing short of dominant on the 7/8th mile track located in Newton, Iowa.  Stenhouse has posted three consecutive wins at the track and looks to score his fourth straight when they take the green flag on Saturday night. In his last three starts at Iowa, Stenhouse has led 275 laps which includes a race high 209 laps in the May race as he held off Elliott Sadler by 1.465 seconds.

Four drivers head into Saturday night’s race separated by just 28 points.  Sadler leads his Richard Childress Racing (RCR) teammate Austin Dillon by one point while Stenhouse sits 13 points back and Sam Hornish Jr. is just 28 markers behind the leader. If the race in May was any indication then we should see these four guys running up front by race end on Saturday as they all finished inside the top-12 with Stenhouse, Sadler and Dillon all recording top-5 finishes.

Looking at the remaining NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) schedule in 2012, it should remain to be a four car battle all the way to the checkers at Homestead-Miami Speedway in November.  Sadler has been rock solid pretty much the entire season posting victories at Phoenix, Bristol and Chicago. Then you have Stenhouse who posted dominant wins at Las Vegas and Iowa before finding issues at Charlotte, Dover and Michigan.

Which leads to the kid, Dillon who leads the NNS in top-5 and top-10 finishes in 2012 and who also posted in first NNS win at Kentucky in June. Dillon who is a rookie in the series captured the Camping World Truck Series title last year and has put himself in strong position to add the NNS title to his trophy case.

Hornish Jr. could be considered the dark horse but has been as consistent as the three main front runners this season and has posted 12 top-10’s in 19 starts. Hornish also won at Phoenix last November, so if any or all of the top-3 hit any problems coming down to Homestead he could be the one left standing holding the trophy.

Should be an exciting race coming up on Saturday night and a very exciting last 14 races of the 2012 NNS schedule. I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if the championship comes down to the final lap.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of


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