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Stenhouse owns Iowa's oval again

Ricky Stenhouse has won three straight at Iowa and has three of his five career Nationwide victories there.

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Ricky Stenhouse has won three straight at Iowa and has three of his five career Nationwide victories there.

NEWTON, Iowa — Ricky Stenhouse didn't need a fortuitous push from a teammate to win at Iowa Speedway this time. His No. 6 car kept the drama and his foes out of reach.

He led 209 of 250 laps and won Sunday's Pioneer Hi-Bred 250 NASCAR Nationwide race for his third straight win on Iowa's 0.875-mile short oval.

Stenhouse won both Iowa races in 2011, including in August when he blew an engine and was pushed across the finish line by Carl Edwards.

"This is the way you want to win. You want to go out here and dominate," Stenhouse said. "We want to go out there and lead laps, stay up front and get the job done."

Elloitt Sadler was second but his No. 2 Chevrolet was found to be too low in postrace inspection. Michael McDowell tied his career best by finishing third.

Darrell Wallace Jr., a member of the NASCAR Drive for Diversity program making his series debut, finished ninth for Joe Gibbs Racing.

INDY 500: Indianapolis Motor Speedway might have set a track record Sunday.

IndyCar levied $275,000 in fines to 13 teams, including pole-sitter Ryan Briscoe. There were 18 total infractions.

The three front-row starters — Briscoe, James Hinchcliffe and Ryan Hunter-Reay — must pay a combined total of $70,000 for six rules infractions.

None of the 13 drivers were assessed grid penalties, so their starting spots in Sunday's Indianapolis 500 will not be affected.

The steepest penalty was worth $65,000, issued to Fan Force United, which is fielding a car for ex-Formula One driver Jean Alesi. The team violated a weight rule.

Also, St. Petersburg resident Sebastien Bourdais set the fastest time on the final day of qualifying at 223.760 mph. Nobody was bumped out on "bump day" as only 33 cars made attempts.

ALL-STAR GRIPES: It didn't take teams long to figure out their best shot at winning the All-Star race would be in the first 20 laps.

Now fans are upset that winner Jimmie Johnson essentially sandbagged for 60 or so laps before turning it up to win Saturday's $1 million race at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

"Everybody knew if you could win that first segment, you could control the night," said Johnson, who indeed won the first of four 20-lap segments.

Under the new format, that gave him the lead heading into the mandatory pit stop leading to the final restart. The four segment leaders got to be the first four drivers on pit road.

NHRA: Jack Beckman got his first Funny Car win this season, beating Don Schumacher Racing teammate Ron Capps at the Summernationals in Topeka, Kan. David Grubnic edged Spencer Massey for his first Top Fuel title since 2006 and Allen Johnson topped Pro Stock, beating points leader Greg Anderson.

. late saturday

Sprint cup

Gearhead stats

(All-Star race)

Winner's average speed: 92.045 mph

Time of race: 1 hour, 28 minutes, 0 seconds

Margin of victory: 0.841 seconds

Caution flags: 6 for 10 laps

Lead changes: 7 among 7 drivers

Lap leaders: Ky.Busch 1-14; Johnson 15-20; Hamlin 21-36; Kenseth 37-40; Keselowski 41-60; Ku.Busch 61-62; Earnhardt Jr. 63-81; Johnson 82-90

Up next

Coca-Cola 600, 6 p.m. Sunday, Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway. TV: Ch. 13

Stenhouse owns Iowa's oval again 05/20/12 [Last modified: Sunday, May 20, 2012 11:09pm]

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