Ricky Stenhouse Jr. spun out on the final turn, and then was shoved across the finish line by Carl Edwards in a wild finish at the U.S. Cellular 250 on Friday night at Iowa Speedway. It was the second NASCAR Nationwide Series victory of Stenhouse’s career and second this season in Newton.
Stenhouse, who was angered earlier in the race when Edwards brushed into him while passing for the lead, came out to be heading to an easy victory when his rear end got loose and smoke started billowing from his No. 6 car. Edwards came out to have an opening to pass for the win, although the smoke made it impossible for him to see, and he ended up ramming into the car of Stenhouse, shoving it sideways across the finish line as a sold-out crowd of 48,271 roared in disbelief.
Stenhouse said, “It was a close one, but we made it. He hit us pretty square and shot us across the line.”
“I still haven’t seen the replay with the audio, but that’s the most amazing finish I’ve been involved with in a long time. That was spectacular,” Edwards said.
Stenhouse becomes the first Nationwide regular to win two competitions on the circuit this season. The 23-year-old Mississippian won the John Deere Dealers 250 here last May 22 in definitely less dramatic fashion.
Pole-sitter Elliot Sadler ended third.
The thrilling end made instant buzz across auto-racing circles. Jeff Gordon, four-time Sprint Cup winner, tweeted right away after the competition, “Wow! That’s the craziest finish I’ve ever seen. That was awesome! Great drive by Stenhouse.”