ABC5 Sports Desk
(NEWTON, Iowa – December 5, 2012) For the second time in as many days, a NASCAR race at Iowa Speedway has been named a ‘Top Race', this time by the Nationwide Series. As one of only three out of 34 Nationwide races in 2012 honored by the sanctioning body, the May 20 ‘Pioneer Hi-Bred 250' had the ‘top' rating for competition and entertainment value.
According to the NASCAR report, reigning Nationwide Series champion Ricky Stenhouse Jr. completed the trifecta in the year's first of two visits to the 7/8-mile tri-oval. Stenhouse swept both Iowa events in 2011 and won for a third consecutive time on May 20 of this year, ringing up a perfect 150.0 Driver Rating in the process. He may have been statistically dominant, but fans saw each of the top six drivers in the standings and all four manufacturers lead a lap. In the end, Stenhouse was out front for 209 of 250 laps, and beat Elliott Sadler by 1.465 seconds in a mirror image of the 2012 season championship.
"We are literally overwhelmed that both of NASCAR's national series' racing at our track have rated Iowa Speedway as the ‘top race' of the year," said Doug Fritz, Iowa Speedway CEO. "But I have to say, this is no fluke. The racing at Iowa Speedway is simply the closest, most competitive and most entertaining that you will find anywhere. In any case, we are grateful to NASCAR for honoring us twice this week, and we look forward to another great season of NASCAR racing in 2013."