NEWTON – Ricky Stenhouse Jr. will attempt to do some few other drivers have ever done.
With a trip to victory lane after the NASCAR Nationwide Series U.S. Cellular 250 Saturday, the defending Nationwide series season points champion would win his fourth straight race at Iowa Speedway.
Stenhouse won last year’s U.S. Cellular 250, which was sandwiched between wins in the John Deere Dealers of Iowa 250 in May 2011 and Pioneer Hi-Bred 250 last May. He will drive the same car that he had here in May, according to crew chief Mike Kelley.
“Coming here to Iowa, we really don’t approach it any different than we do any other racetrack,” Stenhouse said. “We come here to win just like we do every other racetrack. It has just worked out the last three times the guys have given me great race cars.”
Stenhouse said he has a strong feel for the car when it is on the Iowa Speedway track. Last year, practice was slow, but adjustments allowed Stenhouse and the team to dial in to the winning setup.
“Toward the end of practice we hit on something that I felt that was going to be good for the race,” Stenhouse said. “it turned out it was, so we’ll be looking for that feel here.”
Stenhouse, who ran at Knoxville Raceway Thursday night and finished 12th in his first race there since 2007, is third in points, tying points leader Elliott Sadler with a series high three race victories. Stenhouse trails Sadler by only 13 points and is 12 back of Sadler’s Richard Childress Racing teammate Austin Dillon, who is in his rookie season in the Nationwide series.
Hall of Fame NASCAR race car driver Richard Petty will be the guest of honor for the third “Rusty’s Roast” at Iowa Speedway’s Newton Club on July 13. The event celebrating the career of “The King” will honor Petty’s highlights, straying from the actual roast format.
The fundraiser, named for Iowa Speedway designer Rusty Wallace, will benefit The NASCAR Foundation and Iowa Speedway Foundation. Speakers will include Petty, Wallace, NASCAR President Mike Helton, former Petty crew chief Dale Inman and current Richard Petty Motorsports driver and Des Moines native Michael Annett.
Four hundred tickets are available for the event. Petty has promised to pose for photos and provide autographs for each attendee.
For tickets, call (704) 348-9885 or visit NASCAR.COM/foundation.
“It’s just a real honor to be asked to be a part of this event,” Petty said in a news release. “I’ve been racing all my life, and it’s always special to be appreciated by the fans and fellow drivers. This event is all about raising money for charity too. Hopefully, we can get a lot of people to come out, have some fun and make a difference too.”
Moffitt makes Nationwide debut
Grimes native Brett Moffitt will make his NASCAR Nationwide Series debut Saturday in the U.S. Cellular 250. He will run for RAB racing.
Moffitt will have double-duty this weekend, running in the NASCAR K&N Series Pork Be Inspired 150 Friday night. Moffitt is the K&N Pro Series East points leader, 22 points ahead of Chase Elliott. Moffitt, who has run at Hawkeye Downs Speedway, entered this weekend with two wins and eight top-10 wins, including seven in the top five, in nine starst this season.
Wallace Jr. tops in practice
Darrell Wallace Jr. was the fastest driver during practice Friday night. Wallace recorded a fast-lap time of 23.691, which is good for 132.962 miles per hour.
Brendan Gaughan was second, while Brett Moffitt was third with a time of 23.771 at 132.514 mph.