Thursday, Jul 07
The NASCAR XFINITY Series heads to the Iowa Speedway for the fifth annual 3M 250. The event will mark the first of two stops at the 0.875-mile oval just outside of Des Moines.

There are 40 drivers currently featured on the entry list for the event, meaning no one will go home after qualifying on Saturday afternoon. The No. 89 Chevrolet withdrew from the event, making 40 drivers on the list.
 
Ben Rhodes will make his NASCAR XFINITY Series debut on Sunday behind the wheel of the No. 88 JR Motorsports Chevrolet. Ryan Blaney will also step behind the wheel of the No. 22 Discount Tire Ford. Boris Said, who made his last start at the Talladega Superspeedway, will pilot the No. 54 Monster Energy Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing.

Making his 50th NASCAR XFINITY Series start on Sunday will be Dakoda Armstrong. Armstrong comes into the weekend still seeking his first career victory in the series. His best finish last season came at the Richmond International Raceway where he brought home a seventh-place run. Armstrong has two starts at Iowa with an average finish of 21.0.

Darrell Wallace Jr. comes into the stand-alone event with the Sunoco Rookie of the Year points lead by one point over Daniel Suarez. Ross Chastain sits 23 points behind Suarez in third.

Ty Dillon comes into the Iowa Speedway with the series driver points lead by nine points over Chris Buescher. Chase Elliott, the defending XFINITY Series champion, ties Darrell Wallace Jr. in third. The tie breaker will go to Elliott because he has four top five finishes over Wallace. Rounding out the top five is Regan Smith with a 43-point gap behind Dillon.

The No. 22 Discount Tire Ford owned by Roger Penske continues to dominate the owner point’s standings. The No. 22 Ford sits 62 points ahead of the No. 3 with Richard Childress Racing. The No. 60 with Roush Fenway Racing sits third in the owner point standings.

FOX Sports 1 will carry the live coverage of the 3M 250 at the Iowa Speedway that will begin at 2:00 p.m. ET. on Sunday. The Motor Racing Network will carry the live radio broadcast. Fans away from their television can also watch the race on FOX Sports Go.


Standalone events provide an abundance of opportunities for Nationwide Series drivers. Men such as David Gilliland, Trevor Bayne, Jason Keller, Elliott Sadler, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and other Nationwide Series regulars in the past and present, have been able to lock up race wins during standalone events.

This weekend, the NASCAR Nationwide Series will hit the 7/8-mile track in Newton, Iowa – the Iowa Speedway. Since holding its first Nationwide Series event in 2009, the Iowa Speedway has had five different winners in eight events.  Stenhouse  Jr. dominated the speedway in 2011 and 2012, winning three straight races. However, there are only two drivers who have won a Nationwide Series race at Iowa that are entered in this weekend’s spectacle. Ryan Blaney and James Buescher also have won Camping World Truck Series events at Iowa, and Chase Elliott scored a K&N Pro Series East victory once at Iowa.

Elliott Sadler, coming off of his first win with Joe Gibbs Racing after joining the organization in 2013, is looking to use his momentum to the No. 11 team’s advantage. Sadler scored a victory at Iowa in 2012, and has been a contender for the win in all six events he has run at the track. He was inside of the top-five in the first two practice sessions to begin the weekend, but was eighth in the third practice and 16th in Saturday’s final practice. 

Chase Elliott currently leads the Nationwide Series points standings after nine events. Elliott, 18, participated in his high school graduation ceremony on Saturday morning, causing him to miss final practice. However, he ran a total of 144 laps in the first three practices, and paced two of those three sessions. Elliott’s time of 23.236 seconds during the third practice was the fastest lap recorded throughout the weekend, and might be poised to win his third event of the year.

Brian Scott is still looking for his first career win. With an opportunity weekend, Scott might be able to lock up the victory at Iowa. Scott was quickest in second practice, yet he has finished 6th or worse in seven Iowa starts without any laps led.

Dylan Kwasniewski swapped over to the No. 42 car for Turner Scott Motorsports as Kyle Larson is in Charlotte where he ran the Sprint Showdown on Friday evening. Kwasniewski will be in the car Larson usually pilots during each of the Nationwide Series standalone events. Moreover, Kwasniewski will be paired up with Larson’s crew chief, Scott Zipadelli, rather than his usual crew chief, Pat Tryson. The pair was able to pace final practice with a time of 23.320 seconds. Kwasniewski has just one top-10 finish to start his rookie year in NASCAR’s second-tier division, and a weekend without the Cup Series regulars could lead him to a solid finish.

Sam Hornish Jr. is looking to get his first win for JGR this weekend. Hornish made his debut for the No. 54 team at Talladega, scoring the pole award in his first Nationwide Series race since Homestead at the end of the 2013 season. Hornish has been consistently inside of the top-13 throughout the weekend, and had the fastest 10 consecutive laps average in final practice at 130.371 mph.

Here are some notables for the Get to Know Newton 250 at Iowa:  

-          Chad Boat returns in his family-owned No. 84 car. Boat was outside of the top-15 in each of the first three practices, but was fifth in final practice.

-          AustinTheriault is making his Nationwide Series debut this weekend driving the No. 5 Chevrolet for JR Motorsports. He was 18th or worse in each of the first three practices, but ended the final session in the third position.

-          Ryan Ellis is driving the No. 46 car for The Motorsports Group after running the Camping World Truck Series event for FDNY Racing on Friday evening.

-          Matt DiBenedetto, who usually drives the No. 46 car, has moved over to the No. 40 Chevrolet since Josh Wise is in Charlotte after making the Sprint All-Star Race due to winning the fan vote.

-          Hal Martin is making his season debut for TriStar Motorsports in the No. 44 car. Martin ran the first 10 races for the team last year, but sat out all but two races after that.

-          Caleb Roark is making his Nationwide Series debut for SS Green Light Racing in the No. 55 Chevrolet in conjunction with Viva Motorsports. Roark has five previous starts in the Camping World Truck Series with a best finish of 19th at Martinsville in 2011.

-          Ryan Gifford is making his first of two scheduled starts for Biagi-DenBeste Racing. He has been inside of the top-20 in each of the four practice sessions as he prepares to start his second Nationwide Series event.

-          Cale Conley returns to the Richard Childress Racing No. 33 Chevrolet for his fourth start of the season. Conley has two top-15 finishes this year, and has had a respectable weekend – running inside of the top-20 in each practice session.

The Get to Know Newton 250 can be seen on ESPN on Sunday afternoon at 1:30 p.m. ET. 

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