Trevor Bayne’s season is heading towards the right direction. After getting married on Tuesday, the 2011 Daytona 500 winner has finally brought his Roush-Fenway Racing no. 6 NASCAR Nationwide Series car to victory lane for the first time in 2013.
Bayne won the Pioneer Hi-Bred 250 at the Iowa Speedway after the race was postponed Saturday evening due to rain. The race resumed on Sunday morning, but was red flagged for approximately an hour. This caused the race to run into the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at the Pocono Raceway, which meant Joey Logano and Joe Nemechek would have to find replacement drivers to race their Nationwide Series cars. This gave the Nationwide Series regulars the opportunity to show off their true skills, and that they did.
Austin Dillon flat out dominated the day as he took his Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet to the front of the field until Bayne came storming to the front once the race resumed. Coming off a fourth-place finish at Dover, Bayne has turned his season around. It took that fourth-place finish just to propel him into the top 10 in points. Now, Bayne should be in contention for a top-five position in the championship standings once the season is completed. Bayne’s win is the fourth in the last five races at Iowa for the no. 6 Ford as they won three of those races with Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
The battle for the win occurred when Bayne closed in on Dillon with just 14 laps remaining in the race. Bayne began to rub into Dillon’s door panel as the two traded paint for several laps before Dillon’s car got loose and fell back just enough to enable Bayne to get by him. Bayne’s win marks the 200th win for Ford Racing in the NASCAR Nationwide Series.
Elliott Sadler, who was the only other driver to win a race at Iowa, finished in the third position. Sadler didn’t have a great car, but was able to hold off Sam Hornish Jr. late in the race to earn an extra point, which can prove to be valuable heading into the summer months where Sadler was extremely hot last year. Points leader Regan Smith ended the day in the seventh position enabling Hornish to gain a few points on him.
There was one major wreck; Travis Pastrana collided with Max Papis after Brian Vickers tangled with Alex Bowman. Only Bowman was able to return to the track but wasn’t competitive.
The highest finishing rookie was once again Kyle Larson who finished in the fifth position. Brian Scott had his best race of the year, and he ran in the top seven throughout the day, finishing sixth. Mike Bliss had a top-10 run as did Ryan Blaney, who was told on short notice that he would be racing in Iowa. Drew Herring finished in the 11th position driving the car which is usually piloted by Kyle Busch. Johanna Long also had a great day as she took her ML Motorsports Chevrolet into the 12th position.
Joseph Wolkin can be followed on Twitter at @JosephNASCAR.