- Associated Press - Friday, August 3, 2012

NEWTON, IOWA (AP) - Ricky Stenhouse says he doesn’t approach races at Iowa Speedway different than others.

“We come here to win just like we do every other racetrack,” he said. “It’s just worked out the last three times.”

Worked out, indeed. Stenhouse has won three straight at the track entering Saturday night’s U.S. Cellular 250.

The defending NASCAR Nationwide Series champion will try to become the first driver since Kyle Busch to win four in a row at the same track. Busch did it at Texas Motor Speedway between 2008-2010.


The seven-eighths-mile track in the middle of Iowa corn country appears to fit Stenhouse’s aggressive style.

“Our car seems to drive better the harder you run it in the corner and the harder I get into the throttle,” he said. “That’s the way I drive every racetrack, and it pays off here.”

Stenhouse probably will be making his last appearance at Iowa Speedway. He’ll run a full Sprint Cup schedule next year.

He enters the race 13 points behind Nationwide leader Elliott Sadler and 12 behind second-place Austin Dillon.

Sadler has three straight top-five finishes at Iowa Speedway, including a runner-up finish to Stenhouse in May. He’s coming off a controversial finish to last week’s race at Indianapolis in which he was penalized for jumping the restart near the end of the race, causing him to finish 15th behind Brad Keselowski.

Ricky has definitely been the guy to beat here the last few races, and we know he’s going to be stiff competition,” Sadler said. “We feel very good about what we’ve brought back and what we learned here in the spring race, and we feel we’ll be just as good as anybody here.”

Sadler said a change in tires for this race and the removal of a bump between turns one and two could help him on Saturday.

“Hopefully these few changes will give us leeway and adjustments so we can close the gap on the 6 car and give him a run for the money,” Sadler said.

Sadler was gaining on Stenhouse late in the May race, but he lost momentum because of a caution flag.

“We feel like we were better than him at the end of the race,” Sadler said. “We closed ground a little bit, and hopefully we can close some more in this race.”

Stenhouse’s run at Iowa Speedway started in May 2011 when he led 41 laps and beat Carl Edwards by 0.435 seconds. He beat Edwards again three months later after leading 25 laps. The 24-year-old from Olive Branch, Miss., dominated here three months ago, leading 209 of 250 laps to beat Sadler by 1.47 seconds.

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