Handy: Iowa XFINITY Series Top-5 Is What We’ve Waited For


Saturday night’s American Ethanol E15 250 presented by Enogen at Iowa Speedway was a race full of only NASCAR XFINITY Series drivers which doesn’t happen but maybe a handful times throughout the season. Many fans have gotten used to seeing at least a few Monster Energy Cup Series drivers participating in what is referred to as double duty on weekends. However, with the Cup Series racing at Sonoma this weekend there was no double dippers.

Christopher Bell started on the pole in the second part of his double duty weekend as he had run Friday night’s Truck Series race at Iowa as well. Bell remained on point throughout the first stage fending off challenges from his teammate Ben Kennedy and fellow competitor Sam Hornish, Jr.

Bell would lead 152 laps and Hornish 183 laps before an incident with 19 laps to go in stage 2 when Bell made contact with the rear fender of Hornish sending Hornish into the wall.

“He came up pretty hard when he got loose and hit me. Of course, we got the brunt of it. I’m disappointed. This is one of my favorite places to come to, Hornish said.”

The talk throughout social media after the race wasn’t who led the most laps but William Byron driver of the No. 9 JR Motorsports Chevrolet finally capturing his first NXS win, as well as the finishing top 5 finishers.

Byron would lead 78 laps with the final restart with 10 laps to go, just 11 laps after the previous restart in which Byron capped off on fuel and took on new tires.

Good luck was finally on Byron’s side with the way the caution fell and he was able to capture his first NXS victory.

“We definitely got a huge break the way the caution fell right there, said Byron’s crew chief, Dave Elenz.”

As expected Byron was ecstatic and even received a congratulatory phone call from Rick Hendrick. “It’s awesome just to kind of come this far, said Byron.”

Byron also took to his Twitter account after the race tweeting: “We did it. So proud of everyone on this team. Came close last week and got it tonight. So thankful for the opportunity.”

Not to over shadow Byron’s first NXS victory, but the other talk of the town so to speak was definitely the top finishing order behind Byron.

Ryan Sieg driver of the No. 39 Chevrolet logged his best career finish at Iowa. Sieg would finish second behind Byron.

“It was crazy, I couldn’t believe I was running second on that last restart and just trying to fight for the win there. It was fun racing with Tyler at the end. We had a little bit of a battle. It was awesome. Great pit call and great finish, Sieg said after the race.”

Sieg’s best career finish gives the driver even more confidence heading into his most successful track thus far, Daytona International Speedway for Friday’s Coca-Cola Firecracker 250. Sieg has been very successful at the 2.5-mile superspeedway with three of his seven top 10 finishes coming at the track which includes two third-place finishes.

Tyler Reddick driver of the No. 42 Chevrolet would finish in the third position, followed by Ross Chastain driver of the No. 4 Chevrolet, and Dakoda Armstrong driver of the No. 28 Toyota would round out the top 5 at Iowa Speedway.

While the top finishers behind Byron took many by surprise, it’s exactly what fans have talked about wanting to see many times. Some could argue the cautions fell just right for many drivers and while that’s true, the finishers would’ve all been NXS regulars regardless. There is always many debates about the Cup drivers in the NXS but without having to worry about that at Iowa, NASCAR fans saw the top 5 finishers either tie or get their best career finishes.

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About Sarah Handy

Sarah is going into her third year covering NASCAR for Rubbings Racing as well as helping run their Social Media platforms. Born and raised in Rhode Island, Sarah is an avid racing fan as well as a fan of the major New England sports teams. She is currently studying Public Relations and Marketing at SNHU with plans to move to North Carolina after graduation. Sarah also enjoys visiting her home track of NHMS each year, reading, running and photography.

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