Originally written on Start 'N' Park Blog  |  Last updated 10/30/14
JOLIET, Ill. — It was a statement victory for defending NASCAR Nationwide Series champion Ricky Stenhouse Jr., who won Saturday’s Dollar General 300 Powered by Coca-Cola at Chicagoland Speedway and simultaneously wrested the series lead from Elliott Sadler.  The victory was Stenhouse’s fifth of the season and the seventh of his career. He crossed the finish line 2.402 seconds ahead of Kyle Busch, who fell one spot short of posting his first victory in the Nationwide car he owns.  Austin Dillon ran third, followed by Brad Keselowski and Paul Menard. Sadler finished eighth and fell from the top spot in the standings after holding it for a total of 21 weeks in two different stretches this season, including the last 14. With seven races left, Stenhouse leads Sadler by nine points.  Stenhouse’s No. 6 Ford came to life over the final 29-lap green-flag run, giving team owner Jack Roush his first victory at the 1.5-mile track in any of NASCAR’s top three touring series. In winning the race, Stenhouse overcame two mistakes: stalling the car on pit road and an adjustment that adversely affected the handling. Stenhouse, however, was cautious in claiming the upper hand toward a second straight title.  “The last four races, I think, we’ve finished second, first, second and first, so I think we’ve got good momentum,” Stenhouse said. “But in this business, in this sport, anything can change at any time. You’ve got to keep your guard up, and you’ve got to keep not making mistakes.  “We’re very fortunate that we overcame the mistakes that we had today, both on pit road — a wrong adjustment and a stalled car. We overcame that today, and that’s what we need to keep doing. But as we keep going, we’ve got to make sure we don’t make those mistakes. I feel like the 2 car (Sadler) is not done winning, and I don’t feel like we’re done winning either. We’re just going to have to stay on our ‘A’ game.”  Ninth-place finisher and polesitter Joey Logano took the lead under caution on Lap 124 for Benny Gordon’s accident in Turn 3. Logano beat Dillon off pit road by six inches and led the field to a restart.  Stenhouse lost seven spots when his car stalled in the pits and took the green flag in the 11th position but gradually worked his way back through the field. By the time the race reached Lap 150, Stenhouse had passed Sadler for the third position.  Busch grabbed the top spot shortly after the restart on Lap 130 and pulled away to a lead of 1.5 seconds as Logano faded. Busch, Dillon and Stenhouse staged a three-car breakaway during that green-flag run, but a caution for Jason Bowles’ spin in Turn 3 on Lap 167 shuffled the running order.  With a 12.5-second stop for four tires and fuel, Sadler was first off pit road on Lap 168 and led Busch to a restart on Lap 172. Busch quickly reassumed the lead while Sadler dropped back to sixth by Lap 177.   Stenhouse, however, moved past Busch on Lap 180 and quickly established an advantage of more than a second.  The racing action aside, the real drama surrounded the Richard Childress Racing teams of Dillon and Sadler. Though he has been in or near the championship lead for the entire season, Sadler announced recently that he will leave RCR at the end of the season.  As Sadler and Dillon raced hard in traffic, Dillon’s crew chief, Danny Stockman, radioed to Dillon, “You will not help the 2 car tonight.” Dillon is third in points, 34 behind Stenhouse and still a contender for the championship, but the emphatic nature of Stockman’s admonition was surprising.  “We were just racing hard for the championship right there,” Dillon said. “We were racing hard by Sam (Hornish Jr.), or whoever it was, and the 2 went with the other guy when we could have used a push. That’s all it is, racing hard for a championship…  “Everybody’s worked up about it, RCR as a group working for a championship. We’re both wanting to win. We had to beat the 6 (Stenhouse), so we couldn’t help each other at all today. Did it hurt us? Not much, because the 6 was that much faster. It’s just racing hard. I don’t know what else to say–just part of the game, I guess.”  After the race, Sadler was mystified.  “I don’t know what that means, ‘Do not help the 2,’” he said when told of the exchange between Stockman and Dillon. “We share really good notes, and we always have, so I don’t know.” RACE RESULTS    1. (3) Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Ford, 200, $92143.
  2. (6) Kyle Busch(i),Toyota, 200, $54750.
  3. (2) Austin Dillon #, Chevrolet, 200, $55093.
  4. (16) Brad Keselowski(i), Dodge, 200, $31265.
  5. (7) Paul Menard(i), Chevrolet, 200, $27790.
  6. (4) Sam Hornish Jr., Dodge, 200, $31408.
  7. (8) Michael Annett, Ford, 200, $29608.
  8. (5) Elliott Sadler, Chevrolet, 200, $28958.
  9. (1) Joey Logano(i),Toyota, 200, $29950.
10. (42) Brian Scott,Toyota, 200, $31083.
11. (10) Justin Allgaier, Chevrolet, 200, $26258.
12. (12) Danica Patrick, Chevrolet, 200, $25508.
13. (9) Mike Bliss,Toyota, 200, $24958.
14. (13) Cole Whitt #, Chevrolet, 200, $24448.
15. (18) Brad Sweet #, Chevrolet, 199, $24488.
16. (25) Joe Nemechek,Toyota, 199, $24178.
17. (20) Alex Bowman, Chevrolet, 199, $23493.
18. (19) Tayler Malsam,Toyota, 198, $23233.
19. (21) Mike Wallace, Chevrolet, 198, $23223.
20. (11) Kenny Wallace,Toyota, 196, $23488.
21. (17) Johanna Long #, Chevrolet, 196, $22703.
22. (34) Erik Darnell, Chevrolet, 195, $22593.
23. (22) Jamie Dick, Chevrolet, 195, $15990.
24. (24) Dexter Stacey, Ford, 194, $22343.
25. (30) Eric McClure,Toyota, 194, $22683.
26. (37) Juan Carlos Blum, Chevrolet, 193, $22098.
27. (35) Danny Efland, Chevrolet, 192, $21988.
28. (15) Jason Bowles #,Toyota, Engine, 153, $21868.
29. (14) Benny Gordon,Toyota, Suspension, 122, $21718.
30. (31) Jeremy Clements, Chevrolet, Oil Leak, 68, $21908.
31. (27) Jeff Green,Toyota, Vibration, 30, $15005.
32. (39) Morgan Shepherd, Chevrolet, Engine, 30, $14895.
33. (36) Timmy Hill, Ford, Vibration, 28, $14785.
34. (38) Tony Raines(i), Chevrolet, Electrical, 26, $14675.
35. (40) Joey Gase #, Chevrolet, Handling, 23, $14565.
36. (29) Blake Koch,Toyota, Vibration, 19, $14455.
37. (33) Scott Riggs(i), Chevrolet, Ignition, 19, $14335.
38. (32) Matt Carter, Chevrolet, Rear Gear, 15, $14275.
39. (41) Mike Harmon, Chevrolet, Overheating, 12, $13940.
40. (28) JJ Yeley, Chevrolet, Vibration, 11, $13830.
41. (23) Josh Wise(i), Chevrolet, Electrical, 10, $13725.
42. (26) Chase Miller, Chevrolet, Overheating, 9, $13520.
43. (43) Tim Andrews, Ford, Ignition, 9, $13413.  RACE STATISTICS Average Speed of Race Winner:  138.373 mph.
Time of Race:  2 Hrs, 10 Mins, 05 Secs. Margin of Victory:  2.402 Seconds.
Caution Flags:  5 for 20 laps.
Lead Changes:  17 among 9 drivers.
Lap Leaders:   J. Logano(i) 1-7; S. Hornish Jr. 8; J. Logano(i) 9-59; A. Dillon # 60; K. Busch(i) 61-62; A. Dillon # 63; K. Busch(i) 64-69; A. Dillon # 70-95; R. Stenhouse Jr. 96; M. Annett 97; J. Allgaier 98-100; J. Nemechek 101; A. Dillon # 102-125; J. Logano(i) 126-134; K. Busch(i) 135-168; E. Sadler 169-171; K. Busch(i) 172-179; R. Stenhouse Jr. 180-200.
Leaders Summary (Driver, Times Lead, Laps Led):  J. Logano(i) 3 times for 67 laps; A. Dillon # 4 times for 52 laps; K. Busch(i) 4 times for 50 laps; R. Stenhouse Jr. 2 times for 22 laps; J. Allgaier 1 time for 3 laps; E. Sadler 1 time for 3 laps; M. Annett 1 time for 1 lap; J. Nemechek 1 time for 1 lap; S. Hornish Jr. 1 time for 1 lap.
Top 10 in Points: R. Stenhouse Jr. – 982; E. Sadler – 973; A. Dillon # – 948; S. Hornish Jr. – 925; J. Allgaier – 875; M. Annett – 837; C. Whitt # – 767; M. Bliss – 722; J. Nemechek – 634; B. Scott – 633.  
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Texas A&M Aggies bench Kenny Hill for freshman Kyle Allen

Josh Smith's reaction to Faried's criticism: 'He's a clown'

Magic, Mia Hamm among owners of new MLS franchise

Michael Vick broke teammate’s finger with bullet pass

Wes Welker: 'I feel like the weak link' in Broncos' loaded offense

Greg Hardy will not play this season after trial postponement

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Chip Kelly on not weighing in on injuries: ‘I’m not Dr. Miyagi’

Saints vs Panthers: preview and prediction

Kevin Youkilis retires after 10 seasons in MLB

Ricky Williams says he retired due to poor quarterback play

Judge rejects request to move Aaron Hernandez murder trial

Jason Garrett optimistic that Tony Romo can play Sunday

WATCH: Russell Westbrook gets into it with heckling fan

PHOTO: The best sports-themed Halloween costume this year

WATCH: Jameis Winston forces fumble after throwing INT

Bruce Pearl dressed up as fellow Auburn coach Gus Mazhahn

WATCH: Jimmy Graham head-butts bench

Seahawks host football team from H.S. shocked by shooting

WATCH: Cavs intro in LeBron James’ first game back was wild

Did latest World Series win establish Giants as a dynasty?

Cavaliers give fans instructions on how to do 'Chalk Toss'

Explaining the Penguins loyalty to Marc-Andre Fleury

WATCH: Man obliterates house after Cowboys MNF loss

WATCH: Entire history of Nike in just under three minutes

All Sports News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Welker feels like 'weak link' in offense

Cavs intro for LeBron was wild

Greg Hardy won't play this season

Michael Jordan rips Obama's golf game

Torii Hunter in radio ad opposing gay marriage

Curt Schilling praises Bumgarner

GALLERY: Best of sports pumpkins

Top storyline for each Week 9 game

Williams' response to criticism

WATCH: Chevy guy totally bombs

Bumgarner pitches Giants to title

Report: Cubs to hire Maddon as manager

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.