Newton, IA (SportsNetwork.com) - Chris Buescher passed Chase Elliott for the lead on the last restart with just two laps to go to win Sunday's 3M 250 Xfinity Series race at Iowa Speedway.
Buescher, the driver of the No. 60 Ford for Roush Fenway Racing, claimed his second career victory in NASCAR's second-tier series. His maiden Xfinity win occurred last August on the Mid-Ohio road course.
Elliott, the defending series champion, held the lead in the closing laps and appeared to be on the way to his first win of the season, but the caution flag waved for ninth time on lap 249 of this scheduled 250-lap race when Jamie Dick and Ross Chastain were involved in an accident. It set up a green-white- checkered finish. Buescher had been in the runner-up spot, more than a second behind Elliott, just prior to the caution.
"When that (last caution) happened, I knew we had an awesome shot at it," Buescher said.
During the caution, Elliott elected to stay on the track, while Buescher and most of the other frontrunners opted to pit for tires.
Buescher ran in third for the final restart, but he quickly charged to the lead and then beat Elliott to the finish line by 0.523 seconds.
"That was nerve-wracking at the end," Buescher said. "We knew that we were really good, but we just had to have something fall our way, and it did there. We got those tires and were able to get going on that restart."
Elliott's most recent win in the series occurred last July at Chicagoland (25 races ago). Elliott led the most laps in this race with 114, while Buescher ran in front for a total of 94 laps.
"That's racing some days, and I hate it," Elliott said. "That's hard to swallow, but Chris did a good job, so congrats to him."
Erik Jones placed third, followed by Brian Scott and Ryan Blaney.
Drew Herring put Jones' No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota on the pole for this event on Saturday, while Jones was on standby for Kyle Busch in the NASCAR Sprint Cup All-Star Race at Charlotte. Jones had to start this race from the rear of the field.
Darrell Wallace Jr., Ben Rhodes, Brandon Jones, Elliott Sadler and Brendan Gaughan completed the top-10.
With the win, Buescher moved atop the championship standings, while Ty Dillon dropped to second in points (-8) after he finished 14th. Dillon had to pit unexpectedly late in the race for a flat tire, putting him a lap behind. Elliott is now 31 points behind the leader, and Wallace trails by 37.
Early in the race, Brennan Poole made contact with the wall after he was hit from behind by J.J. Yeley. Poole spent more than 100 laps in the garage for repairs, but after he had returned, on lap 152, he spun out Yeley in what appeared to be a retaliation.
NASCAR parked Poole for the remainder of the event for aggressive driving and ordered him to the sanctioning body's hauler for a post-race discussion with officials.
"(Yeley) just deliberately crashed me like five laps into the race, and there's 245 laps left, so there was no sense in that," Poole said of his incident with Yeley in the opening laps. "I'm trying to make myself known in this sport so I can stay here, but one of my heroes just deliberately crashed me five laps into the race. It just doesn't make sense."
Yeley sustained heavy damage to his car in the lap 152 accident, which put him out of the race.
"It's just retaliation," Yeley said of Poole hitting him from behind. "It was clear to me that he was going to try to wreck me on the (lap 151) restart. He was a number of laps down and did not fall back. He was chasing me pretty hard. I got real tight off of turn 2, and it gave him enough of a run that he could hook me and turn me into the fence. It's just disappointing."