Sadler aiming for another strong run at Iowa

The Nationwide Series will run its first "stand alone" race of the 2013 season on Saturday night at Iowa Speedway.

Elliott Sadler is one driver who is really looking forward to Iowa. Sadler has finished no worse than fifth in his four races at this 0.875-mile racetrack. He won the most recent Nationwide event here last August.

"Iowa is probably my best track," said Sadler, who is in his first year as driver of the No. 11 Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing. "Mentally, as I show up, I know where I want to be on the track, where I need to be on the gas, on the brake, how my car needs to feel in practice to be in the race. It is a really good track to me.

"That being said, we need to go there and have a great, competitive weekend. But I can't think of another track on the schedule coming off the weekend we had at Dover that I'd rather go to than Iowa."

Last Saturday at Dover, Sadler dealt with a loose-handling car before he spun around and made contact with the wall on lap 77. He fell seven laps behind due to repairs and ended up finishing 28th. Sadler dropped from fourth to seventh in the point standings. He is currently 64 points behind leader Regan Smith.

"We were caught off guard at Dover," he said. "We struggled the entire weekend, through practice, qualifying and the race. We really have dug ourselves a pretty big hole here. We are a lot of points behind, seventh in the points. Honestly, points don't mean a hill of beans to me right now. We need to run better, be more competitive on a weekly basis.

"I think going to Iowa, we can get some good optimism going with our race team, get some good direction going. We can go there and be competitive and run good. That's what our team needs right now, to kind of get back on the ball, get back in the game. I can't think of a better place to go."

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. won three consecutive Nationwide races at Iowa, including a victory here one year ago. Stenhouse is now a rookie contender in the Sprint Cup Series.

Joey Logano is the only Sprint Cup regular scheduled to compete in this race. Logano is attempting the Pocono/Iowa combo this weekend. He claimed his first Nationwide win this season at Dover.

"It's going to be tough for sure, but we have a plan that will help me get as much rest as possible," Logano said of his double-duly effort this weekend. "I'll get a chance to rest and debrief and change on the plane rides between Pocono and Iowa each night."

Logano won the first-ever NASCAR race held at Iowa Speedway in 2007 -- a combination K&N Pro Series East-West event. He has not competed at this track since then.

Forty-one teams are on the preliminary entry list for the DuPont Pioneer 250.

Series: NASCAR Nationwide. Date: Saturday, June 8. Race: DuPont Pioneer 250. Site: Iowa Speedway. Track: 0.875-mile oval. Start time: 8 p.m. ET. Laps: 250. Miles: 218.75. 2012 Winner: Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Television: ESPN. Radio: Motor Racing Network (MRN)/SIRIUS NASCAR Radio.