Stenhouse Jr. wins at Chicagoland, takes over points lead

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. moved atop the Nationwide Series point standings after winning Saturday's Dollar General 300 at Chicagoland Speedway.

Stenhouse, the defending Nationwide champion, overcame a pit-road blunder just past the halfway point. During a round of stops under caution, he stalled his car while exiting his stall and came out of the pits in 11th. The crew members on his No. 6 Roush Fenway Racing team made an error in the wedge adjustment of his car.

After making his way through the field, Stenhouse passed Sprint Cup Series regular Kyle Busch for the lead with 21 laps remaining. He then beat Busch to the finish line by 2.4 seconds. It was Stenhouse's fifth win of the season and the seventh of his Nationwide career.

"I was never giving up," Stenhouse said. "We had an okay car, but it seemed to take a lot to get going. The car was the best on that last run. (Crew chief) Mike (Kelley) made some great calls. I stalled it, and that put us far back. It was just an overall team effort."

Stenhouse gave team owner Jack Roush his first win in a NASCAR national touring series race at Chicagoland.

During a late-race round of pit stops under caution, Elliott Sadler edged Busch out of the pits to take the lead for the first time. Sadler, though, lost the top spot to Busch after the restart.

Busch, who is in his first season as driver and team owner in Nationwide, has not won a race in this series since September 2011 at Richmond. He holds the Nationwide record for most career victories with 51.

"We had a really good car, and it ran well throughout the race," Busch said. "I thought there wasn't any one back there to deal with, and then the 6 (Stenhouse) came out of no where there at the end. I don't know where he came from. He had a fast race car."

Rookie Austin Dillon finished third, followed by Brad Keselowski and Paul Menard. Sam Hornish Jr. and Michael Annett placed sixth and seventh, respectively.

Sadler faded in the closing laps and ended up finishing eighth. Sadler came into this 300-mile race with only a one-point lead over Stenhouse, but he is now nine points behind him.

Joey Logano started on the pole and led the most laps with 67 but faded in late going as well for a ninth-place finish. Brian Scott completed the top-10.

Dillon is presently 34 points behind Stenhouse, while Hornish trails the leader by 57. There are seven races remaining.