But despite six poles and 12 top 10s in just 19 starts, Dillon has yet to earn a victory. Few of those close calls stung as much as Dillon’s last trip to Iowa two months ago.
Dillon’s car was often so dominant that it rendered much of the race a bore. But his car also had a tendency to lose speed on long runs, and Trevor Bayne blew past him and cruised to victory under green.
“Having a night race, it’s going to be a little bit easier on our tires,” Dillon said. “Maybe (we’ll) take it a little easier earlier in a run if we’re leading, and just try and conserve what we have in the car.”
Keselowski will likely be the driver to beat this weekend. The reigning Sprint Cup champion has a pair of wins in just eight Nationwide starts, and he’s never finished worse than fourth in three career starts in Iowa.
But there might not be a NASCAR team more dominant at a single track than Roush Fenway Racing’s No. 6 car is at Iowa. The car has won four of its last five starts on the short oval, all under the eye of crew chief Mike Kelley.
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. won three times in a row in 2011-12 before departing for the Sprint Cup series, and Bayne followed with a win in June. Bayne, who is currently in ninth place, knows he’ll likely have to contend with Dillon again on Saturday night.
“You always have to get better. I feel like the No. 3 car was faster than us on short runs last time, and they know that we were faster on the long runs,” Bayne said. “They’re going to bring back something that they can work on for longer runs, so we’ve got to get better on our short runs.”