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Double-duty of a different kind for Elliott

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Updated: 5/16 3:14 pm

"I'm really excited for both parts [graduation and racing]; it will be a different weekend than normal for sure," Elliott said.

Nationwide teams practiced at this 0.875-mile track on Friday. Elliott led the way in the morning session with a lap at 134.690 mph.

Elliott, the driver of the No. 9 Chevrolet for JR Motorsports and son of former NASCAR champion Bill Elliott, is the current leader in the Nationwide point standings. He's only one point ahead of Elliott Sadler, who won the most recent race in the series two weeks ago at Talladega.

Last month, Elliott scored back-to-back victories at Texas and Darlington and then finished second at Richmond. He finished a season-worst 19th at Talladega after being involved in a six-car crash in the closing laps there.

This will be the first time Elliott competes in a Nationwide race at Iowa. He has two Camping World Truck Series events to his credit here, finishing fifth and 31st last year.

"It's going to be fun," he said. "I'm excited to get out there. I've raced there a few times. We've had some good runs, some bad runs, some runs in between, so hopefully our NAPA [sponsor] team can try and put a good one together and just try to keep growing."

This will be the first "stand-alone" race for Nationwide this season. The Sprint Cup Series is holding its all-star race at Charlotte. The Truck Series is there as well.

Ryan Blaney is scheduled to compete in Friday night's 200-mile truck race at Charlotte and then head to Iowa for the Nationwide event.

"I love doing double duty," Blaney said. "This is the first time I've raced at one track one day and then have to fly to another track the next. It's pretty neat, a different variety of racetracks. That's cool."

Forty-One teams are on the entry list for the Get to Know Newton 250. Qualifying is scheduled for Saturday at 7:10 p.m. ET.

Series: NASCAR Nationwide. Date: Sunday, May 17. Race: Get to Know Newton 250. Site: Iowa Speedway. Track: 0.875-mile oval. Start time: 2 p.m. ET. Laps: 250. Miles: 218.75. 2013 Winner: Trevor Bayne. Television: ESPN. Radio: Motor Racing Network (MRN)/SIRIUS NASCAR Radio.

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