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Nationwide Breakdown

Nationwide Series Breakdown: Drive4COPD 300

Nationwide Series Breakdown: Drive4COPD 300

The year of the Nationwide Series regular, the year that a Nationwide regular will win the championship for the first time since 2005, got started at Daytona on Saturday afternoon. It ended with Tony Stewart in Victory Lane for the fourth consecutive year, and Cup regulars taking half of the top-10 finishing positions. The more things change... Contradictory to the expectations of most Nationwide Series regulars in the garage earlier this weekend, the two-car tandem drafting that has defined Cup racing at Daytona during Speedweeks again told the tale. JGR teammates Joey Logano and Kyle Busch were staples at the front, as were regulars Dale Earnhardt, Jr., Clint Bowyer and Michael Waltrip for much of the event. The only NNS regular able to maintain the two-car pair up front for the majority was Trevor Bayne, moonlighting this weekend in the Wood Brothers No. 21 Cup car. Read More »

Nationwide Breakdown: Risk Of A Short Field At Phoenix?

There were plenty of positive stories for the Nationwide Series after a surprising Friday qualifying session. Former champion Clint Bowyer sat on the pole, but behind him came a trio of surprises combined with one familiar name: young Landon Cassill, Dale Earnhardt, Jr., Danica Patrick (her best Nationwide qualifying run ever), and Justin Allgaier. With a perfect mix of veterans, two-car tandem drafting and a popular restrictor plate rules package, it's likely Saturday's 300-miler will serve as the best event of the weekend. That's a good thing, because next week isn't shaping up too well. Read More »

Nationwide Series Breakdown: Ford 300

Nationwide Series Breakdown: Ford 300

Kyle Busch led seven times for 153 laps to win the Ford 300, his record 13th Nationwide Series victory of the 2010 season and one that clinched the owners' title for Joe Gibbs Racing. Busch knocked off Kevin Harvick by a few car lengths at the start-finish line. Brad Keselowski finished third, scoring his seventh consecutive top 5 finish and record 26th of the season. Can anyone out there not tell that this writer is sick and tired of writing about the same handful of Cup regulars making the minor leagues their own private playgrounds? While Cup regulars stole the show up front, leading all but 13 of the laps run Saturday afternoon, this event did come one yellow flag away from seeing the potential for a Nationwide regular victory. Read More »

Nationwide Series Breakdown: Wypall 200

Nationwide Series Breakdown: Wypall 200

A late-race incident between Aric Almirola and Justin Allgaier provided for some late-race drama, with Almirola bumping Allgaier out of the way for a spot in the top 10 late. Though Allgaier saved his machine and still delivered a top 10 finish himself, he expressed his displeasure by bumping Almirola after the race. The driver of the No. 88 also returned the favor, though the two drivers kept their post-race remarks in check. Nonetheless, it was an exciting microcosm of what will hopefully be a stout title fight in 2011. Read More »

Nationwide Series Breakdown: O’Reilly Challenge

The suspense! Did Brad Keselowski finish better than 21st and clinch the Nationwide Series title, two races early, for the fifth consecutive time for Cup interlopers? Yes. And while the cast of characters up front was exactly what Nationwide Series fans have come to expect (Cup regulars made up the top 5, with Edwards, Busch and Keselowski finishing 1-2-3), at least the racing was good, with Edwards stealing the lead from a dominant Kyle Busch (who led the most laps at Texas for the sixth consecutive race) on a late restart and burning the No. 18 on a green-white-checker restart that had Busch up in arms during his post-race presser, exclaiming that “Carl Edwards jumped the final restart three car lengths before the double red line” before storming out of the media center. Read More »

Nationwide Series Breakdown: 5-Hour Energy 250

Nationwide Series Breakdown: 5-Hour Energy 250

Not even Carl Edwards was going to keep Brad Keselowski out of Gateway's victory lane this time. Driving a car that had been practiced all weekend by Penske development driver Parker Kligerman, Keselowski was running in the top 5 by the midpoint of Saturday's 250-miler, and capitalized on a four-tire pit stop inside of 10 laps to go to wrestle the lead, and race win, from Mike Bliss with two laps to go. The race was most significantly marred by a vicious wreck on lap 103 after Scott Wimmer got loose in turn 4 and was tagged from behind by Ricky Stenhouse Jr. The resulting carnage severely damaged or destroyed 11 cars on the frontstretch in a melee eerily similar to the one triggered at the last race at Gateway back in July after Edwards sent Keselowski hard into the wall coming to the checkered flag. Fortunately, no drivers were injured. Read More »

Nationwide Series Breakdown: Virginia 529 College Savings 250

Nationwide Series Breakdown: Virginia 529 College Savings 250

Brad Keselowski won the spring race at Richmond on a last lap pass, having to outrace Greg Biffle after dominating the event. This time, Keselowski came within an inch of making another last lap pass for the win, though he wasn't the dominant driver this time around. That honor went to race winner Kevin Harvick, who led 170 circuits en route to score his third win of the year. Harvick, however, nearly lost the race in the final five laps, where Keselowski caught up after conserving his tires during the final green flag run. Read More »

Nationwide Series Breakdown: Great Clips 300

Nationwide Series Breakdown: Great Clips 300

For all the tire strategy that made Saturday night's race both interesting and confusing (at one point Kevin Harvick had the entire field lapped after taking new tires under yellow while the rest of the leaders stayed out), it didn't pave the way to victory lane. After Brad Keselowski elected to stay out under a lap 167 yellow while the rest of the leaders pit for four tires, his No. 22 Dodge quickly dropped like a rock on the ensuing restart. Jamie McMurray, who had quietly run up front, took advantage and secured the point, never to give it up again. Though Kyle Busch trimmed McMurray's one second lead to barely four tenths over the final 10 laps of the event, Rowdy's quest to score Nationwide win number 11 of the 2010 season was put on hold. For McMurray, it was his first Nationwide Series win since 2004. Read More »

Nationwide Series Breakdown: NAPA Auto Parts 200

Nationwide Series Breakdown: NAPA Auto Parts 200

“Finally!” exclaimed Boris Said as he emerged in Victory Lane after scoring his first career Nationwide Series victory, moments after a drag race to the checkers with Max Papis that hit the highlight reels as the fifth-closest finish in series history. More importantly, this was finally the type of ending the Nationwide Series had been waiting for since Justin Allgaier's win at Bristol in March; a non-Cup regular emerged as the winner. While Marcos Ambrose, Carl Edwards and Robby Gordon dominated much of the event, Ambrose's failed alternator, Edwards' broken track bar mount, and Gordon running out of fuel opened the door en masse for an intense two-lap finale between Said, Papis, and Jacques Villeneuve that was nothing short of spell-binding. Read More »

Nationwide Series Breakdown: Food City 250

Nationwide Series Breakdown: Food City 250

Nationwide Series fans should probably be long accustomed to Cup drivers setting completely meaningless milestones in the minor league ranks, and Friday night was no exception. Leading 116 laps, Kyle Busch overcame late race contact with Brad Keselowski to score his 10th victory of the 2010 season, tying the all-time record for wins in a Nationwide Series season. Had Busch actually been a development or sportsman driver, the mark may have meant something. Read More »