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For Development Drivers, Winning at MIS not the Route to a Title

For Development Drivers, Winning at MIS not the Route to a Title

For those out there that follow stock car racing’s development ranks, there’s exactly one place one should not look if trying to handicap the 2012 Nationwide and ARCA title races: Victory lane at the Michigan International Speedway. Seem counter-intuitive? On paper, it sure should, seeing as how both series will be contesting races in the Irish Hills this weekend. But a closer look at the stats reveals a decade long trend of irrelevance for the one race of the year each series runs in the backyard of the Big Three. Read More »

Nationwide Series Breakdown: 5-Hour Energy 200

Nationwide Series Breakdown: 5-Hour Energy 200

The scoresheet will show Saturday’s Nationwide race at Dover as a Joey Logano romp. And while the JGR Cup regular did emerge victorious in the 5-Hour Energy 200 after leading 154 of the laps run, this one was oh-so-close to being so much more. Also driving a JGR Toyota, hometown driver Ryan Truex grabbed the lead after misfortune of Logano’s own making (while leading the race, the No. 18 bowled over the lapped car of Tim Bainey Jr. exiting turn 2, wrecking the No. 24 car and forcing Logano to pit road for a check-up and tires), and was holding a steady lead of one second with less than five laps to go. Read More »

Truck Series Contenders Set to Invade Nationwide Series Race at Dover

Truck Series Contenders Set to Invade Nationwide Series Race at Dover

While the Chase is doing NASCAR fans everywhere a favor by making the points race irrelevant for another three months, the Nationwide Series has a repeat of their Stenhouse vs. Sadler battle from a year ago brewing, with the standings tighter than they were a season ago and both teams combining for five race wins already in 2012. But even as that series heads to Dover to tackle the high banks of the Monster Mile, it’s also going to play host to another championship battle…even if it’s not for points. Because when the green flag drops on Saturday, positions three, four and five in the Truck Series standings will be taking it alongside the Nationwide Series regulars. Read More »

Stenhouse’s Hard Racing Strikes A Nerve

Stenhouse’s Hard Racing Strikes A Nerve

Ricky Stenhouse, Jr.'s day went sour sometime around Lap 67 of Saturday's Nationwide 300-miler at Charlotte. A faulty U joint, between the driveshaft and the transmission left the rest of his day a temporary points disaster. But some sour feelings from a championship rival, during the closing laps of the History 300? We'll have to see how quickly that turns into ancient history. Tempers flared shortly after the final restart, Stenhouse at that point 22 laps down after spending time fixing broken parts inside the garage. But that didn't keep him from racing hard around the No. 3 Chevrolet of Austin Dillon, fighting for a top-10 spot. The competition was clean but hard-fought, to the point Dillon's team became increasingly frustrated with having to battle a guy laps off the pace. Read More »

Nationwide Series Breakdown: The History 300

Nationwide Series Breakdown: The History 300

Brad Keselowski crossed his fingers, hoping track position and just the right fuel mileage would keep him out front during a final, 46-lap green-flag run to the finish in Saturday’s History 300. There was only one problem: the calculations by those pesky computers left him just a little short. Good thing aerodynamics could come to the rescue. After pulling away following that final caution flag, Keselowski coasted during the final 10 laps at Charlotte, letting Denny Hamlin use up much of a three-second cushion while saving just enough Sunoco to make it to the checkered flag. Crossing the line 0.838 seconds ahead, it was the first 2012 Nationwide victory for Keselowski, Penske Racing and No. 22 crew chief Jeremy Bullins. Denny Hamlin, Kyle Busch, Kevin Harvick and Elliott Sadler rounded out your top-5 finishers. Read More »

Nationwide Series Flashbacks for Biagi’s Return to Racing

Nationwide Series Flashbacks for Biagi’s Return to Racing

_Whoever said you can’t go home again obviously didn’t write the NASCAR schedule, as the circuit currently has returned for the first of two weekends spent in the Charlotte area. And the same can be said for Biagi-DenBeste Racing, returning to Nationwide competition after a four-year hiatus. It’s a rare example of a team falling away only to return to the Nationwide Series, and a welcome addition back to the fold._ Read More »

Nationwide Series Breakdown: Pioneer Hi-Bred 250

Nationwide Series Breakdown: Pioneer Hi-Bred 250

Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. has won at Iowa in a number of different fashions. Add dominant to that list. In an event that was a far cry from his crazy win last summer courtesy of Carl Edwards’ bumper, Stenhouse set the tone early and never looked back, leading 209 laps en route to a convincing third consecutive win at the Iowa Speedway. Elliott Sadler, Michael McDowell, Austin Dillon, and Kurt Busch rounded out the top 5. Read More »

Nationwide Series Breakdown: VFW Sport Clips Help a Hero 200

Nationwide Series Breakdown: VFW Sport Clips Help a Hero 200

Denny Hamlin dominated all night long Friday and was primed to score his fourth win in his last five tries at Darlington. In the end, Joe Gibbs Racing took the trophy, but it wasn’t Hamlin. That honor instead went to Joey Logano, and it didn’t come without controversy. After a quiet race by Darlington standards, things went haywire on lap 142. Elliott Sadler, who had used tire strategy to take the lead, appeared to spin his tires slightly on the restart. Logano, running third behind Sadler, tried to bump the No. 2 down the track, but in doing so turned him into oncoming traffic, damaging Hamlin’s machine and ending the night for Sadler. Logano would then hold off his teammate on the next restart, apologizing to Sadler from victory lane after the event was over. Hamlin, Brad Keselowski, Sam Hornish Jr. and Austin Dillon rounded out the top 5. Read More »

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly: Nationwide Tackles Darlington

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly: Nationwide Tackles Darlington

It’s not quite time for this week’s Nationwide Series Breakdown, but here’s a taste of the good, the bad and the ugly facing the Nationwide Series heading into Darlington tonight. *The Good* Just as was the case with Richard Childress Racing and Turner Motorsports at Richmond, NASCAR did nothing more than slap Penske Racing on the wrist after they were found to have modified front bumpers at Talladega. The crew chiefs of the Nos. 12 and 22 cars were fined and placed on probation without any points penalties or suspensions, meaning for the well-endowed operation at Penske, life will simply go on. Read More »

Nationwide Series Breakdown: Danica And Sam Go At It

Nationwide Series Breakdown: Danica And Sam Go At It

In the battle of Gibbs teammates, it was an unlikely victor on Saturday, with Joey Logano snatching victory from Kyle Busch heading down the frontstretch on the final lap of the second green-white-checkered attempt at Talladega. Busch finished second by less than a car length, with the tandem of Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Cole Whitt finishing third and fourth after proving unable to mount a serious challenge to the Nos. 18/54 tandem coming to the checkers. Dale Earnhardt Jr. rounded out the top 5. Read More »