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5 Nationwide Series Rides That Oughta Happen

5 Nationwide Series Rides That Oughta Happen

_As previously discussed in Five Points to Ponder two weeks ago, even the drivers at the top of the Nationwide Series food chain are facing a great deal of uncertainty regarding their futures in the series for 2012. Be it losing sponsors, lacking sponsors or still waiting for a contract renewal, there's more than a full field of drivers wondering if they'll be taking the wheel at Daytona come February. Here's five rides that absolutely need to happen for the Nationwide ranks in 2012._ *CHRIS BUESCHER* It's a shame Carl Edwards didn't pull a Jeff Gordon and get completely out of Nationwide racing for 2012, because over in the ARCA ranks the Ford camp has quite the prospect waiting in the wings. The younger brother of James (who's busy threatening for a Truck Series title this season), Chris has been a regular in the ARCA Racing Series this year, and has made quite the name for himself. Read More »

Nationwide Series Breakdown: Dollar General 300

Nationwide Series Breakdown: Dollar General 300

One of the fastest races in recent Nationwide Series memory saw Brad Keselowski all but untouchable on Saturday afternoon, leading 158 of 200 circuits in cruising to an easy win, his third of the season. Keselowski, despite stroking it the final 10 laps or so, finished over eight seconds ahead of Carl Edwards. Polesitter Brian Scott, Aric Almirola and Sam Hornish Jr. rounded out the top 5. The race was stopped by caution flags only three times, with the final 131 laps of the afternoon run under green; only 10 cars were on the lead lap by race's end. In terms of the title chase, the contenders largely held serve, with Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Elliott Sadler and Reed Sorenson all scoring top 10 finishes (eighth, sixth and 10th respectively). As a result, the standings changes were minimal; Stenhouse left Chicago with a 14 point lead, as the field comes to six races to go in the 2011 season. Read More »

Nationwide Series Breakdown: Virginia 529 College Savings 250

Nationwide Series Breakdown: Virginia 529 College Savings 250

A night that opened seemingly poised to have a dramatic impact on the 2011 Nationwide Series title chase ended up being more of the same: the Cup drivers stealing the show. Carl Edwards dominated early, but Kyle Busch in the end used strength on pit road to muscle out front late and take home the checkered flag. Together, those drivers led a combined 234 of 250 laps, with Busch holding off Edwards and an upset bid by Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. early in the final run. Ryan Truex and a surprising Kenny Wallace rounded out the top-5 finishers. Read More »

Nationwide Series Breakdown: Great Clips 300

Nationwide Series Breakdown: Great Clips 300

Despite the best efforts of Kyle Busch to run him down, Carl Edwards topped a dominant evening with his 35th career Nationwide Series win Saturday night in front of a stellar crowd at the Atlanta Motor Speedway. Busch, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Kevin Harvick and Kasey Kahne rounded out the top 5. Though Edwards led 101 of the 195 laps led en route to victory, side-by-side racing at the front of the field proved plentiful, with each of the drivers in the top 5 taking turns at the front. Goodyear seemed to get the tire situation under control after fielding rocks at Bristol a week ago, with the rubber proving to wear on the abrasive Atlanta service. Drivers throughout the field were seen visibly wrestling with loose race cars throughout the 300 miles. Read More »

Nationwide Series Breakdown: Food City 250

Nationwide Series Breakdown: Food City 250

Kyle Busch scored his 50th career Nationwide Series victory under the lights at Bristol on Friday night, winning by merely a foot or so after a spirited charge from teammate Joey Logano on the final lap. Logano got underneath Busch in turn 2 on the last circuit and the two battled side-by-side to the stripe, with the momentum on the upper side of the track proving to make the difference in what was an otherwise quiet race up front. Clint Bowyer, Carl Edwards and Aric Almirola rounded out the top 5. Though much was made of Busch's car not being the dominant force that it has been in the past at Bristol, the No. 18 still paced the field for 186 of the 250 laps run Friday night. Clint Bowyer was the fastest car in the field for much of the evening, but track position ended up meaning a lot as the tire compound being run provided little advantage for fresh rubber (Logano nearly stole the win on old tires). Tires proved to be the cause of most of the race's yellow flags as well; three of the five cautions were caused by single car wrecks triggered by tire failures. Read More »

Nationwide Qualifying Recap: Food City 250

Kyle Busch laid down the fastest lap during Nationwide qualifying to claim the pole position for the 30th annual Food City 250. Busch laid down a lap of 15.979 seconds for a speed of 120.083 mph. Busch was the only driver to break into the 120 mph range. Starting next to Busch on the front row is his Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Joey Logano who toured the half mile track at Bristol in 15.997 seconds which is a speed of ... Read More »

Nationwide Series Breakdown: NAPA 200

Nationwide Series Breakdown: NAPA 200

The Marcos Ambrose Redemption Tour carried on across the border into Montreal Saturday, with the Tazmanian exorcising his demons on the Circuit Gilles Villeneueve by recovering from an early-race run-in with Jacques Villeneuve to score his fourth career Nationwide Series win in his first start of 2011. Hometown IndyCar regular Alex Tagliani finished second, with Michael McDowell, Steve Wallace and JR Fitzpatrick rounding out the top 5. With the sun shining as the green flag dropped, the first half of the Montreal road course event was among the quietest seen since NASCAR started racing on the renowned Formula One circuit; there was still battling for position, but minus the myriad of incidents accompanying it. That all changed when the sky darkened on the horizon, and the threat of rain forced the entire field into a frenzy, with four yellows taking up nearly 50% of the final 21 laps. The closing laps saw a myriad of road ringers, including Villeneuve, Robby Gordon and Boris Said all forced out of the event. Read More »

Nationwide Series Breakdown: Zippo 200

Nationwide Series Breakdown: Zippo 200

Kyle Busch was the only driver in the field that had anything for brother Kurt at Watkins Glen on Saturday, but Rowdy learned the hard way that one mistake on a road course is enough to cost a win. Racing for the lead less than halfway into Saturday's event, Kyle got out of shape in the bus stop chicane and ended up with a grill full of grass. Forcing an earlier-than-scheduled pit stop, the No. 18 was a few laps short on fuel and forced to pit from the lead less a mere 10 miles from the checkered flag, leaving Kurt to drive away from the field on a green-white-checkered to score his second career NNS win at the Glen. Jimmie Johnson, Joey Logano, Kyle Busch and Carl Edwards rounded out the top 5. Read More »

ARCA Road Racers Add Flavor to Stout Nationwide Field at the Glen

ARCA Road Racers Add Flavor to Stout Nationwide Field at the Glen

Coming off what was a stellar standalone stretch featuring back-to-back short track races, the Nationwide Series turns left (and right) into Watkins Glen International. Just as with any companion race, there's plenty of chatter surrounding the Cup regulars ready to leave their mark, be they five-time champion Jimmie Johnson in a rare minor league start or Kurt Busch filling in for the injured Brad Keselowski. There's also the usual cast of road ringers, with 2008 Montreal winner Ron Fellows, Kyle Kelley and others making an appearance. The lesser-told story is that of the ARCA Racing Series entrants that will be making the rounds on the New York road course this weekend. Three different situations, three different teams, and three different ways that a few of the lesser known drivers in the field just might have a dramatic impact on Saturday's Zippo 200. Read More »

Nationwide Series Breakdown: U.S. Cellular 250

Nationwide Series Breakdown: U.S. Cellular 250

Roush Fenway Racing's Mustangs had finished 1-2 four times this season prior to Saturday night's race at Iowa, so Ricky Stenhouse Jr. beating Carl Edwards to the stripe wasn't the most remarkable outcome statistically. But this finish was so much more. In a race that saw the two teammates trade paint and get hot under the collar for the second consecutive week, Stenhouse had nearly a second on Edwards heading into the final corner when his engine expired. Edwards, who had enough momentum to clear the No. 6 and steal the win, got caught up in the cloud of smoke and oil from the expired motor, slammed into the back of Stenhouse's car, and in doing so secured the second career win for the current points leader. Edwards, polesitter Elliott Sadler, Josh Wise and Aric Almirola rounded out the top 5. Read More »