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Nationwide Series Breakdown: Sta-Green 200
Keselowski? Take himself too seriously? Never! (Credit: CIA)

Nationwide Series Breakdown: Sta-Green 200

Brad Keselowski dominated the Sta-Green 200 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway leading a race high 152 laps for his 29th career Nationwide Series victory and his 2nd win of 2014.

Keselowski beat Kyle Busch to the checkers by 1.880 seconds. Kyle Larson would finish 3rd and Matt Kenseth would finish 4th on a day completely dominated by the Sprint Cup Series regulars. Chris Buescher would carry the afternoon for the Nationwide regulars finishing 5th.

2014 Loudon I NNS Brad Keselowski racing CIA

Brad Keselowski cruising to victory (CIA)

It was a typical 200 lap race at New Hampshire with clean air and track position being of utmost importance. Keselowski and Busch did what they normally do in Nationwide Series competition which is lead a lot of laps. Combined on the afternoon they led 186 of the race’s scheduled 200 lap distance.

Elliott Sadler, Brian Scott, Chase Elliott, Trevor Bayne, and Regan Smith would round out the top 10.  Smith leaves New Hampshire with a slim eight point lead in the championship battle over Sadler. Chase Elliott sits third, followed by Ty Dillon and Brian Scott. Trevor Bayne, Brendan Gaughan, Chris Buescher, James Buescher, and Ryan Reed round out the top 10 in the championship.

The Good:

JR Motorsports continues to be the gold standard of the Nationwide Series in 2014. With Chase Elliott finishing 8th and Regan Smith finishing 10th along with winning the Dash for Cash bonus there is little doubt as to which two drivers appear to be the championship favorites getting ready for the second half of the season.

Chris Buescher continues to impress. His 5th place effort gave him his 2nd top 5 of 2014  plus it moved him up to 8th in the championship standings and keep in mind he missed the season opener at Daytona

The Bad:

James Buescher continues to struggle through his rookie season in the Nationwide Series. A 22nd-place run at Loudon adds to the struggles. Buescher only has 1 top 10 in 17 races this season. Gotta wonder if moving up to the Nationwide Series was a mistake for Buescher or just a product of the team he drives for.

The Ugly:

Racing at New Hampshire Motor Speedway is ugly in general, Saturday was no exception. At a track where track position means everything and passing is so difficult it is really hard to maintain interest in a race there. Plus when someone has a car like Keselowski had it compounds the problem. Fans will still insist the problem is too many cup regulars in the field but the problem with the Nationwide Series this year is not enough good teams and not enough competitive cars.

Underdog Performer of the Race:

Hard to go against Ryan Preece. Preece drove Tommy Baldwin Racing’s #36 car to an impressive 14th place finish on Saturday and turned several heads in the process. I expect Preece who is a regular on the Whelen Modified Tour to get a few more opportunities in the Nationwide Series this season.

Double Duty and Start and Park Effect:

6 drivers that competed on Saturday also competed on Sunday

2 of 40 cars decided to start and park

Final Word:

New Hampshire definitely didn’t move the needle in regards to excitement and with the Brickyard coming up expect more of the same. Gotta wonder if NASCAR needs to consider different venues and get back to traditional short track racing to revitalize the series. The Nationwide Series is out of place at the big track and needs to return to IRP.

About Justin Tucker

Justin Tucker
Justin starts his second year with the Frontstretch in 2014, responsible for Sprint Cup news in our e-newsletter twice a week. Also a Frontstretch Power Rankings contributor, he acts as “super sub” filling in for various columns throughout the season. He resides out in Missouri.

6 comments

  1. What I got from this article: Justin doesn’t like NHMS and its non competitive cars which make the NW series uninteresting. The last one I took humor in though. Doesn’t Cup drivers running away with every race lead to noncompetitive cars? But they sure do bring in the fans don’t they? Whoops.

  2. Terrible race won by a driver who shouldn’t have been there.

  3. The important thing is at least it’s not Kyle Busch, right?

  4. The Ugly: Add Dylan K. and his hat to the list, every week he wrecks somebody.

  5. Boy, those stupid fans still insisting that there are too many Cup regulars in the field. That competition thing is sooooo over rated. Who doesn’t want to waste a few hours watching a “race” where you know the outcome before the green flag waves. That is why attendance is in free fall, those silly fans just refuse to acknowledge that NASCAR will tell them what they want to see. I get mad at myself every time I watch a NW race and I watch fewer every month. I’ll give you this, at least you admit that more and more of us think that the problem is TOO MANY CUP DRIVERS ruining the product.

    • Whoa…that was a Nationwide race? I just assumed that they moved the Sprint Cup race to Saturday!