While Sprint Cup and Craftsman Truck teams were home this Easter weekend — spending quality time with family and catching up on March Madness — the Nationwide Series spent Saturday afternoon roaring around Nashville Superspeedway, the series’ sixth stop this season. While this column is normally reserved for discussing the trends of the hottest and coldest teams in Sprint Cup, on this off week we’ll take a quick look at what’s going on in the other series; and considering who’s raced most recently, Nationwide plays a prominent role in the column to come. Come in and see who else is sharing that fire in this week’s edition of Who’s Hot/Who’s Not. At this point, we take a look at which non-Buschwackers, or Nationwhackers, or Insurance Adjusters, or whatever they’re called now, in NASCAR’s other two premier series.
Despite the rain washing the track clean on Saturday, Sunday’s race — the second on Bristol’s new surface — seemed more competitive than the fall race last year. Is Bristol back after a brief hiatus? Or do teams just have a better handle on the new car?
With a little bit of luck and a whole lot of skill, Clint Bowyer led 122 of 171 laps run to score the win in the rain-shortened Sharpie Mini 300 at Bristol.
In the end, Matt Kenseth was able to hold off a hard-charging Kevin Harvick through a green-white-checkered finish at Atlanta to take the Nicorette 300, his 24th career Nationwide Series win.
After both California and Las Vegas, it seems that tire issues could be a problem with the new car on intermediate tracks. How can this be remedied before this safety issue gets out of hand?
Mark Martin, chasing down the leaders with five laps to go, got into the back of Carl Edwards, taking out both Edwards and then-race leader Brad Keselowski to win the Sam’s Town 300, his 48th career Nationwide Series race.
12 drivers were running almost 700 miles thanks to the delay of the Cup race and the postponement of the Nationwide race. However, it didn’t make much difference to Tony Stewart, who ran away with much of the Stater Brothers 300.
Last week we talked about the new series sponsor, “buschwhacking,” and the future of the series. This week, we examine the champ, the contenders and the 2008 rookie class.
There were two races going on during the O’Reilly Challenge. The primary race, which was won by Kevin Harvick (who practically owns the Busch Series when he decides to run), and Carl Edwards’ race to finally finish off the series championship. Edwards had to finish 36th or better to seal the deal and, thanks to some attrition, Edwards sealed the championship before the end of the race.
The Buschwhackers put on a heck of a show Saturday in the heart of America. The race started with Denny Hamlin and Carl Edwards having a great duel for the lead for the first nine laps, then it became the Matt Kenseth show. Kenseth led the race from lap 10 through lap 34 and then was part of the group that swapped the lead throughout the middle of the race which included Jeff Burton, Greg Biffle, and Brian Vickers. Vickers once again had trouble on pit road during a pit stop while the caution was displayed for oil on the track at lap 127 and was never able to fully recover. Kenseth resumed the lead on lap 146 and held it until lap 183. Kyle Busch overcame a pit road speeding penalty that sent him to the back of the longest line and caught back up to Kenseth, ultimately taking the lead on lap 184 and holding onto it for the rest of the race.