NASCAR Race Weekend Central

Scott Lagasse Jr.’s Release A Short-Sighted Move, Long-Term Problem for NNS

While Silly Season 2009 has so far been quieter than in years past, it hit the Nationwide Series with full force following race weekend at Gateway. And, frankly, it was one of the more convoluted moves the Series has seen in recent memory. Scott Lagasse Jr., a solid Rookie of the Year contender and a …

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Excited About New Driver, Car, Specialty Racing Looking Forward

After Brandon Whitt decided to step down as the driver of the No. 61 Specialty Racing Ford in the Nationwide Series ranks last week, ARCA Re/Max Series standout Matt Carter was tabbed as the team’s new driver. And just as his former ARCA owner, Larry Clement, couldn’t control his enthusiasm about having Carter return to …

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Nationwide Series Breakdown: 2009 O’Reilly 300 at Texas

On paper, this one wasn’t even close. And for over 250 miles on Saturday, it wasn’t. In the end, though, Kyle Busch led 178 of the 200 laps run to score his third win of the 2009 season. But he came very close to losing it. Brad Keselowski, who started 42nd in a backup car after a qualifying wreck, sliced and diced through the field and with less than 20 laps to go was running down Busch’s No. 18. Once the caution flag flew on lap 189, the stage was set for Rowdy to be toppled. Turns out the drama was all for naught, though. Keselowski spun his tires on the final restart, allowing Busch to pull away from the field. The only driver who got close to Busch on the final run was Tony Stewart, who had an extra set of tires saved and moved from seventh to second in the final seven laps with fresh rubber.

Nuts for Nationwide: A Look at the Soon-to-Be Top 30

This weekend’s upcoming race at Texas Motor Speedway will mark the fifth event of the season for the Nationwide Series and the final race before reverting to the 2009 owner points standings to determine who is locked into the field each weekend. Looking at the current standings, there are a number of teams that are all but locks to be in the Top-30 cutoff after Saturday’s 300-miler. Roush Fenway Racing’s No. 16 team, Joe Gibbs Racing’s No. 18, NEMCO Motorsports’ No. 87 and Braun Racing’s No. 10 are all operations that will likely breath a sigh of relief when they go to qualify at Nashville two weeks from now… because they won’t have to.

Perseverance the Specialty for Doug Taylor, No. 61 Team

Fast forward 10 years. With co-owner Charlie Shoffner and the same driver that scored him his only career win as an owner, Doug Taylor returned to full-time Nationwide Series competition in ’08 under the banner of Specialty Racing. And while the No. 61 car is not contending for wins, or even top 10s just yet, the season can’t be considered anything short of a success. After failing to qualify for the season opener at Daytona, the team has qualified for every race since, racing its way into the Top 30 in owner points and a “locked-in” starting spot in the Nationwide field. That’s an impressive record for a single-car team with no sponsors. More impressive? They’re ready to go full-time again, sponsor or no sponsor, in 2009. In a period of economic turmoil that has seen far better-funded Nationwide teams closing their doors, this relatively unknown team has no qualms talking about being at Daytona this coming February.

Nationwide Series Breakdown: 2008 Missouri-Illinois Dodge Dealers 250 at Gateway

Midwest drivers Jamie McMurray and Clint Bowyer had strong runs; but in the end, it was Carl Edwards who scored the victory at Gateway, his second win in only five starts under new crew chief Drew Blickensderfer.

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