NASCAR Race Weekend Central

Tag Archives: Mike Wallace

28 Down, 7 To Go In NASCAR’s Second Series In 2008

In a sure sign that life moves pretty fast and I’m getting older by the day, we’re down to just seven races to go before the crowning of the inaugural NASCAR Nationwide Series champion. I feel like it was only yesterday that I wrote a “Nuts for Nationwide” column entitled “Four down, 31 to go.” And yet here we are at the very sharp end of the season with just a handful of races left on the schedule. This weekend, the drivers of the second series get a well-earned break and one final chance to juice up their engines for the stretch run. Both the top two drivers in the second series, Clint Bowyer and Carl Edwards, will instead concentrate on what you could term their “day jobs” at the Sprint Cup level with each man itching to make solid starts to their respective Chase campaigns. So with a momentary pause at the Nationwide level, let’s take a look at the top 10 drivers in the current standings.

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Holding a Pretty Wheel: In David Stremme, Penske Gets Marketability – But What About Driving Ability?

It’d be kind of ironic -- given that I wrote a column on driver marketability a few weeks ago -- if the topic had been shot to the forefront of the sport, wrapped around what is probably close to the last of the major teams’ driver signings. Yet, that’s exactly what happened when Penske Racing South made David Stremme the official driver of the No. 12 Dodge for 2009 and beyond, a move that might at least score them the award for Worst Kept Secret of the Year. And, despite being long rumored, the move still surprises me -- because Penske could have done better.

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Nationwide Series Breakdown: 2008 Food City 250 at Bristol

Friday night was the night Clint Bowyer was looking for. After enduring weeks of poor-handling racecars and seeing his points lead diminish, Bowyer and the No. 2 team found themselves amongst the class of the field. By lap 106, they took the lead and never looked back... that is, until lap 227. Bowyer -- in the lead with no surrounding lapped traffic -- got loose exiting turn 1 and slipped up the racetrack, opening the door for Brad Keselowski. Finishing off a charge to the front from his 37th starting spot, Keselowski flew by Bowyer and led the remainder of the race, scoring his second Nationwide Series win of the season and of his career.

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Holding a Pretty Wheel: Has NASCAR Finally Found A Race It Could Fix?

Fans can vote online this year for the Most Popular Driver award in eight touring series other than Sprint Cup. That’s great. What’s not so great is NASCAR’s reluctance to put some drivers on the ballot at all. As of Wednesday of this week, Wallace wasn’t on the Nationwide Series ballot, despite being a series regular. Neither were Mike Wallace or Steve Wallace, also full-time drivers in the series. Many fans complained, and those names were added to the ballot, a week after voting opened. But what of the other drivers who have raced in the series? Where are their names?

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10 Points To Ponder… After The 2008 Coke Zero 400 at Daytona

1. The Other Big Three - American automakers GM, Ford, and Chrysler have just about reached the panic stage, as their financial well-being becomes a critical concern. GM stock has lost approximately 75% of its value over the last year, Ford Motor Company has seen a 50% decline of stock value in the last three months, and Chrysler is expected to either file bankruptcy or sell off what profitable segments of the company they can. NASCAR's Chairman and CEO Brian France, speaking on whether there'll be continued support from the "Big Three" in the sport considering their financial crunch, summed up the situation by saying, “...we’ll just have to see.”

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Nationwide Series Breakdown: 2008 Winn-Dixie 250 at Daytona

Friday night’s race at Daytona was a true barnburner, slowed by only three cautions and run at a near-record pace. Unfortunately, Friday’s race was also as predictable as a TV movie -- with Joe Gibbs Racing Toyotas dominating the field. Once the checkered flag flew, it was Denny Hamlin scoring the win, his third in the Nationwide Series for 2008. Hamlin’s victory also marked the ninth of the season for JGR’s No. 20 team, and the 12th win in 18 races for JGR this season in this division.

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Nuts for Nationwide: Pretenders and Contenders for the 2008 Crown

With 16 races down and 21 remaining in the Nationwide Series, we have a long way to go. But after two straight maiden victories for two of the most promising young drivers in the sport, there is a lot to like about this year’s Nationwide Series championship. After a couple of blow out seasons--Kevin Harvick won the title at a canter in 2006 as did Carl Edwards in 2007--it looks like 2008 will be much more competitive. So who are the contenders and the pretenders for the 2008 NASCAR Nationwide crown? Who are we likely to be saluting come November? Who has a better than average chance and who are the pretenders – the men who might just pull off a surprise and win it all?

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10 Points To Ponder… After the 2008 Lifelock 400 at Michigan

2. Would You Like Fries With That? - Joe Gibbs Racing driver phenom Joey Logano, continuing to live up to high expectations set by the sports media and NASCAR insiders -- such as respected veteran Mark Martin -- set a new mark for the youngest driver, at 18 years and 21 days, to ever to win a Nationwide Series race. Logano, piloting the JGR No. 20 Toyota, crossed the finish line more than two seconds ahead of runner-up Scott Wimmer in the Meijer 300 at Kentucky. "Three starts, two poles, one win. He's OK," said a very pleased Dave Rogers, Logano’s crew chief. What were you doing at 18?

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Nationwide Series Breakdown: 2008 Federated Auto Parts 300 at Nashville

In a Nutshell: Saturday’s race was dubbed the "Opportunity 300," the first of numerous standalone events for the Nationwide Series this summer -- and a number of drivers took advantage, making runs at their first career wins. But while Joey Logano was untouchable in the early going, and David Stremme ran up front all race long, it was Brad Keselowski in the No. 88 who cashed in, scoring his first career NASCAR victory on the 1.33-mile speedway. Stremme, David Reutimann and Clint Bowyer all stayed out on the track trying to stretch their fuel to the end, but a late-race caution allowed Keselowski -- who took four tires later in the race -- to run down the leaders and score JR Motorsports’ second series victory this season.

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Nationwide Series Breakdown: 2008 Heluva Good! 200 at Dover

I might as well write a template for this portion of the Nationwide Series Breakdown. This Saturday, Joe Gibbs Racing dominated the NASCAR Nationwide Series X (Heluva Good! 200). Driver X (Denny Hamlin) smoked the field, leading X (131) of X laps (200). Joe Gibbs Racing has now won X (nine) of X (14) races in the Nationwide Series this season.

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