Nationwide Championship Battle begins calm before the Storm: The OneMain Finacial 200 Review

Carl Edwards celebrates winning the 26th Annual OneMain Financial 200 on Saturday at Dover International Speedway in Dover, Del. It was his seventh NASCAR Nationwide Series win of the season and third at the Monster Mile. Credit: Sean Gardner/Getty Images for NASCAR via nascar-assets.americaneagle.com


Carl Edwards won.

At this point, the actual winner of the race, which has been a steady slew of Sprint Cup Regulars, doesn't matter.  No one is paying any attention to that aspect of the races.  Everyone is keeping an eye on one of the best Nationwide Championship battles since Kenseth vs. Earnhardt Jr years ago.  Ricky Stenhouse, Elliott Sadler, and Reed Sorenson all finished pretty steady in this one, and not a single driver changed positions in the top 12 in points.  This happens from time to time in a Championship battle.  It really is just a calming period before we go all out in the last five races.  We now only have 10 drivers that can win the Championship.  After Kansas next week, we may see another driver get eliminated from contention.  The top three stayed the same, but Reed Sorenson made up some points on Sadler, and only lost two points to Stenhouse.  Ricky is driving like a Champion, but I can't help but feel that having Cup Drivers take the top four spots is the only thing that keeps this Championship battle from being the best in history. 

Having so many Cup drivers is taking away from the potential finishes of the Nationwide Regulars.  I thank NASCAR for the new rule changes this year, but they didn't go far enough.  Next year, I would love to see the final 10 race Cup Driver free.  That way you could watch Ryan Truex, Reed Sorenson, Austin Dillon, Aric Almirola, Ricky Stenhouse and Elliott Sadler really battle it out.  There is still time to make this series truly a stand alone series next year.


Results and More after the JUMP!  Plus, An updated Nationwide "Chase"!

Fin Str Car Driver Team Laps Pts Status
1 2 60 Carl Edwards(i) Fastenal Ford 200 0 Running
2 8 22 Brad Keselowski(i) Ruby Tuesday Dodge 200 0 Running
3 4 33 Clint Bowyer(i) Rheem Heating and Cooling Chevy 200 0 Running
4 7 38 Kasey Kahne(i) Great Clips Chevy 200 0 Running
5 6 6 Ricky Stenhouse Blackwell Angus Ford 200 39 Running
6 9 16 Trevor Bayne RickyvsTrevor.com Ford 200 38 Running
7 19 32 Reed Sorenson Dollar General Chevy 200 37 Running
8 5 20 Ryan Truex # Heinz 57 Sauce Toyota 200 36 Running
9 13 19 Mike Bliss TriStar Motorsports Chevy 200 35 Running
10 14 31 Justin Allgaier Racersites / JustinAllgaier.com Chevy 200 34 Running
11 11 11 Brian Scott Shore Lodge Toyota 200 33 Running
12 18 62 Michael Annett RaceWithRusty.com Toyota 200 32 Running
13 3 18 Joey Logano(i) SportClips / VFW Toyota 199 0 Running
14 1 2 Elliott Sadler OneMain Financial Chevy 199 31 Running
15 16 88 Aric Almirola Ragu Chevy 199 29 Running
16 10 09 Kenny Wallace Federated Auto Parts Toyota 199 28 Running
17 15 7 Jamie McMurray(i) GoDaddy.com Chevy 199 0 Running
18 23 51 Jeremy Clements Clements Racing Engines Chevy 199 26 Running
19 17 30 Jason Leffler AccuDoc Solutions Chevy 198 25 Running
20 12 66 Steve Wallace 5-hour Energy Toyota 198 24 Running
21 22 81 Blake Koch # DayStar.com Dodge 197 23 Running
22 42 15 Timmy Hill # Poynt.com Ford 197 22 Running
23 31 39 Fain Skinner CarPortEmpire.com Ford 194 21 Running
24 27 14 Eric McClure Hefty BlackOut / Reynolds Chevy 194 20 Running
25 39 89 Morgan Shepherd ABLE / Victory in Jesus Racing Chevy 194 19 Running
26 41 28 Derrike Cope MAXelence.com Dodge 193 18 Running
27 37 52 Kevin Lepage WarrenWoodworking Chevy 191 17 Running
28 36 70 Casey Roderick RandyHillRacing.com / acu.edu Chevy 190 16 Running
29 21 01 Mike Wallace I Hate Steven Singer! Chevy 164 16 Suspension
30 24 87 Joe Nemechek D.A.B. Constructors Toyota 137 14 Running
31 25 23 Scott Riggs North Texas Pipe Chevy 128 13 Transmission
32 33 71 Matt Carter Rick Ware Racing Ford 22 12 Start and Park
33 40 40 Josh Wise Key Motorsports Chevy 21 11 Start and Park
34 34 75 Carl Long Rick Ware Racing Ford 16 10 Start and Park
35 35 41 Johnny Chapman Rick Ware Racing Chevy 10 9 Start and Park
36 38 49 Mark Green Acredale Vending Chevy 8 8 Start and Park
37 26 04 Kelly Bires Go Green Racing Ford 7 7 Start and Park
38 20 47 Charles Lewandoski # Key Motorsports Chevy 6 6 Start and Park
39 43 46 Chase Miller Key Motorsports Chevy 5 5 Start and Park
40 30 42 Tim Andrews Key Motorsports Chevy 4 4 Start and Park
41 28 82 Scott Wimmer K Love Dodge 3 3 Start and Park
42 32 50 T J Bell(i) Liberty Tire Chevy 3 0 Start and Park
43 29 44 Jeff Green TriStar Motorsports Chevy 1 1 Start and Park

Only 31 cars attempted to run the entire race.  Pretty sad.  We actually had 6 straight laps where a Start and Park car pulled into the garage.  It was a ridiculous parade of disrespect.  Let's take a look at that awesome championship battle:

Pos Car # Driver Points Ldr Wins T5s T10
1 6 Ricky Stenhouse 1025 0 2 13 21
2 2 Elliott Sadler 1003 -22 0 10 20
3 32 Reed Sorenson 976 -49 1 7 18
4 88 Aric Almirola 951 -74 0 7 17
5 31 Justin Allgaier 939 -86 1 6 15
6 38 Jason Leffler 884 -141 0 2 12
7 09 Kenny Wallace 841 -184 0 1 11
8 66 Steve Wallace 815 -210 0 2 5
9 11 Brian Scott 811 -214 0 1 5
10 62 Michael Annett 804 -221 0 0 6
11 19 Mike Bliss X 720 -305 0 0 1
12 16 Trevor Bayne X 698 -327 0 3 10
(X)- Eliminated
As promised:

Reg Pos Chase Pos Numb Driver Chase Points Chase Behind Reg Behind
1 1 6 Ricky Stenhouse 2197 0 0
4 2 88 Aric Almirola 2181 -16 -74
2 3 2 Elliott Sadler 2177 -20 -22
5 4 31 Justin Allgaier 2170 -27 -86
10 5 62 Michael Annett 2155 -42 -221
3 6 32 Reed Sorenson 2154 -43 -49
9 7 11 Brian Scott 2153 -44 -214
11 8 19 Mike Bliss 2151 -46 -305
6 9 38 Jason Leffler 2144 -53 -141
8 10 66 Steve Wallace 2139 -58 -210
12 11 16 Trevor Bayne 2130 -67 -327
7 12 09 Kenny Wallace 2127 -70 -184

The biggest shock in the new Chase System has to be that both Mike Bliss and Trevor Bayne, who were eliminated from Championship Contention under the old points system, are not only alive and kicking, but within striking distance.  Michael Annett remains the highest jumper in points position, and thanks to some rough runs by Kenny Wallace in the last five races, he would sit last in the standings and in need of a lot of help.  Eight different drivers could leave Kansas with the points lead under the Chase Format.  Under the old points?  Just two, Stenhouse and Sadler.

Join us next week for a preview of the Kansas Nationwide Race.  Just five races to go before the Championship is decided.  Enjoy!

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