Ford Championship Weekend for the Nationwide Series: The Ford 300 Preview



It's that special time of year again; the Ford Championship weekend is here!  And an actual Ford will will the 2011 Nationwide Championship this year!  Ford driver Ricky Stenhouse just needs to finish 37th or better to win his first Nationwide Championship. 

That means that Stenhouse just needs to outlast the litany of Start and Park drivers that consistantly disrespect fans of Nascar week in and week out.  Elliott Sadler had a great run, and a great year, but even without his wreck last week, I think Stenhouse would still had won the Championship as he seems unstoppable this year. 

Ricky has eight straight top ten finishes in the past eight races and only 4 out of 33 races have seen Stenhouse outside the top 15.  He has two wins, 15 top fives, 25 top tens, and only two DNFs.  Sadler by comparision has zero wins, 12 top 5s, and 23 top tens, with just one DNF.  It's been a great year and a great championship battle. 

Entry List and More after the JUMP!

Ent. Car # Driver Sponsor Manu. Owner
1 01 Mike Wallace I Hate Steven Singer 11 Chevy Lori Davis
2 2 Elliott Sadler OneMain Financial 11 Chevy Delana Harvick
3 03 Scott Riggs * (S) NTX Pipe 11 Chevy Robert Richardson Sr
4 04 Tim Andrews * (S) Go Green Racing 11 Ford Archie St Hilaire
5 6 Ricky Stenhouse Jr Blackwell Angus 11 Ford Jack Roush
6 7 Danica Patrick 11 Chevy Kelley Earnhardt
7 09 Kenny Wallace Federated Auto Parts 11 Toyota Robby Benton
8 11 Brian Scott Shore Lodge 11 Toyota J D Gibbs
9 12 Sam Hornish Jr * Alliance Truck Parts 11 Dodge Roger Penske
10 14 Eric McClure Hefty Black Out / Reynolds 11 Chevy Mark Smith
11 15 Timmy Hill Poynt/Lilly Trucking 11 Ford Bob Germain
12 16 Trevor Bayne * Roush Fenway Racing 11 Ford Jack Roush
13 18 Denny Hamlin(i) Z-Line Designs 11 Toyota Joe Gibbs
14 19 Mike Bliss TBA 11 Chevy Mark Smith
15 20 Joey Logano(i) * GameStop 11 Toyota Joe Gibbs
16 22 Brad Keselowski(i) Discount Tire 11 Dodge Roger Penske
17 23 Robert Richardson Jr N TX Pipe 11 Chevy Robert Richardson Sr
18 28 Derrike Cope Maxelence 11 Dodge Jay Robinson
19 30 Nelson Piquet Jr(i) TBA 11 Chevy Harry Scott Jr
20 31 Justin Allgaier Brandt 11 Chevy Steve Turner
21 32 James Buescher(i) Dollar General 11 Chevy Sandra Turner
22 33 Clint Bowyer(i) Rheem Heating 11 Chevy Delana Harvick
23 38 Jason Leffler Great Clips 11 Chevy Steve Turner
24 39 Fain Skinner Carport Empire 11 Ford Jack Roush
25 40 Josh Wise Curtis Key Plumbing 11 Chevy Curtis Key Sr
26 41 Stanton Barrett * (S) Barcode 11 Chevy Rick Ware
27 42 Erik Darnell(i) * (S) Curtis Key Plumbing 11 Chevy Curtis Key Sr
28 44 Jeff Green * (PC) (S) TBA 11 Chevy Mark Smith
29 46 Chase Miller * (S) Curtis Key Plumbing 11 Chevy Curtis Key Sr
30 47 Scott Speed * (S) Curtis Key Plumbing 11 Chevy Curtis Key Sr
31 49 Mark Green * (S) Acredale Vending 11 Chevy Jay Robinson
32 50 T J Bell(i) * Liberty Tire Recyclers 11 Chevy Mark Beaver
33 51 Jeremy Clements Clements Racing Engines 10 Chevy Johnny Davis
34 52 Kevin Lepage TBD 11 Chevy Jimmy Means
35 60 Carl Edwards(i) Fastenal 11 Ford Jack Roush
36 62 Michael Annett Pilot-Flying J 11 Toyota Rusty Wallace
37 66 Steve Wallace 5 Hour Energy 11 Toyota Rusty Wallace
38 67 Andrew Ranger * Go Canada Racing 11 Ford Steve Meehan
39 70 David Stremme(i) Foretravel 11 Chevy Mary Louise Miller
40 71 Matthew Carter * (S) Rick Ware Racing 11 Chevy Rick Ware
41 72 Jake Crum * (S) Bandit Chippers 11 Toyota James Carter
42 75 Johnny Chapman * (S) Rick Ware Racing 11 Ford Rick Ware
43 81 Blake Koch 11 Chevy Pat MacDonald
44 82 Reed Sorenson * Foametix/Bullet Liner 11 Dodge Randy MacDonald
45 87 Kevin Conway Extenze 11 Toyota Andrea Nemechek
46 88 Aric Almirola Grand Touring Vodka 11 Chevy Dale Earnhardt Jr
47 89 Morgan Shepherd Victory in Jesus Racing 11 Chevy Morgan Shepherd
48 97 Joe Nemechek * (PC) AM/FM Energy Pellet & Wood Stoves 11 Toyota Andrea Nemechek

(S)- Known Start and Park

(i)- Not Running for Championship

 * - Must Qualify on Time

(PC)- Past Champion

48 teams have made the trip to Homestead-Miami, Florida for the final race of the 2011 Season.  Five teams will go home before it even begins.  A few notes this week:

  • #2- Sadler should win the Comeback Racer of the Year if it existed.  Sadler proved he is not washed up yet.  He is a favorite for the 2012 Crown at this point.
  • #6- Let's give a hand to the 2010 Nationwide Rookie of the Year Ricky Stenhouse on a great follow up year and a first Championship.
  • #7- Danica Patrick will be back and so will the admiration of every sportscaster around.  If Patrick can finish in the top 10 in points in her first full year in Nationwide it should be considered a success.  A win would really shut every naysayer up - including me.
  • #09- 2012 will probably be Kenny Wallace's last year in Nascar.  It would be great to have him go out with a win.
  • #12- Last weeks winner Sam Hornish has vaulted himself into the 2012 Championship conversation but can he follow-up his last week's win this week?  Doubt it.
  • #16- Trevor Bayne may not be back in 2012.  He's looking to make a case for a full-time ride, or a full-time sponsor.
  • #18- Denny Hamlin replaces Kyle Busch this week.  Busch will be back next year with his own team, splitting time between KBM and Joe Gibbs Racing.
  • #30- Nelson Piquet is working his way up the ladder.  Piquet is looking for a full time ride, and Turner is looking for drivers.
  • #82- Reed Sorenson, 2011 tough luck story, is looking for a good run, and a good 2012 ride. I don't think he'll find either and that's a damn shame.

Join us this Saturday for an Open Race Thread and when you do I want everyone who visits this site to send a friend a link or post on Facebook or send out a Tweet to try to get other race fans to join SBNation and the growing number of Nascar Ranting and Raving fans out there!  Oh, and while you're doing that, don't forget to catch the live running of the Ford 300 on ESPN2 at 4 pm Eastern.  Enjoy!

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