We are getting down to it. The next three races will determine the 2011 Nationwide Champion. Ricky Stenhouse, who is guaranteed a ride for 2012 with or without a sponsor, will need to hold on for three more races to win his first ever NASCAR Championship. But you cannot count out Elliott Sadler, Justin Allgaier, Aric Almirola or Reed Sorenson just yet.
This week we head to Texas Motor Speedway. Texas is a 1.5 mile cookie cutter race track. This will be the second event at Texas this year. Carl Edwards won the Spring Race. This will be a very interesting race for the Championship since in the spring Sadler finished 5th, with Allgiaer 6th, Sorenson 7th and Stenhouse 8th. When you have the top four Nationwide drivers all Championship contenders it makes for a great storyline.
Entry List and More after the JUMP!
|1||01||Mike Wallace||I Hate Steven Singer||11 Chevy||JD Motorsports|
|2||2||Elliott Sadler||OneMain Financial||11 Chevy||Kevin Harvick Inc.|
|3||03||Scott Riggs * (S)||McKinney Pipe & Steel||11 Chevy||R3 Motorsports|
|4||04||Tim Andrews * (S)||Fenton Motorsports||11 Ford||Go Green Racing|
|5||6||Ricky Stenhouse Jr||Blackwell/Sams Club||11 Ford||Roush Fenway|
|6||7||Danica Patrick||Dan WheldonMemorial.com||11 Chevy||JR Motorsports|
|7||08||David Ragan(i) *||Texas Tech University||11 Ford||Randy Hill Racing|
|8||09||Kenny Wallace||G-Oil||11 Toyota||RAB Racing|
|9||11||Brian Scott||Shore Lodge||11 Toyota||Joe Gibbs|
|10||12||Sam Hornish Jr *||AVIS||11 Dodge||Roger Penske|
|11||14||Eric McClure||Hefty Black Out / Reynolds||11 Chevy||TriStar Motorsports|
|12||15||Timmy Hill||Poynt.com||11 Ford||Rick Ware|
|13||16||Trevor Bayne *||Roush Fenway Racing||11 Ford||Roush Fenway|
|14||18||Kyle Busch(i)||Z-Line Designs||11 Toyota||Joe Gibbs|
|15||19||Mike Bliss||TBA||11 Chevy||TriStar Motorsports|
|16||20||Joey Logano(i) *||GameStop||11 Toyota||Joe Gibbs|
|17||22||Brad Keselowski(i)||Discount Tire||11 Dodge||Roger Penske|
|18||23||Robert Richardson Jr||Takis-TiaRosa-Barcel||11 Chevy||R3 Motorsports|
|19||27||J J Yeley(i) *||Certainteed||11 Ford||Steve Meehan|
|20||28||Derrike Cope||Maxelence||11 Dodge||Jay Robinson|
|21||30||James Buescher(i)||ABF||11 Chevy||Turner Motorsports|
|22||31||Justin Allgaier||Brandt||11 Chevy||Turner Motorsports|
|23||32||Brian Vickers(i)||Dollar General||11 Chevy||Turner Motorsports|
|24||33||Clint Bowyer(i)||Rheem Cooling & Water Heating||11 Chevy||Kevin Harvick Inc.|
|25||38||Jason Leffler||Great Clips||11 Chevy||Turner Motorsports|
|26||39||Joey Gase||Fenton Motorsports||11 Ford||Roush Fenway|
|27||40||Josh Wise||Curtis Key Plumbing||11 Chevy||Key Motorsports|
|28||41||Johnny Chapman * (S)||Rick Ware Racing||11 Chevy||Rick Ware|
|29||42||Erik Darnell(i) * (S)||Curtis Key Plumbing||11 Chevy||Key Motorsports|
|30||44||Jeff Green (PC) (S)||TBA||11 Chevy||TriStar Motorsports|
|31||46||Chase Miller * (S)||Curtis Key Plumbing||11 Chevy||Key Motorsports|
|32||47||Scott Speed * (S)||Curtis Key Plumbing||11 Chevy||Key Motorsports|
|33||48||Dennis Setzer * (S)||Acredale Vending||11 Chevy||Jay Robinson|
|34||49||Mark Green * (S)||Acredale Vending||11 Chevy||Jay Robinson|
|35||50||T J Bell(i) * (S)||Liberty Tire Recyclers||11 Chevy||Mark Beaver|
|36||51||Jeremy Clements||Clements Racing Engines||10 Chevy||Jeremy Clements|
|37||52||Jamie Dick(i)||TBA||11 Chevy||Jimmy Means|
|38||60||Carl Edwards(i)||Fastenal||11 Ford||Roush Fenway|
|39||62||Michael Annett||Pilot-Flying J||11 Toyota||Rusty Wallace|
|40||66||Steve Wallace||5 Hour Energy||11 Toyota||Rusty Wallace|
|41||70||David Stremme(i)||Foretravel||11 Chevy||ML Motorsports|
|42||71||Matthew Carter * (S)||Rick Ware Racing||11 Chevy||Rick Ware|
|43||75||Carl Long * (S)||Rick Ware Racing||11 Ford||Rick Ware|
|44||81||Blake Koch||Daystar.com||11 Chevy||MacDonald|
|45||82||Reed Sorenson *||MacDonald Motorsports||10 Dodge||MacDonald|
|46||87||Joe Nemechek||TBD||11 Toyota||NEMCO|
|47||88||Aric Almirola||Grand Touring Vodka||11 Chevy||JR Motorsports|
|48||89||Morgan Shepherd||Victory in Jesus Racing||11 Chevy||Faith Motorsports|
|(PC) Past Champion|
|(S) Known Start and Park|
|(i) Not Running for Championship|
48 teams entered Texas this week, and 12 of those are locks to be Start and Park teams. In case you're playing along at home, that's one in four teams that will not attempt 200 laps.
Just a few notes this week:
- #01- I had to look up the sponsor for Mike Wallace this week. I Hate Steven Singer is a marketing idea by Steven Singer jewlers. Check out thier website www.ihatestevensinger.com to find the details out.
- #7- Danica Patrick will carry a special Dan Wheldon Memorial scheme this week.
- #08- David Ragan is going to be out of a job in 2012. His team in the Sprint Cup Series is getting cut. Ragan is open to returning to the Nationwide Series in 2012. If he does, Ragan will be a Nationwide Championship contender for sure.
- #12-Sam Hornish has been told he will be a full time driver in 2012. Hornish joins the now crowded field of Nationwide Championship Contenders.
- #47- Scott Speed will start and park this week. My heart breaks for such a talented driver. I was a big supporter for Scott Speed, and when he was released in favor of a one year rental I cried foul. I never blame the drivers in the start and park teams, as they need to get paid and most cannot find a full time ride. Most of the start and park teams have been hiring drivers like Speed, Darnell, and Chase Miller. All of which were at one time promising rookie drivers who were never given the chance to prove themselves.
- #82- Reed Sorenson will stay with MacDonald Motorsports for the final three races, but next year he will be a free agent. All of us here at Nascar RnR do not want to see such a promising young star yet again without a ride.
Join us this Saturday at Noon on ESPN 2 for the live running of the O'Reilly Auto Parts Challenge. Log into your SBNation account and head on over here for the open race thread during the race. Enjoy!