Finally! It's the start of the 2012 Nationwide Series this weekend at Daytona International Speedway!
While the 500 will get the majority of the press this weekend, one cannot count out the races in the Nationwide and Truck Series' - did you see that finish in the Truck race? Wow.
Ricky Stenhouse, the first 'Nationwide Only' champion in the past few years, returns to defend his title. He's joined by a pack of championship contenders and Cup drivers. Even though the starting line-up is all ready set you'll find an intro for all 50 teams entered this week after the jump.
|1||01||Mike Wallace||G&K Services||12 Chevy||Johnny Davis|
|2||1||Kurt Busch (i) *||Hendrickcars.com||12 Chevy||James Finch|
|3||2||Elliott Sadler||ONE MAIN FINANCIAL||12 Chevy||Delana Harvick|
|4||3||Austin Dillon||ADVOCARE||12 Chevy||Morgan Shepherd|
|5||4||Danny Efland||Danny Efland Racing||12 Chevy||Rusty Wallace|
|6||5||Dale Earnhardt Jr (i) [PC4] *||TaxSlayer.com||12 Chevy||Rick Hendrick|
|7||6||Ricky Stenhouse Jr||KELLOGGS POP TARTS||12 Ford||Jack Roush|
|8||7||Danica Patrick||GoDaddy.com||12 Chevy||Kelley Earnhardt-Miller|
|9||08||Casey Roderick *||Randy Hill Racing||12 Ford||Randy Hill|
|10||09||Kenny Wallace||Family Farmers||12 Toyota||Robby Benton|
|11||10||Jeff Green [PC3] *||Tri-Star Motorsports||12 Toyota||Mark Smith|
|12||11||Brian Scott||Dollar General||11 Toyota||J D Gibbs|
|13||12||Sam Hornish Jr||Alliance Truck Parts||12 Dodge||Roger Penske|
|14||14||Eric McClure||Hefty Reynolds Wrap||12 Toyota||Mark Smith|
|15||15||Timmy Hill||Poynt.com||12 Ford||Rick Ware|
|16||18||Denny Hamlin (i)||Z-Line Designs||11 Toyota||Joe Gibbs|
|17||19||Tayler Malsam||G-Oil||12 Toyota||Mark Smith|
|18||20||Joey Logano (i) *||GameStop||11 Toyota||Joe Gibbs|
|19||22||Brad Keselowski (i) [PC1] *||Discount Tire||12 Dodge||Roger Penske|
|20||23||Robert Richardson Jr||North TX Pipe||12 Chevy||Robert Richardson Sr|
|21||24||Benny Gordon *||Kentucky Antler Co & VFI||12 Toyota||Jason Sciavicco|
|22||27||David Ragan (i) *||Certainteed||12 Ford||Steve Meehan|
|23||28||J J Yeley (i)||JPO Absorbents||12 Chevy||Jay Robinson|
|24||30||James Buescher (i)||FOE||12 Chevy||Harry Scott Jr|
|25||31||Justin Allgaier||Brandt||12 Chevy||Sandra Turner|
|26||33||Tony Stewart (i)||Oreo-Ritz||12 Chevy||Delana Harvick|
|27||36||Ryan Truex *||Grime Boss||12 Chevy||Beth Baldwin|
|28||38||Kasey Kahne (i)||Great Clips||12 Chevy||Steve Turner|
|29||39||Joey Gase||Go Green Racing||12 Ford||Archie St Hilaire|
|30||40||Josh Wise (i)||Curtis Key Plumbing||12 Chevy||Curtis Key Sr|
|31||41||Blake Koch *||Rise Up and Register||12 Ford||Rick Ware|
|32||42||Erik Darnell (i) * (S)||Curtis Key Plumbing||12 Chevy||Curtis Key Sr|
|33||43||Michael Annett||Pilot Flying J||12 Ford||Sandra Turner|
|34||44||Mike Bliss *||Tri-Star Motorsports||12 Toyota||Mark Smith|
|35||46||Chase Miller * (S)||Curtis Key Plumbing||12 Chevy||Curtis Key Sr|
|36||47||Scott Speed (i) * (S)||Curtis Key Plumbing||12 Chevy||Curtis Key Sr|
|37||50||T J Bell||Eastbound & Down||12 Chevy||Rusty Wallace|
|38||51||Jeremy Clements||Kevin Whitaker Chevrolet/92.5 WESC||12 Chevy||Tony Clements|
|39||52||Reed Sorenson||Better Business Bureau||12 Chevy||Jimmy Means|
|40||54||Kyle Busch (i) [PC2] *||Monster Energy||12 Toyota||Kyle Busch|
|41||60||Trevor Bayne||RFR 25TH||12 Ford||Jack Roush|
|42||70||Johanna Long||Foretravel||12 Chevy||Mary Louise Miller|
|43||73||Derrike Cope *||Tito's/Germane Tool||12 Chevy||Gary Keller|
|44||74||Mike Harmon *||American Fallen Heros||12 Ford||Mike Harmon|
|45||76||Donnie Neuenberger *||Eagle Convenience Stores||12 Ford||Ray Hackett|
|46||81||Jason Bowles||PledgeToVote.com||12 Dodge||Gina MacDonald|
|47||87||Joe Nemechek||D.A.B. Constructors||12 Toyota||Andrea Nemechek|
|48||88||Cole Whitt||Hellmann's||12 Chevy||Dale Earnhardt Jr|
|49||89||Morgan Shepherd *||Hylands/GoodInfo.com||12 Chevy||Morgan Shepherd|
|50||97||Johnny Sauter (i) *||AM FM Wood & Pellet Stoves||12 Toyota||Andrea Nemechek|
|(i)- Not Running For Title|
|(S)- Start and Park Team|
|*- Needs to Qualify on Time|
|(PC)- Past Champion|
#01-Mike Wallace almost won this race last year before he went flipping on the last lap. Wallace has remained with the underfunded JD Motorsports despite having the talent to make a few runs every year.
#1- Kurt Busch will run almost every Nationwide Race this year, splitting time between his Cup owner Phoenix Motorsports and his brother's team Kyle Busch Motorsports. Busch is running for the Cup Series Championship, but I actually think that may be a mistake. Busch probably doesn't have the funding to make a Championship run, but he has the talent to win a Nationwide Championship. Busch has to qualify on time.
#2- Elliott Sadler came very close to winning his first Nascar Championship last year. Many have chosen him to win the Championship this year. Sadler is pulling double duty this weekend running for Richard Childress in the Daytona 500.
#3- 2011 Truck Series Champion Austin Dillon brings his sponsor and his ability to the Nationwide Series this year. Dillon may have a lot of competition for the Rookie of the Year award, but his eyes are on the big prize. Dillon has great teammates this week in Sadler and Tony Stewart.
#4- Danny Efland may be a start and park team this week. Efland has been a part time driver for the past few years. He is locked into the event due to Rusty Wallace's owner points.
#5- Dale Earnhardt pulls double duty again this year. Jr. has had mixed success at Daytona in the Nationwide Series, but he should never be counted out. Earnhardt Jr. must qualify on time or have the 3 latest past champions, Jeff Green, Brad Keselowski and Kyle Busch qualify on time.
#6- Ricky Stenhouse will defend his 2011 Nationwide Championship. He does not have full time sponsorship, but Roush has claimed he will run both the #6 and #60 team full time. Seriously, how can the defending Champion have no sponsor?
#7- Danica Patrick will make the leap to Nascar full time this year. Patrick cannot win the Rookie of the Year, but she has her sights set on a Championship. Patrick had a rough first race in the Cup Series, and last year crashed out of the DRIVE4COPD 300.
#08- Casey Roderick will make a start for Randy Hill Racing this week. Roderick is an ARCA standout and must qualify on time this week.
#09- Kenny Wallace had his Daytona 500 plans ruined this weekend by racer turned Start and Parker Joe Nemechek, but Wallace will make another run at a Nationwide Championship for RAB Racing this year.
#10- New Number, Same Start and Park team. Jeff Green will have to qualify on time if Brad Keselowski or Kyle Busch use the Past Champions provisional.
#11- Brian Scott has a new sponsor this year in Dollar General, causing Turner Motorsports to close it's #32 team. Scott will need to finally realize his potential this year or he could find himself without a ride.
#12- Sam Hornish Jr. will run the full schedule this year. It will be interesting to see how Hornish and Patrick match up against each other. Hornish is locked in using Brad Keselowski's points.
#14- Eric McClure returns with TriStar Motorsports and his lifetime sponsor Hefty. For me, McClure has been a giant disappointment his entire career.
#15- Rookie of the Year Timmy Hill returns with Rick Ware Racing. Hill won due to being the only full-time rookie last year.
#18- Denny Hamlin will make a start for Joe Gibbs this week. Kyle Busch will probably not be running this year in a Joe Gibbs team.
#19- Taylor Malsam has a full time ride this year in the Nationwide Series. Malsam lost his full time ride with Kyle Busch Motorsports in the Truck Series two years ago.
#20- Joey Logano will need to qualify his PS Vita Toyota on time this week. Logano is in the final year with Joe Gibbs and unless he can start to show his ability in the Cup Series he'll be in Nationwide full-time next year where he is still a winner.
#22- Brad Keselowski will have to qualify on time if Kyle Busch uses the past championship provisional. Keselowski will not run full time this year as Parker Kligerman will split time with him.
#23- Robert Richardson returns in his fathers team this year for another run. Richardson has not shown much promise so far.
#24- Benny Gordon will have to qualify on time. Gordon is running for Rookie of the Year with a new team.
#27- David Ragan will make a start in the Nationwide Series. Ragan did find a full-time team in the Cup Series, but both teams are underfunded. Ragan will have to qualify on time.
#28- JJ Yeley will make a run for Jay Robinson Racing. Robinson is about to bow out of the Nationwide Series due to lack of Sponsorship.
#30- James Buescher continues his part time run for Turner Motorsports. Buescher is locked in to the race.
#31- Justin Allgaier is the only full time driver that Turner Motorsports has in the Nationwide Series. Allgaier remains in a state of flux, not able to move up to the Sprint Cup Series, and constantly having to worry about losing his ride due to Turner Motorsports' past decisions. Reed Sorenson and Jason Leffler both were released last year.
#33- Tony Stewart has won the last four Daytona Nationwide Races. He is looking to extend that streak this weekend.
#36- Tommy Baldwin Racing has created a Nationwide team to put Dave Blaney's son and Ryan Truex in the Nationwide Series. Truex will have to qualify on time.
#38- Kasey Kahne returns to Turner Motorsports yet again. Kahne will run part time yet again this year.
#39- Joey Gase joins Go Green Racing and there locked in team this year.
#40- Josh Wise chose to claim for the Sprint Cup Series to try to win the Rookie of the Year with Max Q Motorsports. Two weeks ago, Max Q decided to drop Wise. It's the business at heart.
#41- Blake Koch left his part time ride with MacDonald Motorsports to run the Rick Ware Racing Ford. He is partnered with Timmy Hill this year. It should be an interesting one for one of the longest running teams in the Nationwide Series.
#42- Erik Darnell, #46- Chase Miller and #47 Scott Speed resume there roles as Start and Park teams to support Josh Wise. It's a shame that such talented drivers have to resort to parking just to make money.
#43- Richard Petty Motorsports is going young. They moved Aric Almirola up to the Cup Series and started a Nationwide team for Michael Annett. Thanks to the owner points of Turner Motorsports #32 team, Annett is locked in.
#44- Mike Bliss lost his locked in status due to Taylor Malsam and his full time sponsorship. He takes over for Jeff Green and should not be a start and park team, but could later in the year.
#50- TJ Bell brings his MAKE Motorsports team full-time, and thanks to Rusty Wallace's #66 team, he is locked into the first five races. Bell has Eastbound & Down on the car this week, a rather great HBO show.
#51- Jeremy Clements returns in his own team. Clements again will have an assortment of sponsors for the year.
#52- Reed Sorenson will drive for Jimmy Means Racing this week. Last year Jimmy Means got support from Dale Earnhardt Jr after a practice crash took out the only car they had.
#54- Kyle Busch expands Kyle Busch Motorsports into the Nationwide Series with Monster as a sponsor. Ricky Carmichael is now out of a ride due to Monster dropping the former Truck Series competitor. Busch will split time with his brother Kurt this year.
#60- Trevor Bayne takes over for Carl Edwards with limited Sponsorship. Edwards has chosen to focus on winning a Sprint Cup Championship.
#70- Johanna Long will make about 20 starts this year for ML Motorsports. Long moves up from the Truck Series after a dissapointing 2011.
#73- Derrike Cope returns to his own team after almost dropping the Jay Motorsports team out of the top 30 in Owner Points. Cope must qualify on time.
#74- Mike Harmon returns to his part time Owner/Driver status. Harmon must qualify on time.
#76- Donnie Neuenberger must qualify on time. He joins Ray Hackett Racing.
#81- Jason Bowles will run for Rookie of the Year with MacDonald Motorsports.
#87- Joe Nemechek almost won last year before his wreck with Mike Wallace. Nemechek returns to his underfunded team.
#88- Cole Whitt is being fasttracked to the top, now running for Rookie of the Year with JR Motorsports. Whitt is a standout driver and with a fully funded team should be a threat to win almost every week.
#89- Morgan Shepherd will need to qualify on time again. Shepherd is a driver who breaks the mold and is always a great story.
#97- Johnny Sauter pulls double duty this weekend driving a second car for NEMCO.
For the complete starting line-up go here.
That's it. Tune in this Saturday for the DRIVE4COPD 300 Live on ESPN at Noon. Enjoy!