Nationwide Drivers Hope Win Trend Continues:The Royal Purple 300

One of the other females besides Danica racing in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, Johanna Long. DAYTONA BEACH, FL - FEBRUARY 24: Johanna Long, driver of the #70 Foretravel Motorcoach Chevrolet, stands on the grid during qualifying for the NASCAR Nationwide Series DRIVE4COPD 300 at Daytona International Speedway on February 24, 2012 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

Through four races, we have four Nationwide or Truck drivers as winners ... well, three - Sadler has two wins. This week we pull into Auto Club speedway and only Kyle Busch, Joey Logano and Brad Keselowski stand in the way of going five for five in the Nationwide-only winner category.

Auto Club also holds the distinction of being the last race under 2011's owner points. That means Brian Scott is on the clock this week and needs a top ten to secure himself a spot in next week's race. Now, this week we have a short field, but that doesn't mean that in two weeks we won't have over 43 teams entered. His is a story that we will have to look out for.

The other story is the fact that both Roush Fenway cars are entered, and neither has a sponsor. That's not surprising considering that most casual fans will skip watching a cookie cutter track like Auto Club live, so no reason to pony up money if no one will see your logo out there. Nascar isn't about to change it's schedule in dramatic ways as long as Auto Club's checks keep clearing, so instead we are left with 40 teams, and only 30 of them having a chance to run the whole race.

Entry List and notes after the Jump.

Entry Car# Driver Sponsor Manu Owner
1 01 Mike Wallace G&K Services 12 Chevrolet JD Motorsports
2 2 Elliott Sadler Pierre Drive-Thru 12 Chevrolet Richard Childress Racing
3 3 Austin Dillon Advocare 12 Chevrolet Richard Childress Racing
4 4 Daryl Harr iWorld 12 Chevrolet JD Motorsports
5 6 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Roush Fenway Racing 12 Ford Roush Fenway
6 7 Danica Patrick GoDaddy.com 12 Chevrolet JR Motorsports
7 08 Tim Andrews (S) Randy Hill Racing 12 Ford Randy Hill Motorsports
8 09 Kenny Wallace TBA 12 Toyota RAB Racing
9 10 Jeff Green [PC3] (S) TBD 12 Toyota TriStar Motorsports
10 11 Brian Scott Dollar General 11 Toyota Joe Gibbs Racing
11 12 Sam Hornish Jr. Alliance Truck Parts 12 Dodge Penske Racing
12 14 Eric McClure Hefty Black Out / Reynolds 12 Toyota TriStar Motorsports
13 18 Joey Logano(i) Translux 12 Toyota Joe Gibbs Racing
14 19 Tayler Malsam G-Oil 12 Toyota TriStar Motorsports
15 22 Brad Keselowski(i)[PC 1] Discount Tire 12 Dodge Penske Racing
16 23 Robert Richardson Jr. North TX Pipe 12 Chevrolet R3 Motorsports
17 24 Benny Gordon Kentucky Antler Company/VSI 12 Toyota SC2 Motorsports
18 28 JJ Yeley(i) (S) TBA 12 Chevrolet Jay Robinson
19 30 James Buescher(i) Deft Fininshings 12 Chevrolet Turner Motorsports
20 31 Justin Allgaier Brandt 12 Chevrolet Turner Motorsports
21 33 Brendan Gaughan(i) South Point Casino 12 Chevrolet Richard Childress Racing
22 38 Brad Sweet Great Clips 12 Chevrolet Turner Motorsports
23 39 Joey Gase Go Green Racing 12 Ford Go Green Racing
24 40 Erik Darnell Curtis Key Plumbing 12 Chevrolet The Motorsports Group
25 41 Blake Koch Rise Up and Register 12 Ford Rick Ware Racing
26 42 Josh Wise(i) (S) Curtis Key Plumbing 12 Chevrolet The Motorsports Group
27 43 Michael Annett Pilot/Flying J 12 Ford Richard Petty
28 44 Mike Bliss TBA 12 Toyota TriStar Motorsports
29 46 Chase Miller (S) Curtis Key Plumbing 12 Chevrolet The Motorsports Group
30 47 Scott Speed(i) (S) Curtis Key Plumbing 12 Chevrolet The Motorsports Group
31 50 TJ Bell TBA 12 Chevrolet MAKE Motorsports
32 51 Jeremy Clements Chevrolet Clements Automotive 10 Chevrolet Jeremy Clements Racing
33 52 Tim Schendel Metro Ministries 12 Chevrolet Jimmy Means
34 54 Kyle Busch(i) [PC2] Monster Energy 12 Toyota Kyle Busch
35 60 Trevor Bayne Roush Fenway Racing 12 Ford Roush Fenway
36 70 Johanna Long TBA 12 Chevrolet ML Motorsports
37 81 Jason Bowles American Majority 12 Toyota MacDonald Motorsports
38 87 Joe Nemechek AM/FM Energy Wood & Pellet 12 Toyota NEMCO
39 88 Cole Whitt Tax Slayer.com 12 Chevrolet JR Motorsports
40 89 Morgan Shepherd TBA 11 Chevrolet Faith Motorsports
[PC] Past Champion
(S) Known Start and Park
(i) Not Running For Title

As I said, only 40 cars are entered so everyone will make it, and a good number will pack up early and take a week off. Just a few notes:

  • #2- Can Elliott Sadler make it three out of five this week? Sadler has been on a tear and has yet to release the points lead.
  • #3- Austin Dillon has sort of been left out of the conversation so far, but he's in the top ten and could break out at any point this year and score a win.
  • #6- Ricky Stenhouse will be trying to attract sponsorship with a good run here. He recently got Angus Beef to resign for 12 races this year.
  • #7- Here's your weekly Danica Patrick mention. Moving on...
  • #09- Kenny Wallace is still around. They don't have a sponsor this week, and are close to falling outside the top 30 in owner points.
  • #24- What a lucky break for Benny Gordon. Gordon has turned four solid runs into a locked in spot in two weeks. He's the Dave Blaney of the Nationwide Series right now. Here's to more success.
  • #38- Looks like Turner Motorsports must have read my rant about Kasey Kahne last week because Brad Sweet is now in the car this week. It will be short lived, but it's great to see a young guy getting a shot.
  • #70- Johanna Long is back this week. If only she had better equipment we'd be talking about an all out girl fight week in and week out.

ESPN will broadcast the Royal Purple 300 this week live from Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, CA Saturday March 24th at 5pm eastern. Tune in. Enjoy!

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