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.
|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!