Open Race Thread: NASCAR Nationwide Series O'Reilly Auto Parts 300 | Texas Motor Speedway

FORT WORTH, TX - APRIL 12: Elliott Sadler, driver of the #2 OneMain Financial Chevrolet, stands in the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Nationwide Series O'Reilly Auto Parts 300 at Texas Motor Speedway on April 12, 2012 in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo by Todd Warshaw/Getty Images)

After a two-week Easter break, NASCAR returns to action on a Friday night for the Nationwide Series O'Reily Auto Parts 300 at Texas Motor Speedway.

Elliott Sadler has found new life in the Nationwide Series this year after just missing out on the championship in 2011. He's won two races to start the year and has embraced new crew chief Luke Lambert's win-or-go-home attitude.

That combination could leave the Nationwide regulars helpless to stop him from winning his first Series championship.

That list will not include polesitter Paul Menard, a Cup regular, who has returned to Nationwide competition on a mission to return to victory lane for the first time since his Brickyard 400 breakthrough last summer.

Menard's No. 33 Chevrolet ran a lap in 29.717 seconds at 181.714 mph to outpace Danny Hamlin for the coveted pole position.

Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Austin Dillon and Elliott Sadler) complete the starting top 5.

Conspicuous by his absence is Trevor Bayne, who was pulled from the no. 60 after failing to secure sponsorship and will miss tonight's race. This is disappointing for the young Roush-Fenway driver who entered this weekend sitting fourth in points, just 34 markers behind Sadler.

The reality is that sponsors value a partial-season of support at the Sprint Cup level in 2012 more than a full-schedule in the Nationwide Series. This has to be alarming for NASCAR, who appears helpless to support their full-time Nationwide Series superstars.

Changes to the Nationwide business model has to be discussed before the sport loses the opportunity to manufacture new stars.

But that will come later. Tonight should produce good racing and the weather that once threatened tonight's race appears to have broken up.

Menard, Hamlin, Kurt Busch, Kasey Kahne, Joey Logano, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Brad Keselowski are the Sprint Cup regulars competing in tonight's race.

Live television coverage will start on ESPN at 8 p.m. EST and will feature the voices of Allen Bestwick, Andy Petree and Dale Jarrett. For those who are away from the television or prefer the radio broadcasts, goprn.com will stream the race live on any supported computer or mobile device.

A complete starting lineup can be found after the jump. See you in the comments section!

Qualifying Results
Texas Motor Speedway
2012 O'Reilly Auto Parts 300
Provided by NASCAR Statistics - Fri, April 13, 2012 @ 06:12 PM Eastern
Track Qualifying Record: Jeff Green 04/06/02 27.908 193.493
Pos Car Driver Team Time Speed Fastest Next
1 33 Paul Menard(i) Menards/Rheem Chevrolet 29.717 181.714 0.000 0.000
2 18 Denny Hamlin(i) SportClips Toyota 29.886 180.687 0.169 0.169
3 6 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Pure Michigan Ford 29.934 180.397 0.217 0.048
4 3 Austin Dillon # American Ethanol Chevrolet 29.974 180.156 0.257 0.040
5 2 Elliott Sadler OneMain Financial Chevrolet 29.979 180.126 0.262 0.005
6 54 Kurt Busch(i) Monster Energy Toyota 30.085 179.491 0.368 0.106
7 88 Cole Whitt # TaxSlayer.com Chevrolet 30.103 179.384 0.386 0.018
8 38 Kasey Kahne(i) Great Clips Chevrolet 30.224 178.666 0.507 0.121
9 30 Steve Arpin Mike's On The Rocks Chevrolet 30.232 178.619 0.515 0.008
10 44 Mike Bliss TriStar Motorsports Toyota 30.264 178.430 0.547 0.032
11 11 Brian Scott Dollar General Toyota 30.299 178.224 0.582 0.035
12 20 Joey Logano(i) GameStop/Batman 2 DC Super Heroes Toyota 30.357 177.883 0.640 0.058
13 22 Brad Keselowski(i) Discount Tire Dodge 30.382 177.737 0.665 0.025
14 12 Sam Hornish Jr. Wurth Dodge 30.383 177.731 0.666 0.001
15 70 Johanna Long # Foretravel Chevrolet 30.383 177.731 0.666 0.000
16 31 Justin Allgaier Brandt Chevrolet 30.392 177.678 0.675 0.009
17 7 Danica Patrick GoDaddy.com Chevrolet 30.394 177.667 0.677 0.002
18 43 Michael Annett Pilot/Flying J Ford 30.530 176.875 0.813 0.136
19 09 Ryan Truex Grime Boss Toyota 30.587 176.546 0.870 0.057
20 5 Dale Earnhardt Jr.(i) Degree Chevrolet 30.675 176.039 0.958 0.088
21 08 Kyle Fowler Randy Hill Racing Ford 30.757 175.570 1.040 0.082
22 10 Jeff Green TriStar Motorsports Toyota 30.826 175.177 1.109 0.069
23 81 Jason Bowles # American Majority Toyota 30.839 175.103 1.122 0.013
24 01 Mike Wallace G&K Services Chevrolet 30.857 175.001 1.140 0.018
25 4 Danny Efland Danny Efland Racing Chevrolet 30.903 174.740 1.186 0.046
26 41 Timmy Hill Poynt.com Ford 30.939 174.537 1.222 0.036
27 40 Erik Darnell TheMotorsportsGroup.com Chevrolet 30.954 174.452 1.237 0.015
28 19 Tayler Malsam(i) G-Oil Toyota 30.969 174.368 1.252 0.015
29 15 Blake Koch Rick Ware Racing Chevrolet 30.973 174.345 1.256 0.004
30 27 David Ragan(i) Mercury Ford 30.993 174.233 1.276 0.020
31 39 Kelly Bires Fenton Motors Ford 31.000 174.194 1.283 0.007
32 42 Josh Wise(i) Key Motorsports Chevrolet 31.011 174.132 1.294 0.011
33 87 Joe Nemechek SWM International Toyota 31.019 174.087 1.302 0.008
34 75 Scott Riggs(i) RWR Chevrolet 31.019 174.087 1.302 0.000
35 47 Scott Speed(i) Key Motorsports Chevrolet 31.026 174.048 1.309 0.007
36 46 Chase Miller Key Motorsports Chevrolet 31.035 173.997 1.318 0.009
37 51 Jeremy Clements US Petroleum Consulting Chevrolet 31.088 173.700 1.371 0.053
38 52 Tim Schendel Metro Ministries Chevrolet 31.317 172.430 1.600 0.229
39 23 Robert Richardson Jr. Tia Rosa/Embassy Suites Chevrolet 31.337 172.320 1.620 0.020
40 50 TJ Bell Gulf Coast Software Chevrolet 31.473 171.576 1.756 0.136
41 24 Benny Gordon # Silestone/Dillon Manufacturing Chevrolet 31.488 171.494 1.771 0.015
42 14 Eric McClure Hefty/Reynolds Wrap Toyota 31.599 170.891 1.882 0.111
43 74 Kevin Lepage Koma Unwind Chevrolet 31.664 170.541 1.947 0.065
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