Nationwide Championship Push: The Virginia 529 College Savings 250 Preview and Open Race Thread

RICHMOND, VA - SEPTEMBER 07: Elliott Sadler, driver of the #2 OneMain Financial Chevrolet, walks through the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Nationwide Series Virginia 529 College Savings 250 at Richmond International Raceway on September 7, 2012 in Richmond, Virginia. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images for NASCAR)

When the Sprint Cup Chase starts up next week, all eyes tend to gravitate to it. That means that the Nationwide and Truck Series races get even less coverage. We have been doing a bit of a disservice to our fans by not having as much Nationwide and Truck series coverage as we should, just as it's been hard to get our readers to strike up a conversation about the two other series. A mix of personal (a baby on the way) and professional (job really taking off) has held me back from posting consistently here at NASCAR RnR - I intend to change that and come back from the ashes.

We have just 9 races left in the Nationwide Championship battle. Elliott Sadler and Ricky Stenhouse have been battling back and forth this entire season and look to have an even closer battle then last year. Don't count out Austin Dillon and Sam Hornish either.

Starting Line-Up and More after the Jump!

POS CAR DRIVER MAKE SPONSOR SPEED TIME BEHIND
1 6 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Ford Ford EcoBoost 122.822 21.983 Leader
2 3 Austin Dillon* Chevrolet American Ethanol 122.294 22.078 -0.095
3 33 Kevin Harvick Chevrolet Armour 122.294 22.078 -0.095
4 12 Sam Hornish Jr. Dodge Detroit Genuine Parts 122.023 22.127 -0.144
5 60 Travis Pastrana Ford Ford EcoBoost 121.803 22.167 -0.184
6 18 Denny Hamlin Toyota Sport Clips 121.797 22.168 -0.185
7 11 Brian Scott Toyota Dollar General 121.649 22.195 -0.212
8 70 Johanna Long* Chevrolet KeenParts.com 121.490 22.224 -0.241
9 44 Mike Bliss Chevrolet TriStar Motorsports 121.463 22.229 -0.246
10 31 Justin Allgaier Chevrolet Brandt 121.436 22.234 -0.251
11 51 Ty Dillon Chevrolet Wesco 121.245 22.269 -0.286
12 2 Elliott Sadler Chevrolet OneMain Financial 121.212 22.275 -0.292
13 43 Michael Annett Ford Pilot Flying J 121.049 22.305 -0.322
14 87 Joe Nemechek Toyota AM-FM Energy Wood & Pellet Stoves / AC General 120.968 22.320 -0.337
15 30 James Buescher Chevrolet ABF 120.870 22.338 -0.355
16 46 Chase Miller Chevrolet The Motorsports Group 120.805 22.350 -0.367
17 54 Kurt Busch Toyota Monster Energy 120.633 22.382 -0.399
18 10 Jeff Green Toyota TriStar Motorsports 120.622 22.384 -0.401
19 88 Cole Whitt* Chevrolet Hyland's Leg Cramps 120.552 22.397 -0.414
20 20 Darrell Wallace Jr. Toyota Dollar General 120.552 22.397 -0.414
21 81 Jason Bowles* Dodge MacDonald Motorsports 120.434 22.419 -0.436
22 4 Jeremy Clements Chevrolet stjude.org 120.385 22.428 -0.445
23 38 Brad Sweet* Chevrolet Great Clips 120.369 22.431 -0.448
24 7 Danica Patrick Chevrolet GoDaddy.com 120.353 22.434 -0.451
25 47 J.J. Yeley Chevrolet Curtis Key Plumbing 119.707 22.555 -0.572
26 108 Paulie Harraka Ford Randy Hill Racing 119.675 22.561 -0.578
27 22 Ryan Blaney Dodge Snap-On Tools 119.628 22.570 -0.587
28 40 Erik Darnell Chevrolet Key Motorsports 119.511 22.592 -0.609
29 42 Josh Wise Chevrolet Key Motorsports 119.485 22.597 -0.614
30 19 Tayler Malsam Toyota G-Oil / Noah's Light Foundation 119.448 22.604 -0.621
31 01 Mike Wallace Chevrolet JD Motorsports 119.232 22.645 -0.662
32 41 Timmy Hill Ford Lilly Trucking CDL Driver Search 119.163 22.658 -0.675
33 199 Ryan Truex Toyota Toyota Care 119.074 22.675 -0.692
34 117 Tanner Berryhill Toyota Race City Steel / Nationalcashlenders.com 119.058 22.678 -0.695
35 86 Kevin Lepage Ford Qello Corp. / Trivette Trucking 118.864 22.715 -0.732
36 15 Matthew Carter Chevrolet Rick Ware Racing 118.765 22.734 -0.751
37 175 Scott Riggs Chevrolet Rick Ware Racing 118.733 22.740 -0.757
38 171 Carl Long Chevrolet Rick Ware Racing 118.240 22.835 -0.852
39 23 Robert Richardson Jr. Chevrolet North Texas Pipe 117.744 22.931 -0.948
40 39 Dexter Stacey Ford MattiesPlaceRocks.com 117.560 22.967 -0.984
41 14 Eric McClure+ Toyota Hefty / Reynolds Wrap 117.030 23.071 -1.088
42 124 Derek White+ Toyota OCR Gaz Bar 114.315 23.619 -1.636
43 100 Blake Koch Chevrolet Ruch Motorsports 118.110 22.860 -0.877
Did Not Qualify
44 52 Joey Gase* Chevrolet BBB.org 117.888 22.903 -0.920
45 50 David Starr Chevrolet MAKE Motorsports 117.366 23.005 -1.022
46 89 Morgan Shepherd Chevrolet Shepherd Racing Ventures 117.208 23.036 -1.053
47 174 Mike Harmon Chevrolet Koma Unwind Relaxation Drink 116.858 23.105 -1.122

There were 47 teams entered this week, which is a whole lot more then we normally see entered in a Nationwide Race. Only 43 teams made the race. Just a few teams to look out for this week:

  • #08- Paulie Harraka will make a start in the Nationwide Series after learning that he will not run all 25 Truck races this year. Harraka may be a start and parker this week though.
  • #12- Sam Hornish has learned that he will not be in the #22 Ford as Joey Logano will take over for A.J. Allmendinger. Hornish has been told that he may be in a third Penske Ford next season if sponsorship can be found. If not, expect Hornish to return to the Nationwide Series full time next year.
  • #20- Darrell Wallace Jr will make another start for Joe Gibbs Racing. Reports are coming out that Elliott Sadler may be joining Joe Gibbs full time next year, which may end Darrell Wallace Jr and Ryan Truex's chances of a full time ride. Adding Matt Kenseth to the stable may mean we will see the 2003 Sprint Cup Champion back in the Nationwide Series next year.
  • #22- Ryan Blaney has a huge opportunity to make a name for himself this week with a top five finish this week.
  • #51- New Truck Series winner Ty Dillon will make another start for Jeremy Clements this week. Dillon will return to the Truck Series next year and hopes to follow in his brother's footsteps with a Championship.
  • #60- Here's an odd name on the Entry List, Travis Pastrana moves over to the Roush Fenway part time ride for a run. Pastrana was all but done in the Nationwide Series this year until he teamed up with Roush. Ryan Truex is in the RAB Racing Toyota, back in a number that cut him when Michael Waltrip owned the team.

That's right, it's Friday Night Racing, under the lights at Richmond! Tune in at 7 eastern for the Live running of the Virginia 529 College Savings 250 on ESPN2! Enjoy!

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