Nationwide gets energized: The 5 Hour Energy 250 Preview and Open Race Thread
I’m so happy that I requested off from work for my 26th birthday because I will be home to watch the Nationwide Series take to the unique Gateway International Speedway.
Gateway is a 1.25 mile speedway – that’s nothing new in this sport – butwhat makes Gateway unique is that it’s an oval track withdifferent banking on both sides. Turns 1 and 2 with it’s 11 degree banking is similar to New Hampshire while turns 3 and 4 is closer to Phoenix with it’s 9 degree banking. And the egg shape of the track is similar to Darlington.
Given the time of year you might say that Gateway is the Frankenstein’s Monster of Nascar Tracks.
This is also the first year that Gateway hosted two races (the first race was won by Carl Edwards – editor).
This week we would normally be heading to Memphis, but that track closed down.
This race is also important since it will be the last race at Gateway. That’s right. The track that just got a second date will not be on the NNS curcuit in 2011. Instead Nashville Speedway will take the July Gateway race andthis weekend will be left vacant.
That means that next year we will only see 34 races, instead of the 35 we’ve come to love. Also, the week before this is being left vacant too.
You see it too don’t you? Yep, rightwhen we will be in the thick of a Championship run, the Nationwide series will take a two week break before finishing off with 3 straight weeks. I’m not sure how I feel about that. You could look at it like a first round bye, where teams can catch thier breath and make a title run or you could look at it like watching a game 7 World Series game run for 6 innings before a monsoon hits and they have to come back in two weeks to finish the final 3 innings to crown a champion. Let me know what you think in the comments section, I’d love to hear from you and especially from that Montgomery guy.
Entry List and more after the JUMP!
|1||01||Mike Wallace||TBA||10 Chevy||Lori Davis|
|2||04||Jeremy Clements||Boudreaux’s Butt Paste||10 Chevy||Gene Vess|
|3||05||Willie Allen||31-W Insulation||10 Chevy||Wayne Day|
|4||6||Ricky Stenhouse Jr||Citifinancial||10 Ford||Jack Roush|
|5||7||Danica Patrick||GoDaddy.com||10 Chevy||Bryan Mullet|
|6||09||Brian Scott||TBA||10 Ford||Robby Benton|
|7||10||Scott Wimmer||TBA||10 Toyota||Todd Braun|
|8||11||Brad Sweet||TBA||10 Toyota||Harry Scott Jr|
|9||12||Justin Allgaier||Verizon Wireless||10 Dodge||Roger Penske|
|10||13||Mike Harmon||DriverMale.com||10 Dodge||Jennifer Jo Cobb|
|11||15||Michael Annett||No. 15 Pilot Flying J Coffee Toyota Camry||10 Toyota||Bob Germain|
|12||16||Trevor Bayne||ROUSH FENWAY||10 Ford||Jack Roush|
|13||18||Brad Coleman||Shore Lodge||10 Toyota||Joe Gibbs|
|14||20||Matt Dibenedetto||Bosch||10 Toyota||Joe Gibbs|
|15||21||Morgan Shepherd||Victory In Jesus||10 Chevy||Richard Childress|
|16||22||Brad Keselowski||Discount Tire||10 Dodge||Jodi Geschickter|
|17||23||Peyton Sellers||Brandt||10 Chevy||Robert Richardson|
|18||24||Eric McClure||Hefty Odor Block||09 Ford||Ed Rensi|
|19||26||Brian Keselowski||K-Automotive Motorsports||10 Dodge||Bob Keselowski|
|20||27||Drew Herring||enMotion||10 Ford||Mike Curb|
|21||28||Kenny Wallace||Kenny Wallace Racing Inc||10 Chevy||Jay Robinson|
|22||32||Reed Sorenson||Dollar General||10 Toyota||Todd Braun|
|23||33||Mike Bliss||Mad Croc Energy||10 Chevy||Delana Harvick|
|24||34||Tony Raines||Long John Silvers||10 Chevy||Bob Jenkins|
|25||35||Jason Keller||TBA||10 Chevy||Mark Smith|
|26||36||Kevin Hamlin||TBA||10 Chevy||Mark Smith|
|27||38||Jason Leffler||Great Clips||10 Toyota||Ralph Braun|
|28||39||Sean Caisse||TBA||10 Ford||Archie St Hilaire|
|29||40||Jeff Green||TBA||10 Chevy||Curtis Key Sr|
|30||42||Brandon McReynolds||TBA||10 Dodge||Eddie Smith|
|31||49||Mark Green||TBA||10 Chevy||Jay Robinson|
|32||51||Stephan McCurley||McCurley Racing||10 Chevy||Michael McCurley|
|33||52||Tim Schendel||TBA||10 Chevy||Jimmy Means|
|34||56||Kevin Lepage||RaceDaySponsor.com||10 Toyota||John McNelly|
|35||60||Carl Edwards||COPART||10 Ford||Jack Roush|
|36||62||Brendan Gaughan||Snap On||10 Toyota||Rusty Wallace|
|37||66||Steve Wallace||5 Hour Energy||10 Toyota||Rusty Wallace|
|38||70||Shelby Howard||Foretravel||10 Chevy||Mary Louise Miller|
|39||79||Tim Andrews||2nd Chance Race Parts||10 Ford||Rick Russell|
|40||81||Michael McDowell||Drive Reply-K-Love||10 Dodge||Pat MacDonald|
|41||87||Joe Nemechek||Gator.com||09 Chevy||Andrea Nemechek|
|42||88||Josh Wise||Realtree Outfitters||10 Chevy||Dale Earnhardt Jr|
|43||89||Johnny Chapman||Victory in Jesus Racing||10 Chevy||Cindy Shepherd|
|44||90||Danny O’Quinn Jr||TBD||09 Chevy||Eddie D’hondt|
|45||91||Chase Miller||TBD||09 Chevy||Randy Humphrey|
|46||92||Andy Ponstein||K-Automotive||10 Dodge||Brian Keselowski|
|47||94||Carl Long||ApostleSports.com||09 Dodge||Frederick Bickford II|
|48||98||Paul Menard||MASTERCRAFT/MENARDS||10 Ford||Jack Roush|
|49||99||Ryan Truex||Aaron’s Dream Machine||10 Toyota||Michael Waltrip|
Forty-nine will attempt to make the final Gateway race. Wow, that’s a great turnout. A lot of different teams and drivers this week. Lets take it from the top.
The #1 car is MIA. They had a chance to claw into the top 30, but have pretty much ended that run.
Danica Patrick will attempt her 3rd race in a row. She’s looking to build on the solid run she had last week.
Wisconsin’s own Scott Wimmer returns this week. He’s driving the #10 Toyota for Turner Motorsports. Buescher and Carmichael will be in Martinsville for the Truck Race. Wimmer is a guy I watched out here at the locals. He’s a great driver who hasn’t really gotten as many opportunities as he should have. He ran great for RCR last year, but nothing came of it.
Truck driver Brad Sweet will make his Nationwide Debut in the #11 Toyota for Turner Motorsports. Sweet has yet to run a full schedule in Nascar.
Veteran Mike Harmon will attempt to qualify Jennifer Jo Cobb’s #13 Ford. Cobb had plans to run full time in Nationwide in 2011, but money and sponsorship problems may cause her to put those plans on hold. Cobb has said she will run in the truck series full time again next year.
Trevor Bayne will move over to the #16 Ford this week. Bayne will be locked into the field so he should be able to focus on setting up the car for raceday. No word yet on which Roush Fenway Ford Bayne will pilot in 2011, or if he will make the jump to Cup in a Richard Petty Ford.
Brad Coleman will take over Kyle Busch’s #18 Toyota, ending Busch’s run for a championship (heh – editor).
Matt DiBenedetto, the longest name in Racing, will take over the #20 Toyota this week. Coleman and DiBenedetto are the future of Joe Gibbs racing. I for one, would love to see these guys race full time in 2011.
Peyton Sellars, who’s own team was heavily penalized by Nascar, will drive for R3 Motorsports this week. Sellarsis in talks with many a Nationwide team to try to go full time in 2011.
Mike Bliss will drive for Kevin Harvick Inc this week, as Kevin is in Martinsville for the Cup race.
Sean Caisse, whose name I can never spell right the first time, will return with Go Green Racing this week. Caisse was at one time a Hendrick developemental driver.
Part time ARCA driver Brandon McReynolds will make his first Nationwide attempt driving for Team 42 Racing.
Stephen McCurley will make his 3rd attempt at a Nationwide debut. I really want him to make the race just so he can leap that hurdle.
Tim Andrews and Second Chance Racing return again this week. The team is working on a full schedule in 2011.
Josh Wise, who’s had 7 different numbers this year, will add to that by taking over the #88 this week. Aric Almirola is in Martinsville.
Carl Long will make his second attempt at a debut in the #94 Dodge. Long failed to get the COT only #68 car into 3 of the 4 COT races this year, and failed to get the #94 into it’s first race the last time he tried. I like Long, but he’s proving to be a sub-par qualifier.
And last but far from least, we have Ryan Truex taking the #99 for a spin. No Martin Truex this week.
Join us this Saturday October 23rd for the 5 Hour Energy 250 from Gateway International Speedway. Coverage starts at 3pm eastern on ESPN2. Enjoy!