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NASCAR Nationwide Series News & Notes

If It’s An Odd-Numbered Season, Edwards Must Be In The Lead

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Mar. 10, 2009) - It’s an odd thing.

Since his first full season in the NASCAR Nationwide Series in 2005, Carl Edwards has led the driver standings during the odd-numbered years.

In the even-numbered seasons, he’s been solid, but has never been first.

Following his second-place finish at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Feb. 28, Edwards jumped Kyle Busch for the driver standings lead, the first time he’d been in the top spot since officially claiming the series championship in November 2007 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

Edwards never relinquished the points lead after the third race of the 2007 season. In 2005, he was first for 10 consecutive weeks and ultimately finished third in the standings.

During his two even years of full-time competition, Edwards failed to lead the standings but did finish second in the championship.

He was second to Clint Bowyer in 2008 and runner-up to Kevin Harvick in 2006.

Media Prognostications End Tuesday; Results Wednesday

Voting on NASCARMedia.com ends Tuesday for media to predict the 2009 NASCAR Nationwide Series driver and owner champions in addition to the Raybestos Rookie of the Year.

Media can select positions 1-10 in the driver and owner polls; 1-8 in the rookie poll. The driver champion nominees reflect only those who are competing fulltime in the series this year.

The competition in those three categories has been well-balanced through the first three races, making the voting in the polls a tough assignment. So far in 2009, there have been three different race winners, three different driver standings leaders, three different owner standings leaders and three different pole winners. Two different drivers have led the rookie standings.

Go to NASCARMedia.com and access the link on the home page or the NASCAR Nationwide Series page to cast your votes.

First Repeat Wins For Busch Bros. Came In Nationwide Series

Kurt Busch’s win at Atlanta Motor Speedway in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race last Sunday followed his younger brother Kyle’s victory at Las Vegas the week before.

That showing by the Busch Brothers was the third time in their NASCAR national series careers they’d accomplished the back-to-back feat. The first time was in 2006 — in the NASCAR Nationwide Series.

Kyle started by winning at Bristol Motor Speedway in March. Following an open week for the series, Kurt was in line at Texas Motor Speedway for his first career NASCAR Nationwide start.

Kurt won at Texas, becoming the fifth driver in series history to register a victory in his first series start. The win also made the Busches the first brothers to win consecutive series races since Terry and Bobby Labonte at Atlanta and Nashville in 1996.
 
NNS Etc.

In The Loop: Vickers Part-Time Ride With Braun Translates Into Full-Blown Success

Brian Vickers is making the most of his NASCAR Nationwide Series opportunities.

Though pre-season prognosticators pointed toward full-time double-duty drivers Carl Edwards and Kyle Busch or part-timers Kevin Harvick and Jeff Burton to run roughshod over the series, Vickers has proven to be an early force.

The 2003 series champion has launched himself into second place in the standings and directly to the top of a number of key statistical categories according to NASCAR’s Loop Data.

He currently ranks first in Average Running Position (6.7), second in Driver Rating (111.3), fourth in Fastest Laps Run (20), third in Average Green Flag Speed rank (5.333) and first in Laps in the Top 15 (468 for a percentage of 97.7).

Through his first three races, Vickers has posted three top-10 finishes including his first top-five of the year, a third-place finish two weeks ago at Las Vegas.

In 15 career races for Braun dating back to last year, Vickers has two poles and seven top-fives among his 11 top-10 finishes.

In that span, he has posted a Driver Rating of 101.3, an Average Running Position of 11.5, 149 Fastest Laps Run, a Laps in the Top 15 percentage of 76.3 and a Pass Differential of plus-118 (passes minus times passed).

Vickers is scheduled to run in 17 races this year for Braun Racing, sharing the driving duties for the #32 Dollar General Toyota with Burney Lamar.

Fast Facts

Next Race: Scotts Turf Builder 300
The Place: Bristol Motor Speedway
The Date: Saturday, March 21
The Time: 2:30 p.m. ET
The Distance: 159.9 miles / 300 laps
TV: ABC, 2 p.m. ET
Radio: Sirius NASCAR Radio / PRN
2008 Winner: Clint Bowyer
2008 Polesitter: Scott Wimmer (via final 2007 points; qualifying rained out)

Event Schedule: Friday-Practice 1:40-3:15 p.m.; Final Practice 4:45-5:45 p.m.; Saturday-Qualifying 9:40 a.m.

Top 10 Driver Standings

   Driver                       Points
1 Carl Edwards                515
2 Brian Vickers                467
3 Greg Biffle                    416
4 Brendan Gaughan         407
5 Kyle Busch                  406
6 David Ragan                 387
7 Kevin Harvick                386
8 Jason Leffler                 354
9 Jason Keller                 343
10 Michael McDowell       326


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