Charlotte The Final 2010 Stop For NASCAR Nationwide Series New Car
This weekend at Charlotte Motor Speedway marks the fourth and final stop for the NASCAR Nationwide Series new car in 2010. It has received a resounding vote of approval from the drivers, owners and officials on not only the improved safety features the car provides, but also the great competition and close racing it has produced as well.
The new car competed in three previous points races during the 2010 season, beginning with the July 2 race at Daytona International Speedway, followed by the Aug.14 event at Michigan International Speedway and the Sept.10 race at Richmond International Raceway. The full integration of the new car into the NAS-CAR Nationwide schedule is targeted for the 2011 season.
Not only has the new car provided close competition, it also has put some big names in Victory Lane this season. Two-time series champion (1998,‘99) Dale Earnhardt Jr. won at Daytona International Speedway driving the famed #3 car; the current series standings leader Brad Keselowski (#22 Discount Tire Dodge) won at Michigan International Speedway and the two-time series champion (2001, ‘06) Kevin Harvick (#33 Rheem Tankless Water Heaters Chevy) won at Richmond International Raceway.
―We got the new car coming up this week, and we seem to really have a lot of speed with it,” Brad Keselowski said. “I‘m ready to get running it at Charlotte. It‘s going to be really cool.
Busch Rewriting The Record Books Going For Charlotte Sweep
In an era where many competitors proclaim the competition is at its best, the 2009 NASCAR Nationwide Se-ries champion, Kyle Busch (#18 NOS Toyota) continues to etch his legacy in the record books. Busch stretched the record for the most wins in a single season to 12 victories this past weekend at Auto Club Speed-way; which gives him a career total at 42 victories, just six behind Mark Martin’s record of most all-time series wins with 48. The most impressive part is the rate at which Busch is achieving these milestones. It took Martin 192 races and 15 years of series competition (only one of the 15 did he run a full schedule) to reach 42 wins. It has taken Busch 198 races and only eight years of series competition (five of the eight were full-schedule sea-sons).
Busch continues to put up dominating performances. He is third in the standings, 485 points behind series standings leader Brad Keselowski. To accompany Busch‘s 12 wins this season, he has posted 20 top fives and 22 top 10s.
As Busch prepares for Charlotte Motor Speedway this weekend, he should probably follow what has worked in the past for him; he leads series with the most wins at the 1.5-mile track — six including four out of the last five events. In 14 starts at Charlotte, Busch has posted six wins, 10 top fives and 11 top 10s with an average finish of 8.5.
The NASCAR Pre-Race Loop Data shows Busch ranked in the top five of several categories: Driver Rating (120.0), Average Running Position (9.048) and Laps In The Top 15 (81.2%).There have been 24 Perfect Driver Ratings (150.0) in the NASCAR Nationwide Series since Loop Data was created in 2005. Busch holds 12 of the 24, including this event at Charlotte last season. And he already has produced four Perfect Driver Rating performances this season (Texas-1, Dover-1, Iowa and Dover-2).
In The Loop: Allgaier Shrugs Off Sophomore Slump
With his third consecutive top-10 finish, Justin Allgaier (#12 Verizon Wireless Dodge) matched the second longest top-10 streak of his brief career.
The flurry of success has came at a good time, too. For a second there, it looked like All-gaier might succumb to the dreaded sophomore slump.
Prior to those three top 10s, Allgaier finished outside the top 10 in four of six races – two of which were outside the top 30.
Even during the mini-slump, Allgaier retained his fourth-place points position – but it got a bit less secure. After Iowa, Allgaier was 213 points ahead of fifth-place Paul Menard. Six races later, the cushion was only 61 points.
During that six-race stumble, Allgaier had an average finish of 17.5, a Driver Rating of 80.3, an Average Running Position of 16.9 and a Laps in the Top 15 percentage of 54.0%.
But the current streak has put Allgaier back in a comfortable spot. He is currently 72 points ahead of Menard, and the season has steadied.
Over the three races, Allgaier has boosted his stats, compiling an average finish of 8.0, a Driver Rating of 98.9, an Average Running Position of 9.6 and a Laps in the Top 15 percentage of 80.3%.
The streak could – and, maybe, should – live on this weekend. Allgaier‘s longest top-10 streak is five races, coming in the first five races of this season.
This weekend would make four straight for Allgaier, and there‘s little reason to suggest it won‘t happen. In May at Charlotte, Allgaier finished fourth with an impressive Driver Rating of 103.2 and an Average Running Position of 8.0.
It was his best of a four-race Charlotte sampling. Each Charlotte finish has been better than the last for Allgaier. Here‘s the breakdown:
In October, 2008, he finished 34th with a Driver Rating of 59.4.
In May, 2009, he finished 14th with a Driver Rating of 77.6.
In October of 2009, he finished 12th with a Driver Rating of 93.1.
And earlier this season, he had the fourth-place finish with a rating of 103.2.
2008 Series Champion Clint Bowyer To Make 350th NASCAR National Series Start
The 2008 NASCAR Nationwide Series champion, Clint Bowyer (#21 Zaxby’s Chevy) will make his 350th NASCAR national series start under the lights at Charlotte Motor Speedway at Friday‘s Dollar General 300. Bow-yer has participated in all three of NASCAR‘s national series in his career, but has found most of his success in the NASCAR Nationwide Series.
Bowyer has made 175 career starts in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, posting three wins, 26 top fives, 77 top 10s and two poles. He also has qualified for the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup twice, with a career-best finish of third in the 2007 championship standings.
Bowyer has also made 167 career starts in the NASCAR Nation-wide Series, posting eight wins, 61 top fives, 107 top 10s and seven poles. He has finished in the top three in points three times (2005, ‗06 and ‘08) including winning the 2008 championship. At Charlotte Motor Speedway Bowyer has made 11 series starts, posting two top fives, and seven top 10s.
Bowyer also has dabbled in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series where he made seven starts from 2006-2007, posting one win (Texas), two top fives, three top 10s and one pole.
JR Motorsports Holding True To The Idea Of A Developmental Series For Patrick And Almirola
The NASCAR Nationwide Series is often referred to as a developmental series for drivers aspiring to better their skills and gain experience. Two such drivers, Aric Almirola (#88 Hell-mann’s Chevy) and Danica Patrick (#7 GoDaddy.com Chevy), have been given that chance by JR Motorsports this season.
Almirola has had a career of bouncing from team to team and series to series, but has found a home at JR Mo-torsports. He has made four starts for the Dale Earn-hardt Jr.-owned company and posted his second top-10 finish this past weekend at Auto Club Speed-way.
Almirola is making the most of his opportunity, as he and the team look to con-tinue the momentum they‘re carrying from Cali-fornia. He has made four series starts at Char-lotte, posting one top-five finish.
He also has made two NASCAR Camping World Truck Series starts at Charlotte, posting two top 10s.
His teammate Danica Patrick will be making her ninth series start this weekend at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Last weekend she was having her best run of the season but was in an acci-dent with eight laps remaining, dashing hopes of a likely top-15 finish. Instead, Patrick was rele-gated to a 30th-place finish.
Seat time and experience are the two big-gest things Patrick needs to be successful in the series.
―I had been really confused on what it would take to be good from beginning to end,‖ she said. ―I gained a lot of confidence at Auto Club Speedway. The result obviously wasn't very good, but we had good moments. We are going to have a lot of confidence going into Charlotte this week. It does make a difference to come back to a track for a second time.‖
Unfortunately for Patrick, this will be her first time running at Charlotte Motor Speedway. But, she did post her best career finish earlier this season at Chicagoland Speedway, another 1.5- mile speedway on the schedule.
NNS Etc.: Charlotte Edition
►R3 Motorsports Gives Back
R3 Motorsports has joined forces with Emer-son Newton-John and his aunt, world renowned entertainer Olivia Newton-John, to promote breast and prostate cancer awareness and test-ing through the NASCAR Sprint Cup and NAS-CAR Nationwide Series races at Charlotte Motor Speedway this weekend.
The #23 Chevy will drop its familiar black, red and gray scheme and switch over to a black, pink and blue scheme for “Pink and Blue for Two” (PB42) under the lights of the 1.5-mile speedway.
―When the opportunity came up to do this, we immediately realized this would be a great thing for everyone,‖ said Robert Richardson Sr., owner of R3 Motorsports. ―If our #23 cars can help remind men and women to get the proper cancer screenings with Pink and Blue for Two on there, then it might help someone else down the road.‖
Pink and Blue for Two is an initiative started by Emerson, and fully supported by Olivia, to raise cancer-testing awareness for men and women. The main goal of PB42 links the strik-ingly similar statistics between breast and pros-tate cancers and encourages couples to help remind one another to see their physician‘s for screenings. Also on the car will be a decal high-lighting Olivia‘s self-breast examination kit for women called Liv Aid.
―This is great that R3 Motorsports has been kind enough to donate their entire Chevy to our cause for the Charlotte races this weekend,‖ Emerson Newton-John said. ―We have been working hard to launch this campaign into a high-visibility market, and this opportunity with R3 to showcase our campaign in NASCAR is a great step in that direction. I thank them for this.‖
►Double Duty Drivers In Double Digits
This weekend is packed with lots of excite-ment for not only the fans but also the drivers, many of whom see Charlotte Motor Speedway as a home track due to its close proximity to where they reside. That‘s also why many NAS-CAR Sprint Cup drivers take this opportunity to run in both national series events, and this week-end 14 drivers will pull double duty.
Leading the group are Kyle Busch, Joey Logano (#20 GameStop Toyota), Paul Menard (#98 Menards Ford), Carl Edwards (#60 COPART Ford), Clint Bowyer, Brad Keselowski, Kevin Harvick, Mike Bliss (#40 Key Motorsports Chevy), Michael McDow-ell (# 81 MacDonald Motorsports Dodge), Reed Sorenson (#Dollar General Toyota) and Martin Truex Jr. (#00 Out! Pet Care Toyota) .
One of the 14 who has made a big impact immediately on the team he has joined is Ryan Newman (#1 Phoenix Racing Chevy). Newman has made 11 starts for James Finch this season. He has posted two top fives and six top 10s. And if the past is any indication, look for Newman to continue his success, having made four series starts at Charlotte Motor Speedway posting one win, three top fives and four top 10s.
David Reutimann (#11 Texall Toyota) will be returning to the series and making his fourth series start for Braun Racing. Reutimann has posted one top-five and two top-10 finishes this season. His last start was at Chicagoland Speedway, where he posted his best finish of 2010 (fourth).
Reutimann is a proven winner at Charlotte Motor Speedway. He won the season‘s first NASCAR Sprint Series event at the famed 1.5-mile speedway in 2009.
He also has made 11 NASCAR Nationwide Series starts at Charlotte, posting a best finish of 11th in 2008.
►Up Next: Gateway
The final stand-alone event on the 2010 NASCAR Nationwide Series schedule will be next week at Gateway International Raceway for the Gateway 250 on Saturday, Oct. 23rd.
The race will be televised live on ESPN2 with the tele-cast beginning at 3 p.m. and the green flag at 3:30.
Look for the action to be fierce this next weekend because earlier this season, Missouri native Carl Edwards won the series‘ first race of the year there by spinning series standings leader Brad Keselowski as the two raced to-wards the checkered flag on the final lap.
Last season‘s Gateway 250 winner was Kyle Busch. It was his sixth victory of his nine-win season in 2009; also it was the first victory for Toyota at Gateway.
Brad Keselowski sat on the pole last sea-son at Gateway, his first of only two poles in 2009.
Next Race: Dollar General 300
The Place: Charlotte Motor Speedway (2-mile oval)
The Date: Friday, October 15
The Time: 8 p.m. ET
The Distance: 300 miles / 200 laps
TV: ESPN2, 7:30 p.m. ET
Radio: PRN/SIRIUS NASCAR Radio
2009 Winner: Kyle Busch
2009 Polesitter: Carl Edwards
Schedule prior to race day (times ET): Wednesday: Extended Practice, 10 a.m.-1 p.m. and 2-6 p.m.; Thursday: Practice, 2:15-3:20 p.m.; Final Practice, 6:15–7 p.m. Friday: Qualifying, 3:05 p.m.
Dollar General 300 Charlotte Motor Speedway (1.5-mile oval) – Concord, N.C.
Fast Facts for October 14-16, 2010
Tire: Goodyear Eagle Speedway Radials
Number of Tires:
Left-side -- 575, Right-side -- 575
Left-side -- D-4390; Right-side -- D-4234
Left-side -- 87.3 in.; Right-side -- 88.3 in.
Technical Inspection Inflation:
Left Front -- 30 psi; Left Rear -- 30 psi;
Right Front -- 55 psi; Right Rear -- 50 psi
Minimum Recommended Inflation:
Left Front -- 30 psi; Left Rear -- 30 psi;
Right Front -- 54 psi; Right Rear -- 50 psi
Notes: Teams in both the NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series will run the same tire codes at Charlotte this week . . . this is the same combination of left- and right-side tires that teams in these two series ran at this track in May . . . these teams have also run this right-side tire code (D-4234) with a different left-side code at Las Vegas and Charlotte in 2009, and Las Vegas and Darlington in 2010 . . . this is the only track on which teams will run this left-side code (D-4390) . . . as on all NASCAR ovals greater than one mile in length, teams are required to run inner liners in all four tire positions at Charlotte . . . air pressure in those inner liners should be 12-25 psi greater than that of the outer tire.