Thursday, Aug 11
Brett Winningham

Brett Winningham

Brett has been following the sport of NASCAR since the beginning of the 2006 NASCAR Sprint Cup season. Since Brett was 13, he has had a passion of chasing a job in sports that not many get the opportunity of doing. He has been in the NASCAR media since the middle of the 2010 season. Since then, he has been a part of many racing podcast shows to improve his talents. You can find him on twitter @NASCAR_Brett.

This weekend the NASCAR Nationwide Series heads off to the Talladega Superspeedway for the 23rd annual Aaron's 312. This weekend will be the ninth stop on the series tour and will be the only race for the series at Talladega this season.

Entry list:

The entry list this weekend features a total of 42 unique drivers. Two will go home as NASCAR only fields 40 cars in the series. Few notables include: Kasey Kahne, Darrell Wallace Jr., Ryan Blaney, Robert Richardson Jr., John Wes Townley, David Starr, Sam Hornish Jr., Jamie Dick, Chad Boat, Bobby Gerhart, Carl Long and David Ragan.

Storylines:

Darrell Wallace Jr. and Sam Hornish Jr. will both make their return to the series under the Joe Gibbs Racing banner after some time off. Wallace made his last start back in 2012 at Dover where he started from the pole. Since having trouble finding a ride in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, Wallace has been driving the No. 54 for KBM Motorsports full-time in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. Hornish will make his series return since last season at the Homestead-Miami Speedway when he just lost the championship by a few points. Due to a lack of sponsorship, Hornish was let go from Team Penske and signed on with Joe Gibbs Racing for seven events in 2014.

Thirteen drivers will make their first start at the Talladega Superspeedway, but that won't matter, as several drivers has won in their first attempt in the past. Those thirteen drivers to look out for include: Chris Buescher, Chase Elliott, Darrell Wallace Jr., Dakota Armstrong, Tanner Berryhill, Ryan Blaney, Chad Boat, Matt Dibenedetto, Joey Gase, Dylan Kwasniewski, Tommy Joe Martins, Ryan Reed and Ryan Sieg.

Chris Buescher hopes to redeem himself this weekend as he was one of the drivers in the season opener at Daytona who failed to qualify for the event. In seven total starts in eight races this season, Buescher has finished up inside the top-10 twice. They tie his best season, which was last year, so he hopes this weekend he can score his third of the year.

Where to watch:

You can catch the NASCAR Nationwide Series race this weekend this Saturday at 2:30 p.m. Et, live on ESPN. Race Buddy and Watch ESPN will also be avalible. Radio coverage will also start at 2:30 and can be heard on the Motor Racing Network.

The ARCA Racing Series announced earlier this week the addition of a group qualifying format that will debut this weekend at the Talladega Superspeedway.
 
With the format so popular by fans over in the NASCAR top-three racing series, ARCA will now move to a knockout format simular to what NASCAR brought in this season.
 
Traditionally, ARCA ran one car at a time, and each car could only run up to two laps. The format will work like this: the results of the Friday morning practice session will set the qualifying groups. During the qualifying session, ARCA will allow the teams to draft, which will provide numerous interesting moments as the session goes on. This format is a little bit different than what NASCAR uses, but will still provide much excitment for those watching.
 
“Practice is going to be key at Talladega this weekend especially with the new group qualifying," said Mason Mitchell. "Being a single car team we need to find someone to work with before practice starts to ensure we end up in a fast group for qualifying.”
 

"We’re really hoping my teammate, Grant Enfinger, and I will be able to help each other during qualifying and then the race," says Allison. "We wanted to work together at Daytona, but since our chances ended early, we weren’t able to do so. It’s very beneficial to have a strong teammate at a superspeedway."

 
Sadly, in the past, FOX Sports 1 never televised ARCA Racing Series qualifying, but its something they could possibly look into. FOX announced earlier, probably two weeks ago, that because with so much viewer increase for the group qualifying format, they have decided to move Sprint Cup Series qualifying from FOX Sports 1 over to FOX at Talladega
 
This is a great move for the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards because many drivers use the series to get a feel for what the NASCAR racing series is like. If they going to be using it in the future, why not start them early? Yes, NASCAR features two-three sessions, depending on the track size, so this format is a little bit different, but I still think this is still a great move. 
 
Before this season begun at Daytona, ARCA announced the addition of double file restarts after numerous racing series have switched to those proceedures. This move has enhanced the racing this season and with group qualifying, it'll only help the series expand further more in the future.

Swan Racing's situation is currently one of the hottest topics in the world of NASCAR after a lack of sponsorship has come their way. The team expanded to two full-time entries this season with two rookies, Cole Whitt and Parker Kligerman.

On Thursday, April 17, Dave Moody reported that the racing operation released numerous employees, and some have taken jobs with other organizations. Because of this, Swan Racing will most likely not field a car in the April 26 Sprint Cup Series race at the Richmond International Raceway.

The following day, Swan Racing's co-owner, Anthony Marlowe, took to social media and tweeted that his mission is to finding Sprint Cup Series driver and Sunoco Rookie of the Year contender, Whitt, a ride for Richmond and for the remainder of the year. With not many possibilities out there, it is looking like that Whitt could move to a third car with BK Racing. Although as of Monday morning, a source close to the situation confirmed that Whitt was still without a ride for Richmond.

With Swan Racing not doing so well financially, they should have never opened up a second full-time car beginning this season. Sadly, in today's NASCAR world, it's all about sponsorship and money, and not about talent. This can either help or hurt a small team like Swan Racing. A perfect example of it helping a small team is the No. 7 Tommy Baldwin Racing team, driven by Michael Annett, who now has a full season sponsorship as they are starting to have respectable results.

With Swan Racing going down under, the next team could very well be BK Racing. This small organization has been struggling to find sponsorship (other than Burger King and Dr. Pepper which are on the car due to the owners having Burger King chains), and has a past history for not keeping their drivers. Alex Bowman, who moved to the racing organization after running in all but one NASCAR Nationwide Series race last season, has had some decent runs. The second operation of BK Racing has not ran so well. The No. 83 team, which is driven by Ryan Truex, has failed to qualify for two races this season, with one of those being the Daytona 500. Truex's best finish of the year so far has been a 30th place finish at the Martinsville Speedway.

With financial struggles hurting the NASCAR world, it puts a huge dent into the sport. This is why the Rockingham Speedway, and other small racetracks, cannot host a NASCAR event. Financial struggles also nearly caused the Iowa Speedway to shut down because of payments not being made. Hopefully this will be the last time for a long time that we hear about financial issues impacting the sport.

Within seconds left in NASCAR Nationwide Series qualifying, Kyle Busch snatched the pole for his first of the 2014 racing season. Busch posted a fast time during the session of 28.314 seconds, 173.448 mph, to earn his 15th career pole in the Nationwide Series for tonight’s 32nd annual VFW Sport Clips Help a Hero 200 at the Darlington Raceway.

Once the final round started, it was all Chase Elliott until the final seconds, but was bumped off the top spot and will start second this evening. Elliott posted a fast time of 28.352 seconds, 173.448 mph. Elliott will make his best career start this evening and comes into tonight fresh off his first ever win in the series. This will be his fourth start inside the top-10 after six races this season. Elliott was just 0.038 seconds slower than Busch’s lap time.

Starting in the third spot this evening will be Matt Kenseth as he posted a fast time of 28.408 seconds, 173.106 mph. Tonight will be Kenseth’s seventh start inside the top-10 in the NASCAR Nationwide Series this season and will be the second time he has started a race from third. Like the top-two drivers, he will definitely be another favorite to score the win this evening. Kenseth was 0.094 seconds off of the pole sitter.

Joey Logano, who was the fastest car in the first round of qualifying, will start in the 15th spot after not making it to the final round. During the second of the three sessions, Logano posted a disappointing 29.005 seconds, 169.543 mph. He made a total of four laps in the first two sessions combined.

Kyle Larson, who has not had a great day as he also wrecked earlier today in cup practice, will roll off from twelfth tonight as he crashed. He did however post a official lap of 37.223 seconds, 132.112 mph, which was on the lap before he spun. The team will repair the car so they will not have to go to the backup.

A total of 40 cars showed up to race so nobody will be going home for the event.

Joey Logano captured his fourth win in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series this afternoon at the Texas Motor Speedway after having a very strong run. Logano dominated the field after leading a total of a 108 laps today. With a late race caution after Kurt Busch blew a tire with two laps remaining, Logano’s chances of winning nearly faded as he had to come down pit road, and had to restart third after teammate Brad Keselowski was too fast on pit road. Logano drove hard around leader Jeff Gordon to win his first race of the 2014 season.

Coming home in second after leading a total of 40 laps this afternoon was Jeff Gordon. This was Gordon’s best finish this season since finishing fourth in the season opener at the Daytona International Speedway. He lost the race this afternoon by just 0.476 seconds.

Kyle Busch will bring home a third place finishing position this afternoon after being a front runner all day long. Busch led a total of 10 laps this afternoon for his second best finish of the 2014 season. Today was his eighth total top-10 finish at the Texas Motor Speedway after 18 total starts. He finished in third by a total of 1.006 seconds.

The next race for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series will be at the Darlington Raceway. You can catch it on Saturday April 12th at 6:00 p.m. Et, live on FOX. The Motor Racing Network will carry the live radio broadcast of the event. You can listen to MRN on many stations around the country, TuneIn, MRN.com, or on AudioNow by dialing 1-832-999-1717.

Tony Stewart captured the pole this afternoon at the Texas Motor Speedway after posting a fast time of 27.628 seconds, 195.454 mph. His pole lap came within seconds of the conclusion of the final round to capture his 15th career Sprint Cup Series pole. This is his second pole at the 1.5-mile, Texas Motor Speedway.

For his fifth time of the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season, Brad Keselowski will start on the outside front row after posting a fast time of 27.636 seconds, 195.397 mph. It will also be his fifth time of starting inside the top-10 after twelve starts at Texas. Keselowski was beat by just 0.008 seconds when Stewart posted his fast time.

Starting from the third position will be Kevin Harvick after a fast time of 27.648 seconds, 195.312 mph. Harvick will start from inside the top-five for his second time of the 2014 season and looks for that second win of 2014. Harvick was 0.020 seconds off of the pole sitter. Harvick shattered the previous track qualifying record this afternoon in the first of three rounds held today.

Four cars will go home after failing to qualify. Those being, David Stremme, Ryan Truex, Joe Nemechek and JJ Yeley. This will be the first race in 2014 for Dave Blaney as he will start this Sunday from the 35th starting position.

With about 15 laps remaining of tonight’s O’Reilly Auto Parts 300, Chase Elliott flew by teammate Kevin Harvick to capture his first career NASCAR victory in only six Nationwide Series starts. This also makes the second Nationwide Series regular to capture a win this season after six races complete. Elliott led a total of 38 laps this evening at the 1.5-mile oval.

After leading a total of 38 laps, the same number as the race winner, Kyle Busch came home in the second position. Busch was going after his third win of the season but restarts lost him the race this evening as his car was better on the short runs. This is the fourth time this year that he finished inside the top-five. He lost the race by just 2.666 seconds.

Finishing in third was Auto Club Speedway winner, Kyle Larson. Larson was upfront this evening as he led a lap during a green flag pit cycle. Tonight was his fifth consecutive top-five finish after six total starts this season. Larson was 2.799 seconds behind the race winner when the checkered flag fell.

The next race for the NASCAR Nationwide Series will be at the Darlington Raceway next Friday on April 11. You can watch it live at 7:30 p.m. Et, on ESPN2. The Motor Racing Network will carry the live radio portion of the event. You can listen on many stations around the country, TuneIn application, MRN.com or on AudioNow by dialing 1-832-999-1717.  

Kevin Harvick earned his 24th career NASCAR Nationwide Series pole this afternoon at the Texas Motor Speedway. Harvick posted a fast time of 29.195 seconds, 184.963 mph, which is his first pole in the series this season out of three starts. This is his first ever pole in the series at the Texas Motor Speedway.

Starting in the second spot this evening on the outside front row will be Matt Kenseth. Kenseth posted a fast time of 29.274 seconds, 184.464 mph, which was just 0.079 seconds slower than the pole winner. Out of five races already through this season, this will be his best starting position since Bristol two races ago. Kenseth is certainly one of the favorites going into tonight’s race.

Qualifying third fastest when the third and final session ended was Regan Smith. Smith posted a fast time of 29.295 seconds, 184.332 mph. Like Kenseth, tonight will also be Smith’s best starting position of this season with his best at Bristol. He goes into tonight’s race looking to capture his second win of 2014. Smith’s lap time in the final round was just 0.100 seconds behind the pole winner.

Many drivers had rear toe/camber issues going through technical inspections prior to qualifying. Drivers that wasn’t able to make a lap was Kyle Busch, Kyle Larson, Ty Dillon and Chris Buescher. A total of 40 drivers showed up for qualifying which will mean no drivers will be going home.

This weekend the NASCAR Nationwide Series will return to action Friday evening at the Texas Motor Speedway for the 18th annual O’Reilly Auto Parts 300. This will serve as the sixth stop on the schedule during the 2014 season and the first of two Nationwide Series races at the 1.5-mile oval.

Entry List:

This weekend’s entry list currently features a total of 41 drivers. This means that one car will go home following qualifying on Friday. Few notables include Kevin Harvick, Matt Carter, Matt Kenseth, Ryan Blaney, Jason White, Derek White, Ryan Sieg, David Starr, Derrike Cope, Mike Harmon, Chad Boat, Kevin Lepage and Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Storylines:

Regan Smith and Trevor Bayne enters this weekend tied in the NASCAR Nationwide Series point’s standings. Smith, who captured the win in the season opener at the Daytona International Speedway, looks to grab another top-10 finish at Texas like he did in the last two starts there. Although that Bayne captured a win back in 2011, his finishes has been all over the place in his other starts. He hopes this weekend will go much smoother than the previous.

The Sunoco Rookie of the Year standings separated a little bit after Auto Club Speedway nearly two weeks ago. Chase Elliott finds himself leading the standings by three points over Ty Dillon. Both drivers go into this weekend looking to grab their first career Nationwide series win. Dillon will be one of the favorites as he won the truck race at the 1.5-mile oval last November. Elliott will be making his debut at the Texas Motor Speedway but finished fifth at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway nearly four weeks ago.

Two drivers, including one crew chief, will be looking to perform solid runs this weekend as it will be their home track. James Buescher, who is a native of Plano, and Chris Buescher, native of Prosper, will be looking to score the victory. The crew chief of the No. 43 driven by Dakota Armstrong, Phillippe Lopez, also hopes to guide Armstrong to the victory.

Jamie Dick, who drives the No. 55 Viva Chevrolet, will make his 40th career NASCAR Nationwide Series start. He made his debut at the Kentucky Speedway in 2011 where he started from 38th and came home in the 30th spot.

Where to watch:

The NASCAR Nationwide Series race can be seen Friday evening at 8:00 p.m. Et, live on ESPN2. The Performance Racing Network will provide the live radio broadcast of the event. You can listen on many stations around the contry, PRN application, or on GoPRN.com. Kyle Busch is the defending race winner.     

Mother Nature had other plans this morning at the Martinsville Speedway for NASCAR Camping World Truck Series qualifying. NASCAR will set the starting field per the rule book by fastest speed out of yesterday’s two practice sessions.

Darrell Wallace Jr. will roll off on the pole later today afternoon for the second time of his career. His first career pole came at Dover last season. Wallace’s fastest time came in the first practice session with a time of 19.590 seconds, 96.662 mph. He comes into this weekend one of the favorites to win as he won at this track last October.

Starting on the outside front row will be Ryan Blaney after posting his fastest time also in the first session. Blaney posted a 19.666 seconds, 96.288 mph, and was 0.076 seconds slower than Darrell Wallace Jr. This will be the second time of the 2014 season to start inside the top-10.

Starting third will be Timothy Peters after posting a fast time of 19.676 seconds, 96.239 mph, during the first practice session of the weekend for the series. This will be the first time in 2014 that Peters will start inside the top-10 out of two races this season. Peters is another favorite as he won at Martinsville previously.

No drivers will be going home as the 37th truck entry of Ted Minor withdrawn from the event prior to qualifying. Ben Kennedy will be the highest starting rookie as he will start in the seventh spot later on today. Weather will possibly will be an issue today so stay tuned to all of your NASCAR sources for the latest updates.

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