NASCAR & Auto Racing

Inside the Nationwide Series

ELEVATOR

UP – Landon Cassill

Two top-10 finishes and a pole in past five races.

UP – Clint Bowyer

He continues to keep all challengers for the series title at arm’s length.

DOWN – Brad Coleman

One finish of 15th or better in past eight races.

3 THINGS TO WATCH

JOEY LOGANO: Returns to Joe Gibbs Racing’s No. 20 team this week looking to pick up where he left off – with three finishes of sixth or better in his first four races.

REED SORENSON: Returns to the scene of his last NASCAR victory looking to repeat his victory of a year ago and add a spark to his season.

SCOTT WIMMER: Has finished in the top 10 in each of his last three races at the track, including a second place finish behind Sorenson a year ago.

OBSERVATIONS

It could be due in part to the different cars used, but this season Nationwide Series “regulars” appear to be much more competitive against the Sprint Cup Series drivers, even in companion weekend events where the number of Cup drivers typically increase. Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano, for instance, appear just as strong in races with several Cup drivers as without. Even in the series standings, five of the top-10 drivers are not Cup regulars.

Good move by NASCAR to transfer the series’ most popular driver award to NASCAR.com which has already produced a large response (more than 38,000 votes so far). In previous seasons, the award had been determined by a ballot in NASCAR Insider magazine.

THIS WEEK'S RACE

Missouri-Illinois Dodge Dealers 250

Where: Gateway International Raceway, Madison, Ill.

When: 9:30 p.m. Saturday.

TV: ESPN2

Last year’s winner: Reed Sorenson

Top 10 in points: 1. Clint Bowyer, 2,965; 2. Brad Keselowski, 2,782; 3. David Reutimann, 2,748; 4. Carl Edwards, 2,711; 5. Kyle Busch, 2,633; 6. David Ragan, 2,613; 7. Mike Bliss, 2,603; 8. Mike Wallace, 2,376; 9. David Stremme, 2,325; 10. Jason Keller, 2,278.

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