NASCAR & Auto Racing

James Finch's team takes aim at 500th start in second series

A midweek look at NASCAR's No. 2 touring outfit, the Nationwide Series:

Elevator

UP - Clint Bowyer

Sitting in the driver's seat for his first NASCAR championship.

UP - Denny Hamlin

Another winner from Joe Gibbs Racing - surprise!

DOWN - Chevrolet

Since the end of March only two Chevy drivers, Brad Keselowski and Ron Fellows, have won.

3 to Watch

JEFF BURTON: Won this race a year ago and, unfortunately for him, it was his last series victory. He'll be looking to end that streak.

BRAD KESELOWSKI: Last year's race produced a third-place finish, then a career high. Now he's chasing a championship and making his Sprint Cup Series debut this time around.

JIMMIE JOHNSON: With all his success at Charlotte in Cup, he has no wins in the second-tier series here and just one top-five finish in 12 starts.

Observations

Finch ready to notch No. 500

There are few non-Cup organizations that have made as big an impact and commitment to NASCAR's No. 2 series over the years than team owner James Finch.

His team debuted at Charlotte in October 1989 and on Friday will seek to make its 500th start. with Mike Bliss will be driving the No. 1 Chevrolet.

In nearly two decades of competition, Finch's teams have earned 11 wins. While debates have raged over the influx of Cup drivers and rising costs, Finch has remained a steady and competitive influence in the series.

2nd test set for series' car to come

Lowe's Motor Speedway will host an open test Monday and Tuesday during which teams wanting to test the new version car for the Nationwide Series can do so. About half a dozen teams plan to attend at this time.

The new car made its track debut in a test at Richmond, Va., last month. It incorporates many of the characteristics of the Cup "car of tomorrow" but also has some distinctive differences.

This week's race

Dollar General 300

Where: Lowe's Motor Speedway, Concord, N.C.

When: 8 p.m. Friday.

TV: ESPN2

Last year's winner: Jeff Burton

Top 10 in points: 1. Clint Bowyer 4,392; 2. Carl Edwards 4,196; 3. Brad Keselowski 4,124; 4. Mike Bliss 3,906; 5. David Ragan 3,886; 6. David Reutimann 3,791; 7. Kyle Busch 3,736; 8. Mike Wallace 3,499; 9. Jason Leffler 3,499; 10. Marcos Ambrose 3,456.

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