NASCAR & Auto Racing

Nationwide notes | Return to Memphis has driver hoping for repeat

Jim Utter's midweek look at NASCAR's No. 2 group, the Nationwide Series:

Elevator

UP - Clint Bowyer

Closing in on his first NASCAR championship.

UP - NASCAR's new Nationwide car

NASCAR could be on to something here.

DOWN - Championship battle

It's even less competitive than on the Cup side right now.

3 to Watch

JARIT JOHNSON: The younger brother of two-time Cup champion Jimmie Johnson makes his Nationwide debut with Fitz Motorsports.

DAVID REUTIMANN: Reutimann returns to the site of his only series victory, which came one year ago.

MARC DAVIS: Drive for Diversity member will attempt to make his series debut this weekend in Joe Gibbs Racing's No. 18 Toyota.

Observations

Childress, Gibbs teams take two roads

Two methods. One objective. Richard Childress Racing clings to a one-point lead in the owner standings behind the steady wheel of driver Clint Bowyer, who also holds a wide lead in the driver's championship race.

An owner's title would be the third consecutive for RCR, matching a record held by William Baumgartner (1995-97). JGR's No. 20 team is looking for its first owner’s title in the series, but got to this point utilizing four different drivers - Tony Stewart, Kyle Busch, Denny Hamlin and Joey Logano.

Good places could mean good races

Clint Bowyer may only have one victory this season but the end of the series schedule provides good opportunities for him to add to his total. Bowyer holds NASCAR wins at three of the final four stops of the season. He owns Nationwide wins at Memphis (2005) and Phoenix (2007) and a Truck Series victory at Texas (2006).

This week's race

Kroger 250

Where: Memphis (Tenn.) Motorsports Park.

When: 3:30 p.m. Saturday.

TV: ESPN Classic.

Last year's winner: David Reutimann.

Top 10 in points

1. Clint Bowyer 4,552; 2. Carl Edwards 4,356; 3. Brad Keselowski 4,266; 4. Mike Bliss 4,017; 5. David Ragan 4,013; 6. Kyle Busch 3,931; 7. David Reutimann 3,882; 8. Mike Wallace 3,633; 9. Jason Leffler 3,599; 10. Marcos Ambrose 3,574.

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