NASCAR NATIONWIDE SERIES
Could A Clinch Be In the Cards For Keselowski?
In order to capture his first NASCAR Nationwide Series title – and also the first NASCAR national series championship for the legendary Roger Penske – Brad Keselowski has to leave Texas with a 390-point lead over the second-place driver, who happens to be his archrival, Carl Edwards.
If Keselowski finishes 21st or better, 22nd and lead at least one lap, or 24th and leads the most laps, he would clinch no matter what Edwards does. He comes to Texas leading Edwards, the 2007 series champion, by 485 points.
Keselowski’s average finish at Texas in eight career series races is 14.0. He ranks 20th in Driver Rating at the track at 84.1, but has top-five finishes in his last three races. Reigning series champion Kyle Busch leads all drivers with a 125.9 Driver Rating there. Edwards has a 97.4 Driver Rating at TMS, 10th-best among all drivers at Texas. His average finish is 13.0, one spot better than Keselowski.
Busch On A Mission At Texas
Kyle Busch is coming to Texas to spoil Brad Keselowski’s early-clinch party. And his chances of doing so are not only very good, but bordering on guaranteed.
His No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing team is attempting to split the driver and owner title for the fourth time in series history. JGR also can tie a series mark with three consecutive owner titles. The No. 18 team has a 71-point lead on Brad Keselowski’s No. 22 Penske Racing team heading to Texas.
Busch has owned recent series races at Texas and Phoenix, two of the final three tracks on the schedule. At Texas, he’ll attempt to break the series record of five consecutive wins at one track that he shares with Dale Earnhardt (Daytona) and Jack Ingram (South Boston).
Busch also has won three times at Phoenix. Another win there would set the all-time series victory mark at PIR. For good measure, in 2009 at Homestead-Miami, he became the second series driver to win the season finale in his championship year.
Bayne Looks To Graduate – Again
It hasn’t been all that long since Trevor Bayne, 19, earned his high school degree. This weekend, he’ll look to graduate again, this time to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series where he’ll attempt to make his series debut at Texas.
Bayne will drive the famed No. 21 Ford for the Wood Brothers, and will be mentored by one of the sport’s all-time greats, Bill Elliott, in the process.
The 2010 season has been a whirlwind for Bayne, who started the year driving full-time in the NASCAR Nationwide Series for Diamond-Waltrip Racing. He had an incredible summer, tying a series record with three consecutive poles and also moving into the top 10 in the points standings. He’s currently seventh.
He moved from Diamond-Waltrip to Roush Fenway Racing’s NASCAR Nationwide operation in September, creating the opportunity for his NASCAR Sprint Cup debut.