Nationwide series Milwaukee preview
The Nationwide Series once again gets the opportunity to receive top billing during a NASCAR weekend. The Northern Tool Dot Com 250 will be run this Saturday on one of the most historical and prestigious facilities in the country: the famed Milwaukee Mile. It also means that the race will not have the usual high amount of Sprint Cup drivers and that provides opportunity for the full-time Nationwide only teams.
The race has 47 entries vying for the 43 starting spots. Qualifying is expected to be intense for this race because 17 of those entries are on the "go or go home" list. That simply means these teams are not high enough in the series owner's points to qualify for a guaranteed starting berth and must make the race based on speed.
But there will be at least two Sprint Cup drivers in Saturday's Nationwide Series race. That, of course, would be Kyle Busch and Carl Edwards who are each attempting to win the championships in both series. Busch and Edwards are currently running first and second in the Nationwide Series' championship points standings.
That means another weekend filled with hectic travel itineraries for both drivers. Last week had them boarding private planes and chartered helicopters in order to meet practice, qualifying and race schedules between race tracks located in Michigan and Kentucky. This week the logistics nightmare will be greatly enhanced because the two race tracks are located in northern California and Wisconsin. One cannot help but admire the diligence of the people that have to make these skintight travel arrangements.
Once again both drivers will be depending on the backup from substitute drivers to practice their cars and help with the needed race prep. NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver Johnny Sauter, who will already be in Milwaukee to race his truck Friday night, will be staying over to fill in for Kyle Busch. Colin Braun, who is Carl Edward's Roush Fenway Racing teammate, will also spend an extra day in Wisconsin to prep the team's Nationwide car after driving the company truck the night before.
However another set of schedule conflicts has played into the favor of both drivers, especially Kyle Busch. Joey Logano will not be in Milwaukee Saturday. Busch's young teammate from Joe Gibbs Racing has been a real thorn in the side of Busch as of late. This was especially true last weekend when Logano literally out-drove Busch during the final laps and in the process won a race that Busch had dominated all evening long.
Logano has opted to stay in California and participate in Saturday's NASCAR Camping World West Series race at the Infineon Raceway in order to gain more seat time of the famed road course.
With both the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and the Nationwide Series being at the Milwaukee Mile this weekend Ron Hornaday Jr will be doing double duty by running both races for his team owners Kevin and DeLana Harvick. Saturday is Hornaday's birthday and he would like to give himself a special present by being the first ever driver to win a Nationwide Series race on his birthday.
The Northern Tool Dot Com 250 will be aired lived by ESPN2 beginning at 8pm eastern time. ESPN Classic will re-air the race on Sunday morning beginning at 7am eastern. by Dave Grayson