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Possible short Nationwide field for Fontana Conducting a survey of all 45 teams at the track, Frontstretch discovered it’s questionable whether the series will have a full field next weekend in Phoenix. In fact, multiple sources confirmed there’s a worry less than 43 cars will show, a combination of the economy, a new car design and a 20 percent purse reduction causing several teams to pack their bags and stay away for good. Among those on the definite “no” list for next week include Kevin Harvick, Inc.‘s No. 4, Penske Racing’s No. 12, and Germain Racing’s No. 15. Phoenix Racing’s No. 1, JR Motorsports’ No. 5, 2nd Chance’s No. 79 (after a DNQ) and Means Motorsports’ No. 52 (following their practice crash) are also unlikely to show, which would drop the entry list total to just 38 cars.
It’s unknown at this point whether NASCAR would ask several teams to bring out their backups, what they’ve done in order to ensure the field remains filled during past years. Key Motorsports and MacDonald Motorsports would be likely candidates, but even in a best-case scenario that leaves the grid one to two spots short with a surprising lack of new ownership stepping in along with a popular new car design.
The last short Nationwide field was in February, 2008 at Fontana with 42 cars. For the record, NASCAR remains insistent that a field with less than 43 cars does not affect their TV contract and result in any sort of financial return to the network (in this case, ESPN). Frontstretch
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