NNS: Drive4COPD 300 Preview – Stewart goes for fifth straight win, Patrick wins pole

Information: 

Photo by: Getty Images for NASCAR

Date: Saturday—February 25, 2012
Time: 12 p.m. ET
Location: Daytona International Speedway
Distance: 120 laps/300 Miles
Broadcast: TV—ESPN
Radio— MRN (Motor Racing Network)/ Sirius XM Ch. 90

Weather:

High: 64⁰F – Low 49⁰F
Start Time: 61⁰F
End of Race: 62⁰F
Chance of rain: 10%
Wind: Out of the north at 15-16 mph.

Analysis:

Tony Stewart is pretty good at Daytona International Speedway in February, especially in the NASCAR Nationwide Series.

The last four Drive4COPD 300’s have all been won by one driver, and that driver is Stewart.

As Stewart goes for his fifth straight win in the February NNS Daytona event, he’ll be driving with a new team, but the equipment will still be what he drove to victory last year.

In the off-season, Kevin Harvick sold his Camping World Truck Series and Nationwide Series teams, in the same off-season, Harvick’s Cup Series boss, Richard Childress bought the equipment and turned what was Kevin Harvick Inc., into the NNS Richard Childress Racing team.

When the green flag waves on Saturday eyes will be on Stewart as he goes for a fifth straight win, but at the front of the pack two of biggest names in the race will lead the field.

Danica Patrick, who is racing in her first-full season in the NNS, won the pole for Saturday’s event. This is Patrick’s first pole in 26 attempts.

Patrick won the pole with a lap of 49.250 seconds, 182.741 mph. This is the first time a woman driver has sat on the pole at Daytona, but this is not the first time a woman has sat on a Nationwide series pole.

In 1994, Shawna Robinson won the pole before the March Atlanta race.

Last year’s Daytona 500 winner and NNS driver, Trevor Bayne will start second for Saturday’s race. Bayne missed the pole by just 0.007 seconds.

The last time a pole winner won this event from the pole was in 2008 with Stewart winning both the pole and the race.

Many big name drivers, including several past Daytona winners will be in the race on Saturday. One of the biggest names is Dale Earnhardt Jr, who will be driving for his own team and will start fourth.

Joey Logano, who won the last time the NNS raced at Daytona in July will also be in the race on Saturday.

Defending series champion Ricky Stenhouse Jr. will start his title defense in the season-opening race this year, but he may be driving for more than just defending his title, as his car currently doesn’t have sponsorship for the whole year.

One of the ways to race around Daytona in the last couple of years has become tandem racing, where two cars draft each other to make themselves go faster. While changes were made for the Sprint Cup cars to limit the tandem racing, tandem racing in the Nationwide series will appear once again.

Among the teams and drivers to watch for in the race will be the Roush Ford Mustangs of Bayne and Stenhouse Jr. Also the RCR drivers of Sadler, Stewart and Dillion will be ones to watch out for as the race gets underway.

Other tandems to watch out for would be the two Dodges of Roger Penske, Brad Keselowski and Sam Hornish Jr.

Starting Lineup:

1. Danica Patrick
2. Trevor Bayne
3. Elliott Sadler
4. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
5. Austin Dillon
6. Sam Hornish Jr.
7. Tony Stewart
8. Cole Whitt
9. Brad Keselowski
10. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
11. Kasey Kahne
12. Justin Allgaier
13. Mike Bliss
14. Kurt Busch
15. James Buescher
16. Michael Annett
17. Denny Hamlin
18. Ryan Truex
19. Brian Scott
20. Eric McClure
21. Johanna Long
22. Joey Logano
23. David Ragan
24. Kyle Busch
25. Tayler Malsam
26. Kenny Wallace
27. Joe Nemechek
28. Mike Wallace
29. Timmy Hill
30. Johnny Sauter
31. Blake Koch
32. Casey Roderick
33. Benny Gordon
34. Robert Richardson Jr.
35. Joey Gase
36. Jeremy Clements
37. Josh Wise
38. JJ Yeley
39. TJ Bell
40. Jason Bowles
41. Danny Efland
42. Reed Sorenson
43. Jeff Green

Leave a Reply