NNS: History 300 preview from Charlotte Motor Speedway

Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images for NASCAR

Information:

Date: Saturday, May 26, 2012

Time: 2:45 p.m. EST

Location: Charlotte Motor Speedway, Concord, North Carolina

Distance: 200 laps/300 miles

Broadcast: TV–ABC with broadcast starting at 2:30 p.m. EST

Radio–PRN

Analysis:

It was around this time last year that Ricky Stenhouse Jr., and the rest of the Nationwide Roush-Fenway drivers started to find their groove that would propel them to a championship.

A year later, and it seems that despite only having one driver this year, the Roush-Fenway Fords seem to have found that same groove, but only a lot sooner.

Stenhouse is not only coming off of a win at Iowa, again, but he’ll also head into Charlotte with the biggest points lead of the year thanks to a dominating win and penalties to the second place driver, Elliott Sadler.

Sadler, meanwhile, will head into Charlotte to try and stop the bleeding. Despite finishing second at Iowa the points lead for Stenhouse continued to grow.

Initially, the points lead was only supposed to be 28 points after Iowa, but when the No. 2 car was found to be too low in post race inspection, the No.2 team now finds itself trailing the points lead by34 points, the biggest points deficit of the season all year.

Even though Sadler has more experience at Charlotte Motor Speedway in his career, the edge for the History 300 goes to Stenhouse because he has won on the other mile and a half tracks this year. For Sadler, his team, Richard Childress Racing hasn’t won at Charlotte since 2007 in the fall race.

Despite the first two drivers, two other teams are expecting to get back to their winning ways at Charlotte.

The first is Joe Gibbs Racing. They had a strong run at Iowa, with Michael McDowell and rookie Darrell Wallace Jr. both scoring a top-10 at Iowa. For JGR, despite fielding different drivers on a weekly basis the team has been strong recently. They scored back to back wins at Talladega and Darlington.

A third place last week and a second place at Richmond in the end of April and it is clear that along with the Roush-Fenway Ford and Richard Childress Racing  Chevrolet’s that Joe Gibbs has his Toyota’s right where they have been in the past. This week Denny Hamlin will be driving the No.18 that has been dominant recently.

In the No. 20 will be Joey Logano who, along with Stenhouse Jr. is the only Nationwide driver that has three wins this year.

Another Toyota team that is trying to cash in on recent success is the No. 54 of Kyle Busch Motorsports. After scoring their first win of the season at Richmond the team recorded a second place at Talladega and had a strong run at Darlington before getting involved in a late race wreck. Last weekend, Kurt Busch was able to lead a couple laps before Stenhouse caught him. Busch still finished Iowa with a top-5.

The race on Saturday will feature several teams trying to continue their recent hot streak as well as teams that have been quiet to start making history in the History 300.

By the numbers:

  • 37–the most cars that have finished a spring race at Charlotte that were still running at the end (2007)
  • 32nd–the furthest back a driver has started the spring race at Charlotte to win. (Kasey Kahne in 2007)
  • 10– the number of wins that Ford has in the spring race at Charlotte to lead all manufactures
  • 7th–the average starting position of the winning driver in the spring race at Charlotte
  • 4–the number of times a pole driver has won the spring race at Charlotte. (Jeff Gordon in 1992 was the last)

Entry List:

  1. Angela Cope
  2. Mike Wallace
  3. Elliott Sadler
  4. Austin Dillon
  5. Danny Efland
  6. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
  7. Danica Patrick
  8. Kyle Fowler
  9. Kevin Leapage
  10. Brian Scott
  11. Sam Hornish Jr.
  12. Jeff Green
  13. J.J. Yeley
  14. Denny Hamlin
  15. Tayler Malsam
  16. Joey Logano
  17. Joey Coulter
  18. Brad Keselowski
  19. Robert Richardson Jr.
  20. Casey Roderick
  21. James Buescher
  22. Justin Allgaier
  23. Kevin Harvick
  24. Kasey Kahne
  25. Josh Richards
  26. Erik Darnell
  27. Timmy Hill
  28. Josh Wise
  29. Michael Annett
  30. Mike Bliss
  31. Chase Miller
  32. Scott Speed
  33. T.J. Bell
  34. Jeremy Clements
  35. Joey Gase
  36. Kyle Busch
  37. Johanna Long
  38. Mike Harmon
  39. Jason Bowles
  40. Joe Nemechek
  41. Cole Whitt
  42. Morgan Sheherd
  43. Reed Sorenson
  44. Travis Pastrana

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