Wednesday, March 29, 2023

NASCAR Nationwide Indy 250 Race Preview

The NASCAR Nationwide cars will see themselves at Indianapolis Motor speedway for the Indy 250 for the first time this weekend. Other years while the Sprint cars raced at the Brickyard, the Nationwide cars raced at nearby Lucas Oil Raceway.

Last year, Brad Keselowski won the last race at Lucas Oil Raceway. The Nationwide Series has now moved to running at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Lucas Oil Raceway is a .686 mile oval, while Indianapolis Motor Speedway is a 2.5 mile oval. Fan reaction is mixed on the move. Some believe having the Nationwide race at IMS on Saturday will give fans a reason to attend the track prior to the Sprint Cup race on Sunday. Others are unhappy with the move from Lucas Oil (a track that sold out for 28 years) to Indianapolis a track that lots of people claim to be “boring.”

The Nationwide Championship is close with Elliott Sadler leading by only 11 points; Austin Dillon is in second followed by Ricky Stenhouse Jr. in third,  -19 points behind the leader.

First practice will be run Thursday at noon, followed by final practice at 3:30.  Qualifying is set for Saturday at 12:35pm with driver introductions at 4:00pm. The race is scheduled to start at 4:00pm Saturday July 28.  The race is 100 laps, 250 miles.

While this is a Nationwide race that has not stopped Sprint Cup regulars from appearing on the entry list.

Kurt Busch will be driving the #1 for Phoenix Racing, while brother Kyle Busch pilots the #54 Monster Energy Toyota. Fellow Sprint Cup driver Brad Keselowski will drive the #22 for Penske Racing while Kasey Kahne will drive the #38 for Turner Motorsports.

Joe Gibbs Racing will supply cars for Joey Logano and Denny Hamlin while Paul Menard will drive the #33 for Richard Childress Racing. Menard won the Sprint Cup event at IMS last year.

In addition to Sprint Cup regulars there are others entered into the field who warrant your attention.

Ty Dillon will be making his second Nationwide Series start in the #51 while Jeremy Clements drives the #4 for JD Motorsports. Dillon finished eighth in his first ever Nationwide start earlier this year.

Kenny Wallace will be driving the #24 of SR2 Motorsports (a car that Benny Gordon and Amber Cope have also driven). RAB Racing will supply all the cars for Wallace. He finished fourth this past weekend at Chicagoland in the #09. The move to the #24 ensures that Wallace will make the field for Saturdays race. He is the all time leader in starts for the Nationwide Series.

Fresh off an agreement to drive for Penkse Racing in select Nationwide races,  Ryan Blaney will be running the #26 for Tommy Baldwin.

Full Entry list : Red drivers have to get in on TIME.

1 1 Kurt Busch(i) 12 Chevy James Finch
2 01 Mike Wallace TBA 12 Chevy Johnny Davis
3 2 Elliott Sadler One Main Financial 12 Chevy Delana Harvick
4 3 Austin Dillon ADVOCARE 12 Chevy Morgan Shepherd
5 4 Jeremy Clements TBA 12 Chevy Rusty Wallace
6 6 Ricky Stenhouse Jr SAM’S CLUB/CARGILL 12 Ford Jack Roush
7 7 Danica Patrick 12 Chevy Kelley Earnhardt-Miller
8 08 Kyle Fowler Randy Hill Racing 12 Ford Randy Hill
9 10 Jeff Green TBD 12 Toyota Mark Smith
10 11 Brian Scott Dollar General 12 Toyota J D Gibbs
11 12 Sam Hornish Jr Alliance Truck Parts 12 Dodge Roger Penske
12 14 Eric McClure Hefty/Reynolds Wrap Toyota Camry 12 Toyota Mark Smith
13 15 Scott Riggs(i) RWR 12 Chevy Rick Ware
14 18 Denny Hamlin(i) SportClips 12 Toyota Joe Gibbs
15 19 Tayler Malsam G-Oil / Noah’s Light Foundation 12 Toyota Mark Smith
16 20 Joey Logano(i) GameStop 12 Toyota Joe Gibbs
17 22 Brad Keselowski(i) Discount Tire 12 Dodge Roger Penske
18 23 Robert Richardson Jr N TX Pipe 12 Chevy Robert Richardson Sr
19 24 Kenny Wallace Family Farmers 12 Chevy Jason Sciavicco
20 30 James Buescher(i) ABF 12 Chevy Harry Scott Jr
21 31 Justin Allgaier Brandt 12 Chevy Sandra Turner
22 33 Paul Menard(i) Menards 12 Chevy Delana Harvick
23 36 Ryan Blaney Seal Wrap 12 Chevy Beth Baldwin
24 38 Kasey Kahne(i) Great Clips 12 Chevy Steve Turner
25 39 Jeffrey Earnhardt 12 Ford Archie St Hilaire
26 40 Erik Darnell TBA 12 Chevy Curtis Key Sr
27 41 Timmy Hill RWR 12 Chevy Rick Ware
28 42 Josh Wise(i) TBA 12 Chevy Curtis Key Sr
29 43 Michael Annett Pilot Flying J – M&M’s Snack Mix 12 Ford Sandra Turner
30 44 Mike Bliss TBA 12 Toyota Mark Smith
31 46 Chase Miller The Motorsports Group 12 Chevy Curtis Key Sr
32 47 Stephen Leicht(i) Curtis Key Plumbing 12 Chevy Curtis Key Sr
33 50 T J Bell TBA 12 Chevy Rusty Wallace
34 51 Ty Dillon(i) Clements Automotive 10 Chevy Tony Clements
35 52 Tim Schendel / Chamber of Commerce 12 Chevy Jimmy Means
36 54 Kyle Busch(i) Monster Energy 12 Toyota Kyle Busch
37 70 Johanna Long Foretravel 12 Chevy Mary Louise Miller
38 74 Mike Harmon Koma Unwind 12 Chevy Mike Harmon
39 81 Jason Bowles American Majority 12 Toyota Gina MacDonald
40 86 Kevin Lepage TBA 12 Ford Scott Deware
41 87 Joe Nemechek AM/FM Energy Wood & Pellet Stoves 12 Toyota Andrea Nemechek
42 88 Cole Whitt 12 Chevy Dale Earnhardt Jr
43 89 Morgan Shepherd TBA 12 Chevy Morgan Shepherd
44 98 Reed Sorenson Shelby Engine Co. 12 Ford Fred Biagi
45 99 Travis Pastrana Boost Mobile 12 Toyota Robby Benton

Photo Credit: July 29, 2011 – Source: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images North America

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