Cup drivers headline Nationwide trip to Nashville

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Cup drivers headline Nationwide trip to Nashville

By Amanda Vincent, NASCAR reporter

Story Highlights

  • Three wins for Edwards
  • First wins for Leffler & Sorenson

The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series may be taking a weekend off, but that doesn't mean that all its drivers are. Several are heading to Nashville Superspeedway this weekend, the site of racing for NASCAR's two other national touring series -- the NASCAR Nationwide Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.

"When you enjoy racing, there's really nothing better.

David Reutimann

Sprint Cup regulars expected to race in Saturday's Nashville 300 Nationwide Series event include the Joe Gibbs Racing duo of Kyle Busch and Joey Logano and a couple of drivers competing at both the Sprint Cup and Nationwide levels full-time this year, Carl Edwards and Brad Keselowski. David Reutimann is also entered in Saturday's Nationwide race.

"No sense in having an off weekend," Reutimann said. "When you enjoy racing, there's really nothing better."

Before moving into Sprint Cup racing, Keselowski was the last non-Cup driver to visit the Nashville victory lane following a Nationwide race, making a stop there in the fall of 2008. In the time since, Nationwide racing at Nashville has been dominated by Cup regulars winning the last four series races there.

Kevin Harvick won last year's Nashville 300, but he won't be among the drivers racing on Saturday.

With three wins, Edwards has enjoyed the most Nationwide Series success at Nashville of any driver entered in Saturday's race. Keselowski has two - 2008 and 2010.

Reed Sorenson
Reed Sorenson

Photo by: Motorsport.com / ASP Inc.

Among the non-Sprint Cup crowd that will be in Nashville on Saturday, Turner Motorsports leads the way.

Of the non-Sprint Cup competitors who'll be on hand, Reed Sorenson has been the best Nashville performer. He has a best average finish of 9.1 at the track, the best of any of the series regulars at Nashville Superspeedway.

Sorenson has fond memories of racing at Nashville. After all, it's the site of his first career win. Including his win there in 2005, he has three top- five finishes and four top-10s in six starts.

"I'm excited about coming back to Nashville Superspeedway, as it's the place I got my first-career win," Sorenson said. "We have some really solid stats there, and I'd love to get back to victory lane.

Sorenson isn't the only Turner Motorsports driver who claimed his first career Nationwide win at Nashville. Jason Leffler got his first series win at the track in 2004. Leffler heads into this weekend's race as the Nationwide points leader. He's looking to stay there as the series races at a track where he has four top-fives and six top-10 finishes in 12-career starts.

While those numbers look good for Leffler, his success level at the track has been pretty much up and down. While he's finished in the top-10 in half his starts at Nashville, he's posted DNFs in several of the other half. He failed to finish four series races at the track.

Jason Leffler, Chevrolet and Justin Allgaier, Tuner Motorsport Chevrolet
Jason Leffler, Chevrolet and Justin Allgaier, Tuner Motorsport Chevrolet

Photo by: Eric Gilbert

The remaining full-time Turner driver has yet to win at Nashville, but Justin Allgaier still likes the track.

"Nashville is one of my favorite race tracks on the circuit," he said. "It's our first stand-alone Nationwide Series event, and points are going to be at a premium.

Allgaier has his eye on points, because he currently occupies the second spot behind teammate Leffler, only two points back. Nashville is one of Allgaier's best tracks. He has four starts there, two of those resulting in top-fives. He finished fourth in both races at the track last year.

The Nashville 300 is slated to take the green flag at 3 p.m. ET, or 2 p.m. local, on Saturday.

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Series NASCAR-NS
Tags allgaier, edwards, keselowski, leffler, sorenson, turner motorsports