Cup drivers look to dominate Talladega Nationwide race

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Cup drivers look to dominate Talladega Nationwide race

By Amanda Vincent, NASCAR reporter

Story Highlights

  • Nine regular Cup drivers enter NNS race
  • Havick will drive Daytona winning car
  • Earnhardt Jr. & Keselowski, Nemechek are previous winners

Sprint Cup drivers look to take over Talladega Nationwide race

Despite NASCAR's new "declare one series" rule, race fields for NASCAR Nationwide Series events have still had their share of Sprint Cup Series drivers. Saturday's Aaron's 312 at Talladega Superspeedway will provide more of the same.

Victory lane: race winner Tony Stewart, Kevin Harvick Inc. Chevrolet celebrates with Kevin and Delana Harvick
Victory lane: race winner Tony Stewart, Kevin Harvick Inc. Chevrolet celebrates with Kevin and Delana Harvick

Photo by: Alexander Trienitz

A number of heavy hitters from the Sprint Cup Series garage will be on hand for Saturday's Nationwide Series race. Drivers expected to be on the starting grid include Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kevin Harvick, Carl Edwards, Clint Bowyer, Kyle Busch, Jamie McMurray, Michael Waltrip, Joey Logano and Brad Keselowski.

Harvick will be behind the wheel of his own car this weekend. This being the No. 4 car fellow Sprint Cup driver Tony Stewart piloted to victory lane in the series' other restrictor plate race -- the season-opening race at Daytona International Speedway.

"The No. 4 team won at Daytona in this car, so I'm looking forward to this weekend," Harvick said. "Our superspeedway program continues to get better with each and every race."

Earnhardt Jr. has one Talladega win in seven Nationwide starts at the track. He also has three top-five and five top-10 finishes in those seven starts. Keselowski comes into the weekend as the defending race winner.

Earnhardt's Nationwide run this weekend will reunite him with cousin and former crew chief Tony Eury Jr.

Working with Tony Jr. is always fun, especially at Talladega.

Dale Earnhardt Jr.

"This will be the first time this year I'll get to work with Tony Jr., so I'm looking forward to that," Earnhardt Jr. said. "Working with Tony Jr. is always fun, especially at Talladega."

Series veteran Joe Nemechek is the only driver who'll be in this weekend's Nationwide Series race with multiple series Talladega wins. He has two, the most recent one coming back in 2000.

Six races into the 2011 season, all races have been won by Sprint Cup regulars, and by the looks of Saturday's potential race field, race seven looks to produce more of the same. But then again, it is Talladega, where anything can and sometimes does happen.

While reigning series champion, Keselowski comes into this weekend's race as the defending winner, Edwards comes into the weekend as the series' most recent winner, visiting victory lane last Friday night at Texas Motor Speedway.

"We had a great weekend in Texas," Edwards said. "We are carrying that momentum into this weekend."

But his Talladega stats, at least as far as the Nationwide Series is concerned, aren't all that great. Edwards has a couple of Nationwide top- 10s at Talladega Superspeedway, but those two finishes were barely top-10s -- 10th both times. He doesn't have a top-five at the track in six starts. -- Three of those six races produced finishes outside the top-30.

The Aaron's 312 is slated to take the green flag at approximately 3 p.m. ET on Saturday. Live television coverage is scheduled to begin an hour earlier, at 2 p.m. ET, on ESPN2.

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Series NASCAR-NS
Tags earnhardt jr., edwards, harvick, nationwide