NASCAR Nationwide Series News And Notes - Richmond Developmental Drivers Climbing Ladder Of Success Success doesn't come easily in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, but Johnny Borneman III (No. 83 Red Line Oil Dodge) proved that sometimes it isn't...
NASCAR Nationwide Series News And Notes - Richmond
Developmental Drivers Climbing Ladder Of Success
Success doesn't come easily in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, but Johnny Borneman III (No. 83 Red Line Oil Dodge) proved that sometimes it isn't how much equipment or resources you've got, but how much talent. Borneman posted his first career top-five finish in the NASCAR Nationwide Series this past weekend at Talladega Superspeedway after qualifying 31st.
Borneman has been around NASCAR a long time. He hails from Ramona, Calif., and is a NASCAR K&N Pro Series West veteran. Both he and his father, Johnny Borneman Jr., competed in the NASCAR Winston West Series and his father was a track champion at Cajon Speedway in San Diego.
The most impressive part of his success was he did it with limited resources. He only had four guys on his pit crew servicing his car during the race. After the race, during an emotional interview, Borneman said, "It's one of the greatest days of my life!"
Borneman joins a group of drivers that have climbed the developmental series ladder and now found success on the national level in the NASCAR Nationwide Series. Like two-time NASCAR Nationwide Series champion Kevin Harvick (No. 33 Rheem Chevrolet), a former NASCAR K&N Pro Series West champion, 2008 NASCAR Nationwide Series champion Clint Bowyer (No. 21 Zaxby's Chevrolet) is a former NASCAR Whelen All-American Series track and regional champion. And Joey Logano (No. 20 GameStop Toyota) is a former NASCAR K&N Pro Series East champion. All three joined Borneman in the top six at Talladega.
Keselowski's On Top And Poised For Championship Run
New team. New crew chief. No problem. At least not for this past weekend's winner at Talladega and now series standings leader, Brad Keselowski (No. 22 Discount Tire Dodge).
Keselowski and crew chief Paul Wolfe have come out of the gate hot posting one win (Talladega), seven top fives and two poles in the first eight races of the season.
"We have got our Nationwide Series program right where we want it to be," said Keselowski. "We're having fun. Got our first win of the season with the new team. I am very proud for everyone on the team, especially Paul, and being able to get him his first win," said Keselowski.
"We have come a long way in a short period of time," said Wolfe. "We started with nothing in November and now we are leading the points and got our first win, which is the result of the guys back at the shop working hard and everyone's attention to detail."
Keselowski has made seven starts at Richmond posting a pair of fourth--place finishes last season.
Teens Logano, Bayne Should Be Threats For Richmond Win
The future of the NASCAR talent stable looks pretty secure, and two of the reasons why look like safe bets to excel this weekend at Richmond International Raceway.
Both are 19 years of age. One is established One seems ready to break . out .
The two young guns are Joey Logano (No. 20 GameStop Toyota) and Trevor Bayne (No. 99 Aaron's Dream Machine Toyota).
Logano has already broken "youth" records by the bunch. He's the youngest race winner in both the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and the NASCAR Nationwide Series.
Though not running a full schedule this season in the NASCAR Nationwide Series he'd likely be a title threat if he did.
In seven series races this season, Logano has a top-10 finish in six of them. Though he has yet to win, he has runner-up finishes in the last two races. His lowest Driver Rating this season was a strong 100.3 at Bristol.
Overall, he owns some of the strongest numbers in the series: a Driver Rating of 119.8, an Average Running Position of 4.8, 166 Fastest Laps Run, 324 Laps Led, a Pass Differential (passes minus times passed) of plus-31 and a Laps in the Top 15 percentage of 95.2%.
The statistics suggest yet another strong run this Friday night. Logano has run two series races at Richmond. Both were top-10 finishes.
Running all 500 of his Richmond laps among the top 15, Logano has an average Driver Rating of 107.4, an Average Running Position of 6.0, eight Fastest Laps Run and seven Laps Led.
Bayne hasn't enjoyed quite the success as Logano, but there is a comfort level that is slowly being built.
Bayne has finished in the top 15 in three of the last four races.
Though he has only three career top-10 finishes, one of them took place at Richmond. Last year, he finished seventh at the short track, which at the time matched his best career finish. Earlier this season, he topped that mark with a sixth-place run at Las Vegas.
Last September, Bayne had a Driver Rating of 107.2, an Average Running Position of 6.6, four Fastest Laps Run, while running all 250 laps in the top 15.
Kevin Harvick Is Back In Richmond, Ready To Win For A 5th Time
The two-time series champion Kevin Harvick (No. 33 Rheem Chevrolet) hasn't declared he is running a full season in 2010, but has made all eight starts this season and is looking like championship run could be in his future.
One stop on the NASCAR Nationwide Series schedule that has been extra good to Harvick is Richmond International Raceway where he has won four times, one shy of Mark Martin's series track record of five wins.
"It's been a good track (Richmond) for us over the past couple years," said Harvick. "It's a race track that kind of goes with everything we do -- from my driving style, to the cars, to everything that goes with it. I enjoy racing there. You can run the top, you can run the bottom and you can run the middle. It's a fun race track from a driver's standpoint because it gives you options," said Harvick.
This season Harvick has been stellar behind the wheel posting two wins (Las Vegas and Nashville), seven top fives and only one DNF at Auto Club Speedway after his engine let go.
Last weekend at Talladega, Harvick sat on the pole and finished third, his second top five in six starts at the 2.66-mile superspeedway.
Harvick has made 18 series starts at Richmond posting four wins, 12 top fives, 14 top 10s and one pole. He finished fifth in this event last season and second in the fall event.
NASCAR Pre- Race Loop Data s h ows Ha r v i c k ranked in the top five of several categories, first in Driver Rating with (117.7), fourth in Average Running Position (8.445), and second in Laps In The Top 15 with 86.1% of his laps completed in the top 15.
Kyle Busch Looking To Rebound At Richmond And Repeat
The 2009 series champion, Kyle Busch (No. 18 Z-Line Designs Toyota), returns to the north eastern hills of Richmond, Va., to defend his win at the famed .75-mile short track, Richmond International Raceway.
Busch is coming off a 2008 season where he tied Jack Ingram's single season wins record with 10 and then followed it up with a nine win season that resulted in the series championship in '09. Last year, eight races in, Busch had only won twice. But, this season, Busch has posted three wins and five top fives.
Last weekend at Talladega, Busch finished 34th-place, his first DNF of the season. He currently is third in series standings.
Busch swept both the NASCAR Sprint Cup and NASCAR Nationwide Series races at Richmond last season, and it was no fluke. Busch has posted three wins, seven top fives, nine top 10s and no DNFs in 12 starts at Richmond.
Busch is also one of only four drivers (Harry Gant, Tommy Ellis, and Dale Earnhardt Jr.) to win at Richmond from the pole.
Busch's success has transferred over to Joe Gibbs and his campaign for his third consecutive Owner's championship. Gibbs has fielded two full-time cars in the series this season. The No. 18, driven by Busch, is currently fourth in the owner standings, 104 points behind the standings leader Jodi Geschickter. The No. 20, which has had Joey Logano and Denny Hamlin behind the wheel, is currently third in the owner standings, after Logano's second-place finish at Talladega last weekend.
NNS Etc. ...
Virginia Natives Coming Home
Eric McClure (No. 24 Hefty/Food City Ford) is looking forward to heading back to his home state of Virginia this weekend as the series heads to Richmond International Raceway. McClure resides in Abingdon, Va., but calls Chilhowie, Va., his hometown.
McClure is 21st in the series standings after posting a 22nd-place finish at Talladega, his best finish since Las Vegas earlier this season.
Former NASCAR Nationwide Series Rookie of the Year and current television analyst for Speed, Hermie Sadler III (No. 09 RAB Racing Ford) will be making his first NASCAR Nationwide Series start this weekend at Richmond since Homestead in 2004. Sadler calls Emporia, Va., his hometown.
"I am thankful to the RAB Racing team for giving me this opportunity," said Sadler. "The Nationwide Series is where I have had the most success in my career, and I look forward to getting back behind the wheel at Richmond in front of my family, friends, and fans."
Kenseth Set To Tackle The No. 16
Matt Kenseth (No. 16 Coupons.com Ford) will be replacing Colin Braun in the No. 16 car at Richmond and Darlington.
The No. 16 car is currently 32nd in the owner standings, which means Kenseth will have to qualify into both events.
Brian Scott Leading Rookie Class
Brian Scott (No. 11 AccuDoc Solutions Toyota) posted his second top 10 of the season at Talladega last weekend tightening his grip on the 2010 Raybestos Rookie of the Year standings. Scott is now seven points up on secondplace James Buescher (No. 1 Phoenix Racing Chevrolet) in the rookie standings. Scott also is the only rookie currently in the top 10 in the series driver standings.
What a big win at the 2.5-mile Talladega Superspeedway last weekend for Dodge, giving the manufacturer its first ever series win at the superspeedway.
This weekend the series heads to Richmond where Chevrolet leads the series with 20 victories. Toyota is the defending race winner, the manufacturer has two wins at 0.75-mile track.
Dodge is still looking for its first victory at Richmond.
Allgaier and Keselowski Head North
Penske Racing teammates Justin Allgaier (No. 12 Verizon Wireless Dodge) and series standings leader Brad Keselowski (No. 22 Discount Tire Dodge) are heading north to the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal, Canada Thursday, April 29, for a Media Advance leading up to the NAPA Auto Parts 200 scheduled for August 29. The press conference will be held at the infield media center at 11:30 a.m.
Allgaier was the 2009 rookie of the year and currently is fourth in the standings, having posted one win (Bristol), three top fives and five top 10s.
Keselowski is the standings leader after winning last weekend at Talladega. He has posted one win and seven top fives this season.
Up Next: Darlington Raceway
The NASCAR Nationwide Series heads south next weekend to Darlington Raceway for the Royal Purple 200, the 10th race on the 2010 schedule.
The action kicks off Friday, May 7. ESPN2 has the broadcast beginning at 7 p.m. ET.
Matt Kenseth is the defending winner of the event. The field was set by owner points when qualifying was cancelled due to weather.
Next Race: BUBBA Burger 250
The Place: Richmond International Raceway (.75-mile oval)
The Date: Friday, April 30
The Time: 7:30 p.m. ET
The Distance: 187.5 miles / 250 laps
TV: ESPN2, 7 p.m. ET
Radio: MRN/SIRIUS NASCAR Radio (Locally on WRVA-AM, 1140)
2009 Winner: Kyle Busch
2009 Polesitter: Matt Kenseth
Schedule Prior To Race Day:
Friday--Practice, 9-11:50 a.m.; Qualifying, 4 p.m.