It’s pretty much comes down to these two: Elliott Sadler vs. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.; Ford vs. Chevrolet. Each of the top two NASCAR Nationwide Series championship contenders has won four times with Stenhouse, the reigning series champion, getting victory No. 4 in Atlanta.
The score is now even with both Stenhouse (Las Vegas, Texas, Iowa and Atlanta) and Sadler (Phoenix, Bristol, Chicago and Iowa) each having four victories on the season. However, Sadler still holds the advantage in the championship standings with a 12-point lead over Stenhouse with nine races to go.
Appearing Monday night on SPEED’s Race Hub, Elliott Sadler confirmed he would not be back with Richard Childress Racing in 2013. He said he had not been offered an opportunity to stay at Childress next season and that he does not yet have a deal with a team for next year.
Travis Pastrana returns to the site of his Nationwide Series debut earlier this season at Richmond where he finished 22nd. However, he will be driving for a different organization this time around. Pastrana will pilot to the No. 60 Ford for Roush Fenway Racing.
As far as the schedule for Sam Hornish, Jr.: Penske Racing held a news conference the other day to announce Joey Logano will be behind the wheel of the No. 22 for 2013. One of the media questions for Penske Racing president Tim Cindric was about the future of Sam Hornish Jr., currently the full-time driver for Penske Racing in the Nationwide Series and in the #22 Sprint Cup Series ride, and where this placement of Logano leaves Hornish:
“….He’s going to continue to drive the 22 (Cup) car for the remainder of the year. We’ve continued to work on putting a Cup program together for Sam; we just haven’t been able to close that process yet. I foresee Sam driving for us a full season Nationwide next year and hopefully some Cup races, as well.”
Double-duty drivers this weekend include Denny Hamlin, Sam Hornish, Kevin Harvick and April race winner Kurt Busch. In addition, young guns Darrell Wallace Jr., Ty Dillon and Ryan Blaney return to the series at Richmond. Dillon will drive the familiar colors of Richard Childress Racing while Wallace Jr. and Blaney return behind the wheel of their respective Joe Gibbs Racing and Penske Racing rides.
Sources: NASCAR Media, Penske Racing PR, RCR PR