Sadler Rides Points Lead Wave To Sunny Florida
In the last three to four years a lot has happened to Elliott Sadler.
He finished runner-up in the series standings in back-to-back seasons (2011 and ’12); he changed teams and car makes in the off-season before 2013 (from Chevrolet with Richard Childress Racing to Toyota with Joe Gibbs Racing); and after all that, he has finally raced his way back to the NASCAR Nationwide Series standings lead.
Sadler is back in championship form after taking over the points for the first time since the fall of 2012 at Phoenix International Raceway.
For the first half of this season JR Motorsports looked almost untouchable in the points, but for the first time this season the JRM teammates of Regan Smith and Chase Elliott have relinquished the standings lead. Now, JGR’s Elliott Sadler is in command; four points ahead of Chase Elliott in second and eight points over Smith in third.
Statistically speaking, Sadler could very well expand on that lead this weekend. Not only does he have a win at a restrictor plate track this year (Talladega), but of the top three drivers in points, he has the best pre-race driver rating (98.6) and average finish (13.3) at Daytona.
But it’s not all doom and gloom for the JR Motorsports squad, Kevin Harvick did win the race at Kentucky in the No. 5 Chevrolet last weekend and with the series heading to Daytona International Speedway, Smith has the chance to defend his season-opening win.
For some, restrictor-plate racing is like an undecipherable code, but some have cracked it – and Smith undoubtedly is one of them. Smith won at Talladega last season, won the season opener at Daytona this season and finished third at Talladega just a few months ago.
Smith will be Sadler’s biggest threat to the points lead this weekend. Throughout Smith’s career, he has progressively improved at Daytona. In his last three starts he has combined to lead 59 laps, and finished inside the top-10 in his last two starts at Daytona.
Daytona Kicks-Off Qualifying For Round One Of Nationwide’s Dash 4 Cash
Friday night under the lights at Daytona International Speedway marks the return of Nationwide Insurance’s Dash 4 Cash (#Dash4Cash). The top-four finishing NASCAR Nationwide championship contenders in the Subway Firecracker 250 will qualify to run the first leg of the popular program at New Hampshire Motor Speedway with an opportunity to win $100,000.
The highest finisher of the four eligible drivers at New Hampshire will win the money and automatically qualify for the Dash 4 Cash at Chicagoland the following weekend. The three highest finishing NNS regulars at New Hampshire not already qualified will also get to compete for the $100,000 bonus at Chicagoland. The final two events at Indianapolis and Iowa will carry the same qualifying requirements.
If one driver wins the first three legs of the Dash 4 Cash and the Iowa race outright, Nationwide Insurance will award that driver an extra $600,000.
Four fans will be selected to win an all-expense paid trip to Iowa Speedway where they will be randomly paired with the four eligible drivers. The fan paired with the driver who wins the Dash 4 Cash at Iowa will also walk away with $100,000.
Television Coverage/TV Team
- Television Race Coverage: ESPN2 – 7:00pm/et
- Announcers: Allen Bestwick, Dale Jarrett, Andy Petree
Pit Reporters: Mike Massaro, Dr. Jerry Punch, Vince Welch.
Studio: Nicole Briscoe, Rusty Wallace, Brad Daugherty
Times are local to the Track
Wednesday, July 2nd
10:00 AM NNS HAULERS ENTER
11:30 AM NNS REGISTRATION OPENS
12:00 PM NNS GARAGE OPENS & INSPECTION BEGINS
6:00 PM NNS REGISTRATION CLOSES
7:00 PM NNS GARAGE CLOSES
Thursday, July 3rd
9:00 AM NNS GARAGE & REGISTRATION OPENS
11:00 AM NNS ROOKIE & SPOTTER MEETINGS & RANDOM DRAWING
12:00 PM-2:00 PM NNS FINAL PRACTICE
5:30 PM NNS QUALIFYING INSPECTION
6:00 PM NSCS & NNS REGISTRATION CLOSES
9:30 PM NNS GARAGE CLOSES
Friday, July 4th
10:00 AM NNS REGISTRATION OPENS
1:00 PM NNS GARAGE OPENS
2:45 PM NNS DRIVER/CREW CHIEF MEETING (DRIVERS MEETING ROOM)
3:10 PM NNS QUALIFYING (FoxSports 1)
7:00 PM NNS DRIVER INTRODUCTION
7:30 PM NNS RACE (100 LAPS, 250 MILES)(ESPN2)
8:00 PM NNS REGISTRATION CLOSES
Goodyear Tires Notes / Fast Facts
- Tire: Goodyear Eagle Superspeedway Radials
- Set limits:
Sprint Cup: 4 sets for practice/qualifying and 6 sets for the race;
Nationwide: 5 sets for the event
- Tire Codes:
Left-side — D-4596; Right-side — D-4600
- Tire Circumference:
Left-side — 87.99 in. (2,235 mm);
Right-side — 88.50 in. (2,248 mm)
- Technical Inspection Inflation:
Left Front — 30 psi; Left Rear — 30 psi;
Right Front — 55 psi; Right Rear — 50 psi
- Minimum Recommended Inflation:
Left Front — 27 psi; Left Rear — 27 psi;
Right Front — 50 psi; Right Rear — 48 psi
- Notes: Teams in both the NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series will run the same tire codes at Daytona this week . . . this is the same combination of left- and right-side tires that major NASCAR teams have run at both Daytona and Talladega since last October . . . as on all NASCAR ovals greater than one mile in length, teams are required to run inner liners in all four tire positions at Daytona . . . air pressure in those inner liners should be 12-25 psi greater than that of the outer tire.
|NASCAR Natonwide Series|
|Subway Firecracker 250 Entry List|
|Daytona International Speedway – 7/4/2014|
|1||01||Landon Cassill||Chevrolet||Flex Seal|
|2||2||Brian Scott||Chevrolet||Shore Lodge|
|3||3||Ty Dillon#||Chevrolet||Yuengling America’s Oldest Brewery|
|5||5||Kasey Kahne (i)||Chevrolet||Hellmann’s|
|8||9||Chase Elliott #||Chevrolet||NAPA Auto Parts|
|9||10||Blake Koch||Toyota||Celsius Cola|
|11||14||Eric McClure||Toyota||Hefty Ultimate / Reynolds Wrap|
|12||16||Ryan Reed #||Ford||American Diabetes Assoc, Drive to Stop Diabetes presented by Lilly Diabetes|
|13||17||Tanner Berryhill #||Dodge||NationalCashLenders.com|
|14||19||Mike Bliss||Toyota||Upstar TV|
|15||20||Darrell Wallace Jr (i)||Toyota||Share a Coke|
|16||22||Joey Logano (i)||Ford||Discount Tire|
|17||23||Robert Richardson Jr||Chevrolet||Cornboard|
|18||25||John Wes Townley (i)||Toyota||Zaxby’s|
|19||28||J.J. Yeley||Dodge||Texas 28 Spirits Stage|
|20||29||Scott Jr||Toyota||Florida Department of Transportation|
|21||31||Dylan Kwasniewski #||Chevrolet||Rockstar|
|22||39||Ryan Sieg #||Chevrolet||RSS Racing|
|23||40||Josh Wise(i)||Chevrolet||Curtis Key Plumbing|
|24||42||Kyle Larson(i)||Chevrolet||Target Ticket|
|25||43||Dakoda Armstrong #||Ford||Fresh from Florida|
|26||44||David Star||Toyota||Chasco Key Plumbing|
|27||46||Matt DiBenedetto||Chevrolet||Curtis Key Plumbing|
|28||51||Jeremy Clements||Chevrolet||Allsouthelectric.com- BRT Extrusions|
|30||54||Kyle Busch(i)||Toyota||Monster Energy|
|31||55||Ross Chastain (i)||Chevrolet||Watermelon.org|
|32||60||Chris Buescher #||Ford||Roush Performance|
|33||62||Brendan Gaughan||Chevrolet||South Point Casino & Resort|
|36||76||Tommy Joe Martins #||Dodge||Cross Conrete Construction|
|37||80||Johnny Sauter (i)||Toyota||TBD|
|38||84||Chad Boat||Chevrolet||Billy Boat Performance Exhaust|
|39||85||Bobby Gerhart||Chevrolet||Lucas Oil|
|41||91||Benny Gordon||Toyota||BWP Baseball Bats|
|42||93||Mike Wallace||Dodge||JGL Racing|
|44||98||David Ragan(i)||Ford||Carroll Shelby Engine|
Drivers in Red must qualifying on time
(i) equals ineligible for driver championship points
# – Rookie