On Your Side: Nationwide Takes Third Weekend Off

Ben BombergerSenior Writer IMarch 24, 2009

BRISTOL, TN - MARCH 21:  Kevin Harvick, driver of the #33 Armour Chevrolet, celebrates in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Nationwide Series Scotts Turf Builder 300 at Bristol Motor Speedway on March 21, 2009 in Bristol, Tennessee.  (Photo by Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR)

After back-to-back weekends off, followed by action at Bristol Motor Speedway this past Saturday, the Nationwide Series will again be in limbo for the upcoming weekend.

While the Truck and Cup Series head to Southern Virginia to battle it out on the infamous paper-clip, the Nationwide guys will be enjoying a weekend off (again).

Bleacher Report is "On Your Side" with news and notes from this past weekend of racing and the off-weekend ahead.


Kevin Harvick Wins in His Own Ride

We all knew it would happen sooner or later. Harvick finally visited Victory Lane in his No. 33 Kevin Harvick Inc. Chevy.

Bristol was the perfect place for Happy to capture his first win driving for himself, as he has had tremendous success at the bull-ring in Tennessee over the years.

Now that Harvick has gotten the monkey off his back, capturing checkered flags should come more frequently. The win moved Harvick up to second in the points, 114 behind leader Carl Edwards.

The win was Harvick's first in the series since 2007, and gave him the title of all-time series winner at Bristol with five wins.

Hey Harvick, time to ask the "boss" for a raise!


Four Races, Four Race Winners, Four Pole Winners

For the first time this season, a driver has led the points standings in back-to-back weeks.

That driver is none other than Carl "Flippin'" Edwards.

Edwards, the 2007 series champion, is followed by a handful of Cup regulars, with Harvick in second, and Kyle "Can Win in Anything" Busch in third.

Harvick became the fourth different winner in four races this season, and Brendan Gaughan won his first career pole—also making him the fourth different pole winner.

Brad Keselowski was hoping Bristol would be a turn around for the No. 88 team, but instead it resulted in another bad weekend.

After running in the top 10 at the mid-to-late-stages of the race, Keselowski was involved in an accident.

Keselowski did manage a season-best 12th place finish, but it was far from the win he collected last fall at the bull-ring.

Keselowski is now four-for-four when it comes to being involved in an accident that impacted a good finish. Although he was a preseason favorite to challenge for the title, he now sits 15th in the standings, 292 points behind Edwards. (He was 11th after four races last year).


Raybestos Rookies Getting it Done

Someone forgot to tell this year's Nationwide Series' rookies that they were supposed to struggle with their yellow stripe.

Brendan Gaughan sits fourth in the points, while Justin Allgaier (eighth) and Scott Lagasse Jr. (10th) also reside in the top 10 following Bristol.

Three rookies are in the top 10 for the first time in the Series since 2006 when the likes of Edwards, Reed Sorenson, and Denny Hamlin did so.

Two other Series-only regulars are also proving their worth as Jason Leffler (sixth) and Kenny Wallace (ninth) hold positions in the top 10.

Wallace made his first appearance in the top 10 since 2006, when he spent 12 weeks there. It's also the first time a Jay Robinson Racing Chevy has cracked the top 10 in the team's 10-year history.


Top 30 Locks After Texas

The Series will return to action Apr. 4 at Texas Motor Speedway—the fifth race of the season.

Following the race, the 2009 owner points will set the fields.

The last five drivers in are: Brandon Whitt, Danny O'Quinn Jr., DJ Kennington, Morgan Shepherd, and Michael Annett.

On their heels are Kenny Hendrick (31st, tied with Wimmer in owner points), Brian Keselowski (33rd, 33 points out of 30th), and Tony Raines (34th, 37 points out).


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