Just a week after a "Buschwacker" claimed the top spot at Daytona over his teammate, another field of Sprint Cup regulars will take the track at New Hampshire.
Kasey Kahne took the checkered flag in the Subway Firecracker 250 after Nationwide points leader Regan Smith led 47 laps. The two JR Motorsports drivers continued a great season for the team, but it will be up to Smith and Chase Elliott to continue that run this weekend.
Another slew of Sprint Cup drivers like Matt Kenseth, Brad Keselowski and, of course, Kyle Busch will look to notch a victory at New Hampshire. But with Elliott, Smith and Elliott Sadler all competing for a points championship, each have hopes of surpassing the Buschwackers.
With the Nationwide Series now moving on to New Hampshire, here's a look at the full schedule, standings and preview ahead of the Sta-Green 200.
Sta-Green 200 Information
Where: New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Loudon, New Hampshire
When: Saturday, July 12, 3:30 p.m. ET
Live Stream: WatchESPN
|Pos.||Driver||Points||Wins||Top 5||Top 10|
Though he hadn't won a Sprint Cup race on the season, Kahne gained plenty of confidence by pacing the field at the end of the Nationwide race on the Fourth of July.
Another driver with plenty of experience in Victory Lane in the premier series is Matt Kenseth, who has yet to collect a checkered flag this season. Kenseth, who won a Sprint Cup race at New Hampshire last year, spoke about what it takes to ride to victory on the flat track, per Chris Estrada of NBC Sports:
Last year, I thought we ran pretty well in both of our races there and of course we were able to win the fall race where I thought our car handled pretty good overall.
It’s just one of those tracks where you have to turn good in the corner and still be able to get off the corner. It’s about keeping up your middle of the corner momentum the best you can, which is typical of any flat or short track.
After collecting two top-10 finishes at New Hampshire last season, Kenseth has the look of a favorite in the Nationwide race. Looking for any sort of confidence to secure a spot in the Chase, he might just find it at the lower level.
In four out of the last five races at the one-mile track, Busch has been the man. Busch became the 10th consecutive Sprint Cup regular to win last season, with Kenseth starting the trend in 2004.
Jeff Gluck of USA Today poked fun at the recent dominance of Busch and fellow Sprint Cup drivers during the race at Kentucky:
Who is on the front row for tonight's Nationwide Series race? I'll give you one guess. If you said Brad Keselowski and Kyle Busch, you win.— Jeff Gluck (@jeff_gluck) June 27, 2014
Who will win at New Hampshire?
Outside of the premier series racers, both JR Motorsports drivers will look to continue their strong seasons. With Smith and Elliott inside the top three of the points standings, they have three wins this year between them.
Sadler sits just outside of the lead in second but finished 18th in last year's New Hampshire race. With the top five spots only separated by a total of 54 points, any driver can still win the championship.
As the points race heats up in the Nationwide Series, every race from now until the end of the season will be hotly contested.
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