I watched the NASCAR Nationwide Series race yesterday, and again watched the story about the Cup regulars, seeing the stories of points leader Clint Bowyer, and eventual winner Carl Edwards beating out Denny Hamlin, Kevin Harvick, and Kyle Busch.
As is typical of the races with the commercial growth of the sport, we were quickly ushered to points leader, winner, another driver, and out the door. Thanks for the time!
Inspired by the article Mark Eckhart Jr. wrote here on Bleacher Report, "Where's the Developmental League in NASCAR?", I wanted to focus this article to one particular viewpoint. Mike Wallace.
Wallace once again went out and did his job. One of only three Nationwide drivers without a contract in the Cup series to finish top ten. Herein lies the problem.
While the Cup drivers once again stole the show and got the camera time, drivers like Mike were trying to finish clean, well, and attract a sponsor for next year.
Gieco, as has been announced, is going to Sprint Cup with Germain Racing, but with Max Papis as the driver.
Germain Racing has the intention to field entries in all three series, possibly cutting back to only Todd Bodine's entry in the truck series, and keeping Wallace in the Nationwide No. 7. But that is as of now, and pending sponsorship.
Away from the show that is the Cup Series Playground, Mike has been trying to earn his living and give his team solid finishes. Making the Nationwide Series his income, he has finished top five once, top 10 eight times, and sits eighth in the standings. If you take away the drivers with full Cup contracts, it would place him third, but you would never know it.
What saddens me even more about this, is the marketability of Mike Wallace that is overlooked, and in some cases wasted. You can hear him on various shows each week on Sirius XM Satelite Radio. Who can forget the now two-year feud with his third cousin, once removed, Lorne.
He is comfortable in front of the camera, has a great sense of humor, and almost always upbeat. The only times I have seen him down or mad is when it is truly justified. Otherwise, he is very thankful for the opportunity to drive, and gracious to the sponsors.
But again, you would never know it.
Unfortunately, as we go into Homestead next weekend, the story will remain the race between Bowyer and Edwards for the title. The media was kind enough on various occasions to mention the loss of sponsors for Kevin Harvick Incorporated, and JR Motorsports. I won't get into why.
Lost in the hype will be the stories of the drivers and crews that make a living in the Nationwide Series. The people it matters to most. The people that need it most.