The names at the top are the same, but they've shifted around slightly. In fact, a JR Motorsports driver remains atop the rankings for yet another week, but it's no longer Chase Elliott.
A familiar face in Kyle Larson, who has made his mark in the Sprint Cup this season, took the checkered flag. What was talked about following the race was less about the winner and more about the notable Nationwide contenders near the top of the pack.
After a down week for Elliott, the 18-year-old took a slight tumble in the standings down to third. As for teammate Regan Smith, he navigated the No. 7 machine to a seventh-place finish and now leads in points.
While multiple bushwackers like Larson, Brad Keselowski and Kyle Busch cluttered up the top of the pack in Charlotte, Smith was one of the lone full-time Nationwide drivers to finish in the top 10.
Another strong showing from Trevor Bayne also helped his case. The Ford driver finished just behind Smith in eighth and also moved up to fourth in the Nationwide standings.
With the series now heading to Dover along with the Sprint Cup and Camping World Truck Series, here is a look at the full schedule, standings and preview for the Buckle Up 200.
Buckle Up 200 Information
Where: Dover International Speedway, Dover, Delaware
When: Saturday, May 31, 2:30 p.m. ET
Live Stream: WatchESPN
|2014 Nationwide Standings|
|Pos.||Driver||Points||Wins||Top 5||Top 10|
Buckle Up 200 Preview
Though he is no longer a full-time Nationwide driver, Joey Logano is the clear favorite coming into Dover.
Since 2012, no other driver has won a race at the track, with Logano sweeping all four events in Delaware. The Sprint Cup racer has four top-10 finishes at Dover in the premier series, but no one can touch his dominance at the track in NNS.
Logano spoke about his superiority at the track following his latest win, via Mike Hembree of USA Today:
This is such a great racetrack. It's so much fun to run around it. You feel the speed throughout the whole race. It's such a physical racetrack. To sweep the last two years (two races per season) in the Nationwide series is really cool. ... These Nationwide races are short. You have to make big swings at it real early. We got it pretty close, and we had one more stop to fine-tune it.
That win for Logano didn't come without controversy, though. The normal Sprint Cup driver was measured too low in post-race inspections on both sides of his car but did not lose the win, per Hembree.
While every driver is hoping to contend with Logano, it might be Elliott who can contend on The Monster Mile. The first-year Nationwide driver finished 37th in Charlotte with a day that was summed up simply by his NAPA sponsor on Twitter:
Last season, Elliott ran up near the front in the truck series at Dover. The 18-year-old led 15 laps and captured a fourth-place finish after starting on the front row in second.
After coming up well short of his mark in CLT, another top-five finish in Dover would do wonders for the young driver's season.
Another driver to watch might be one that appears to be on the rise in recent weeks in Nationwide. The aforementioned Bayne not only posted a notable finish at Charlotte, but also has a great track record at Dover.
Here's a look at the 23-year-old's career results in Delaware:
|Trevor Bayne Dover Career Results|
|Date||Start||Finish||Laps Led||Status||Driver Rating|
|Sept. 28, 2013||18||9||0||Running||90.2|
|June 1, 2013||12||4||5||Running||104.1|
|Oct. 1, 2011||9||6||0||Running||103.6|
|Sept. 25, 2010||8||6||0||Running||102.6|
|May 15, 2010||23||29||0||Accident||74.1|
Given his record at the track over the years, expecting another top-10 result for Bayne seems reasonable.
Outside of the two young racers, experienced vets like Elliott Sadler and Brian Scott will also be two drivers to watch in Dover. Scott has two top 10s, while Sadler has two top fives at the difficult track.
Regardless of where some of the top drivers wind up, The Monster Mile is always an intriguing race to watch. If Logano falters for the first time in two years, expect any of the young crop of racers to pounce in Delaware.
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