NASCAR Nationwide: Scott Wimmer Deserves a Chance

Ashley McCubbinAnalyst IApril 5, 2010

LEBANON, TN - APRIL 03:  Scott Wimmer driver of the #7 Lifetime Army Wives Chevrolet stands on the grid during qualifying for the NASCAR Nationwide Series Nashville 300 at Nashville Superspeedway on April 3, 2010 in Lebanon, Tennessee.  (Photo by Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Jason Smith/Getty Images

Scott Wimmer is a talented driver in the Nationwide Series—yet continues to lose rides despite how successful he is for the team.

In his past two starts with JR Motorsports (JRM), he has finished seventh both times. Though come Phoenix, Wimmer won’t be in the No. 7 car. That ride has been given to Landon Cassill, a young star who has a development contract with Hendrick Motorsports, a team closely affiliated with JRM.

This isn’t the first time that Wimmer has made considerable contributions to a team and been set aside on the curb.

In 2007, Wimmer was pegged by Richard Childress Racing (RCR) to drive part of the schedule while veteran Jeff Burton was to run the other races. The end result of both of their success combined was to equal the owner’s championship for RCR.

In his 23 starts, Wimmer had no wins yet had a pole at Gateway, seven top fives, 14 top 10s and an average finish of 11.6. Though Wimmer did his part as combined with Burton’s finishes, they won the owner’s championship for RCR.

In 2008, the same package was put together and Wimmer once again had success. He won a race at Nashville, had a pole at Bristol, five top fives, 13 top 10s and an average finish of 10.5.

In 2009, Wimmer joined up with Curtis Key Motorsports, an under funded team to try to help them, while also running six races for JRM. In those six races, he finished 9th, 18th, 9th, 31st (engine), and 18th. In his 24 starts for Curtis Key Motorsports, he got them a top 10 with a seventh place finish at Memphis.

In 2010, JRM once again called upon Scott Wimmer and as said earlier, he delivered with back-to-back seventh place finishes.

When JRM announced that they’d be trying to run the No. 7 all year long, the first thought was Wimmer would be driving that car all year long. Though that didn’t happen as during the Memphis weekend, JR Motorsports announced Cassill would be driving the car for the next four races.

In comparing their stats, the obvious choice though would be Wimmer. In 201 Nationwide starts, Wimmer has six wins, 29 top fives and 73 top 10s while Cassill has only six top 10s in 26 starts.

Plus add in the contributions that Wimmer had made to both RCR and  JRM, he’s most deserving of a full-time Nationwide Series ride that has good funding behind it.

Though in discussing Wimmer, you also have to fault RCR for not giving him a full-time ride after he had success running part-time with Burton.

Since letting Wimmer go, RCR’s Nationwide drivers have yet to match his success, besides Austin Dillion.

In his six starts, Dillion managed to get one top five finish. Though if you look at the other drivers, their stats don’t compare.

Since Wimmer left RCR, they’ve had three non-Cup drivers, besides Dillion, run their car: Stephen Leicht, Sean Caisse and John Wes Townley.

In 71 Nationwide starts, Leicht has one win (2007 Kentucky with Yates Racing), three top fives and 16 top 10s.

In three races with RCR, Caisse’s highest finish was 22nd at Loudon.

In 34 races, Townley’s highest finish is 15th at Las Vegas this year.

If I was RCR, I’d be looking to bring Wimmer back into the picture.

There are many talented drivers who have got pushed off to the curb and left without rides, slowly being forgotten.

Hopefully Wimmer is not the next driver added to that list because if I was starting a team and looking at current free agents, he’d be one driver that I’d pick-up.


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