Country music and NASCAR have found a strong partnership the last couple years.
Last weekend the NASCAR Nationwide Series and Nashville Super Speedway were celebrating 10 years of racing.
NSS has seen multiple first-time winners, from Greg Biffle to Brad Keselowski. On Saturday, would a first-time winner leave the track with the coveted trophy?
Check out the winners and losers of the Nashville 300.
This season, if you’re going to win a race, you are going to have to beat Kevin Harvick. Saturday he had a good car, but he did not have the best car. That being said, he still found his way to victory lane.
He ran in the top 10 for most of the day, following the dominant cars of Joey Logano and Brad Keselowski. He was always within a few seconds of the lead, but a late pit stop and strategy for two tires only had Harvick out front. Harvick was able to hold off a hard-charging Reed Sorenson for the win.
It has been impressive what he has done this season. Also you can factor in that he is not even running the entire season in the NNS.
It was a rough offseason for Reed Sorenson. He lost his NASCAR Sprint Cup ride, and with no guaranteed NNS ride, he was on the sidelines. Just prior to the start of the season he was named a part-time driver for Braun Racing and the No. 32.
He had a great run on Saturday. He was running in the top 10 all day long. He was really giving great feedback, and his team was getting it done on pit road. They got cycled around with the caution just after the green flag stops on lap 105; he was just outside the top 10.
What a great run for Sorenson today. They had a great car, and he was really proving why he deserves to be in a car. He finished an impressive second. Sorenson is auditioning for not only a full-time ride in the NNS but also a ride in the NSCS. Runs like he had on Saturday only help his cause.
In case you did not know it, Michael Annett had a very good day. In fact, he probably ran one of the best races in his career. He really did a great job on the track, struggling with at times a very loose race car.
Annett ran in the top 10 all day long. He fell behind on the final restart with guys with just a little bit faster cars, but he finished ninth.
It was a great run for Annett on Saturday. He has had a few runs like this last season. He really has developed into a solid driver. Now they need to put it together and run in the top 10 on a more consistent basis.
Steve Wallace was looking to rebound after the accident at Bristol Motor Speedway. He was running well early in the race but got shuffled back with green flag pit stops and then when the caution came out during the stops.
On the restart he got caught three wide when his teammate Brendan Gaughan got loose underneath him and sent him into the wall. The wreck took out five cars and sent Wallace limping back to pit road. It was a tough break for this team after what happened at BMS. He finished 36th.
Wallace has never been shy about how he feels or just how aggressive he is on the race track. In this case he was doing the right thing in trying to give guys room, and he got caught up in the wreck. They will have to regroup for next weekend.
It has been a difficult start to the season for Jason Leffler. His only top-10 finish was a ninth at Bristol Motor Speedway. They just cannot seem to put together consistent runs.
On Saturday Leffler and James Buescher were battling for position when Buescher got loose underneath and tagged Leffler. Leffler spun hard into the wall and suffered severe damage to his car and went to the garage to make repairs. They were trying to make repairs on the car to get back out there and get as many points as possible.
They did get back on the track, but on lap 145 he came up on Buescher and put him in the wall. NASCAR saw it as overaggressive driving and parked Leffler. He finished 39th.
Not the start they were looking for, especially at a track where Leffler has found past success. The team will have to regroup and head to Phoenix.
Ricky Stenhouse, Jr.
When Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. was picked to run the No. 6 car this season, there were a lot of expectations for him. The team, though, did not have a full season of sponsorship, and they could not buy a break this season. Saturday was no different for them.
He was running mid pack for most of the day, and after making contact with a runaway tire on pit road, with a tire rub he was trying to come back to pit road when he got run over by Joe Nemecheck. Stenhouse spun hard into the wall. His day was over; he finished 31st.
This team was on the bubble of the top 30 in the standings. This was a tough pill to swallow heading into next weekend at Phoenix.
Well, Saturday’s race was pretty good. There was plenty of drama to go along with it. NASCAR's announcement this week of a three-race probation for Leffler was consistent with what they did with Carl Edwards. Leffler says there are no hard feelings and what happened last weekend is over.
This weekend they head to the flat, one-mile track in Phoenix. It drives like a short track, and the changing track conditions will really have the crew chiefs on the box all night long.
The Bashas Supermarkets 200 is Friday, 9 ET on ESPN2.