The Nationwide Series Is Going To Be Awesome In 2013

Thanks to a strong mix of young drivers and veterans trying to fight their way back to the top, with help from the NASCAR rule limiting drivers to one series for points, we are about to see the re-emergence of the Nationwide Series in 2013.

I mean, have you seen the driver lineup? Instead of the championship battle really coming down to two or three drivers like we’ve had the past few seasons, there are maybe as many as eight or nine guys that could have a legitimate shot at the title.

The battle for the 2012 title came down to Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Elliott Sadler, and Austin Dillon. Stenhouse is moving on to Cup, but his entire championship winning team is returning to back Trevor Bayne’s run. No major changes are in store for Dillon, but you’ve got to think a year’s worth of experience only makes him stronger. And Sadler, while not with RCR anymore, has moved on to Joe Gibbs Racing, which has had one of the strongest (if not the strongest) NNS programs over the last several years.

Other key returnees include Sam Hornish Jr. (who will have veteran Greg Erwin calling the shots), an emerging Michael Annett, and Justin Allgaier who will have a revamped team (Jimmy Elledge won’t be back in 2013).

The two newcomers who will provide the stiffest competition for the established drivers are Regan Smith with JR Motorsports, and Brian Vickers in a team car to Elliott Sadler at JGR. Smith will have a first time crew chief in Greg Ives, but he did win the NNS finale at Homestead for an improved JRM. And Vickers, who already has one championship in this series, will be tough to beat with JGR behind him.

Another driver to keep an eye on next season is Parker Kligerman. He picked up his first Truck Series win last season, and he’ll be driving for a KBM team that was strong at every race last season. Also, don’t be surprised if Kyle Larson emerges in the coming weeks as a part- or full-time NNS competitor.

Who’s excited?!

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8 Responses to “The Nationwide Series Is Going To Be Awesome In 2013”

  1. windowlicker says:

    Agreed. I’m particularly interested in how Regan and Parker will do. Lots of talent this year. Regan definitely is going to be a contender.

  2. Liam M says:

    And now Travis Pastrana as well… While he may not fight for the title, he will be fun to watch!

  3. Frank M. says:

    I totally agree. It should be very interesting. A great mix.

  4. ATS says:

    Should be an exciting year….looking forward to it.

  5. Michael in SoCal says:

    Let’s just hope the Cup drivers stay the hell away!

  6. Neon says:

    Bring on Daytona!

  7. Captain Jack says:

    I’m a bit skeptical. The teams and drivers that need the attention so desperately…well, they’re still overlooked on the tv-lookie-box-thing.

    Dani-mania, Travis Pastrana, the Dillons…crap like that is going to get the lion’s-share of media love, and the 30-something other people working as hard, with longer hours and smaller budgets/teams/sponsorship chances will continue to drown.

    So…we’ll see, but I’m no more optimistic about seeing people I’m a fan of on TV now than I was at the outset of last year’s coverage.

  8. Doug in CA says:

    A year later, I have to give a nod to NASCAR for making the “one series only” call. We’re sitting here talking about the Nationwide championship race and no mention of any Cup guys, even though they won most of the races last year. It’s made us focus on the real Nationwide guys, and that’s a very good thing. Winning the championship gets publicity, and publicity brings attention and more publicity, and maybe brings more money. Now the Cup guys don’t get 90% of the publicity in Nationwide.

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