Originally posted on Race Review Online  |  Last updated 7/12/12


$100,000 Up For Grabs To Four Drivers In Dash 4 Cash

“Show me the money,” was the famous line from the popular 1996 film Jerry McGuire, and that’s exactly what’s on the minds of four of the top NASCAR Nationwide Series drivers as they battle for the Dash 4 Cash by Nationwide Insurance this weekend.

The four eligible drivers to collect a $100,000 bonus include the top three in NNS points plus a fourth member of the current top 10 in the standings. Elliot Sadler, Austin Dillon and defending series champion Ricky Stenhouse Jr. are joined by Michael Annett, who collected career-best finishes his past two starts.

“It was really cool to qualify for the Dash 4 Cash coming cross the checkered at Daytona,” Dillon said.

New Hampshire Motor Speedway plays host to a race within race as the top finisher of the four wins the $100,000 and eligibility for the next round at Chicagoland Speedway on July 15. The next three points-eligible finishers in New Hampshire also qualify for the following week’s $100,000 face-off. Should the same driver win all four rounds, New Hampshire, Chicago, Indianapolis and Iowa, plus win the Iowa 250 overall, his total winnings will reach $1 million.

Of this week’s four, NASCAR pre-race Loop Data points to Stenhouse as the early favorite. He has the best Driver Rating (95.0), Average Quality Passes (21.5), Laps Led (27) and Average Finish (10.0) at New Hampshire. Standings leader Sadler also led the four eligible drivers in two Loop categories: Average Running Position (11.7) and percentage of Laps in the Top 15 (69.0%).  

Star Power: Pastrana, Patrick Are Lighting Up New England

Two of the most popular athletes today, Danica Patrick and Travis Pastrana, are hitting the pavement this weekend at New Hampshire Motor Speedway for the F.W. Webb 200. While both drivers have mastered their skills along different paths, both have that special “it” factor that fans find undeniable.

At Daytona, Patrick again was on the cusp of becoming NASCAR’s first national series female winner, leading five times for 13 laps before being collected in a late accident. She returns to New Hampshire for her second series start having finished 30th in 2010.

Pastrana is running a part-time schedule in the NASCAR Nationwide Series and in between races he participates in Global Rallycross. He was spotted these past few weeks at the 2012 X-Games. Pastrana will be making his fifth appearance of the season and first since Charlotte in late May. His best finish to date is 17th at Darlington. Pastrana has a single NASCAR K&N Pro Series East start at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, finishing 22nd in 2011.

RCR’s Domestic Dispute: 1 Organization, 2 Teams, 1 Title

 When it comes to problems, this one can’t be categorized as worst. But Richard Childress Racing is in the midst of what could be a Class Five, roaring rapids-type ride for a series championship between two teams from the same shop.

Halfway into the season, both the No. 2 team of Elliott Sadler and crew chief Lucas Lambert and the No. 3 team of Austin Dillon and crew chief Danny Stockman Jr. have been stellar. Sixteen races in and the two teams are separated by just eight points, which somehow isn’t surprising considering both are tied for the series’ most top-10 finishes (12).

Sadler has posted two Coors Light poles, two wins (Phoenix, Bristol) and six top fives with a series -eading season-to-date Driver Rating of 106.9. While Sadler’s consistency has been his key to success, teammate Dillon is getting hot during these summer months. Dillon has posted two Coors Light poles, one win (Kentucky) and nine top fives with a season-to-date Driver Rating of 103.3 (third best).

As the season goes on, how will the teams coexist? Will the tension of the series’ championship play a role? Only time will tell. As they head to New Hampshire this weekend, Sadler’s experience might be the slight edge over his teammate’s mid-summer momentum. Sadler has made eight starts at NHMS, posting an average finish of 18.1, while Dillon has only made one start with a finish of 25th.

NASCAR Nationwide Series, Etc.

Kyle Busch, NNS all-time wins (51) leader, returns to the series this weekend at NHMS in his own Kyle Busch Motorsports No. 54 Toyota. Busch has yet to win this season, putting his eight-year NNS streak of at least one win in jeopardy. Busch leads the series at NHMS in wins (three) and pre-race Driver Rating with a 129.0. In addition to Busch, eight drivers will attempt to run double duty this weekend: Kasey Kahne, Kevin Harvick, Sam Hornish Jr., Brad Keselowski, Jamie McMurray, Joe Nemechek, Scott Riggs and Stephen Leicht. … Joe Gibbs Racing has slotted Ryan Truex to drive the No. 18 this weekend. Truex has been impressive in his nine starts for JGR, posting two top fives and six top 10s including his runner-up finish in his last series start at Dover. … Milestone Watch: Justin Allgaier will make his 125th NASCAR Nationwide Series start this weekend at NHMS.


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