ESPN The Mag

Click here to load reader

  • date post

    08-Mar-2016
  • Category

    Documents

  • view

    216
  • download

    1

Embed Size (px)

description

NASCAR's Nationwdie Series has a new points system. Is it working?

Transcript of ESPN The Mag

  • JASO

    N S

    MIT

    H/N

    ASCA

    R/G

    ETTY

    IMAG

    ES

    MOTORSPORTS

    NO-WIN SITUATIONNASCARS SOLUTION FOR A NATIONWIDE SERIES BOOST HAS CREATED THIS DOWNER: A POINTS LEADER WITH NO CHECKEREDS. By LaRue Cook

    for the championship in Nationwide. And anyway, this isnt as much about wins as about learning the cars and racing against guys as talented as Carl.

    Stenhouse Jr. has a point. Allowing up-and-comers to compete against the Cup leader can only improve their chances to contend at the top level. It also helps raise the profile of young drivers looking for attention and sponsors. Plus, a guy like Sorenson can hit the reset button on a floundering career. Following a strong fourth-place NNS finish in 2005, he got a Cup ride. Five seasons and only one NNS win later, hes back where he started, trying to prove hes not done racing with the best.

    All thats changed is we live for Saturdays and the Cup guys live for Sundays, Sorenson says, but we still see them every weekend. To me, it doesnt feel like a minor league at all.

    Especially if you can add Champ to your rsum along the way.

    IF REED SORENSON IS STILL SITTING ATOP THE Nationwide Series standings at seasons end, it will make stock car history. The 25-year-old pilot of the No. 32 Dollar General car for Turner Motorsports has gotten this far without winning a single race. No one has ever driven home a champion without a W.

    I dont feel weird about it at all, says Sorenson, who is two points ahead of second-place Elliott Sadler heading to Michigan on June 18. I want to win, sure, but were in a points battle. You have to be smart about every move you make. Sadler, by the way, is also winless.

    Drivers not hell-bent on getting there first? What in the name of Dale Earnhardt is going on? Blame the new pick-your-series era of NASCAR. There is more emphasis on the Nationwide Series because now fans can focus on regulars rather than Sprint Cup guys, says NNS director Joe Balash, on the rule requiring drivers to choose the one series in which their points count toward a title.

    Problem is, just because Cup drivers like Carl Edwards and Kyle Busch arent collecting points for their NNS wins anymore doesnt mean they havent stopped collecting checkereds. The two have snagged eight of the seasons 14 victories between them. Reigning Rookie of the Year Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Justin Allgaier are the only full-time Nationwide drivers who have been victorious.

    I can honestly say fans are paying attention, says Stenhouse Jr., who earned his fist career win at Iowa on May 22 and is six points behind Sorenson, in third. At autograph sessions, I hear people talk about the battle

    Nationwide Series leader Sorenson hasnt won a race

    since July 2007.