On Saturday, May 26, 2012, the NASCAR Nationwide Series traveled to Charlotte Motor Speedway for the NASCAR History 300. As the race started to wind down, it became clear that this was becoming another one where the result would be partially based on gas mileage. Though it was close, Brad Keselowski was able to finish and avoid any last minute fades. Second, third and fourth places went to fellow Sprint Cup drivers Denny Hamlin, Kyle Busch and Kevin Harvick. Fifth place went to Nationwide regular Elliott Sadler.
Keselowski, and some of the other regulars in the Sprint Cup Series, also planned to race in the Coca-Cola 600, which is a marathon of a race and is also held at Charlotte Motor Speedway. This likely made for a very long weekend for the driver.
Danica Patrick did manage to finish the race. She started in third but finished in 13th. Travis Pastrana did not have luck on his side for this race. He spun out more than once during the race and managed only to finish in 24th. He had previously spun out during qualifying.
Ricky Stenhouse Jr., who currently leads the standings for the Nationwide Series, had car problems and finished in 26th. He is still in the lead, but that lead was cut to just 13 points. In second place is Elliot Saddler. Rookie Austin Dillion is in third and is 28 points behind Stenhouse.
I don't really think it is fair that the NASCAR Sprint Cup drivers are taking a significant amount of the starting positions in the Nationwide Series. NASCAR had changed the rules to make it so that drivers can only earn points in one of the major series, but instead of new drivers getting the chance to shine in the Nationwide Series or older drivers getting a second shot at driving, the Sprint Cup drivers are getting some extra time behind the wheel. It may also be a sponsorship issue. If sponsors are only willing to sponsor a certain driver, it would not work to have a new or older driver taking the wheel. Hopefully, one day, NASCAR will prohibit drivers from competing fulltime in multiple series.
Kristin Watt has been a NASCAR Winston Cup, now Sprint Cup, fan for as long as she can remember starting way back when she was a little girl and her mother would sit on the couch with her every Sunday during the season to watch the races. Back then, they were fans of Bill Elliott and newcomer Davey Allison.