On Saturday, October 20, 2012, the NASCAR Nationwide Series drivers raced in the Kansas Lottery 300 at Kansas Speedway. Though the Sprint Cup drivers had been doing a solid job of taking the wins in the Nationwide races this season, this time it was Nationwide regular Ricky StenhouseJr. who took the checkered flag in a race extended by a late caution flag. It was a surprising finish given what had happened to the car during the course of the race. In the middle of the race, Stenhouse had been involved in a crash with Joey Logano. Both cars were able to keep going. After a pit stop during the green flag, Stenhouse found himself two laps down. However, he managed to catch up and by the end, he was in the lead and able to hold off his competitors to take the checkered flag.
Austin Dillon got a second place finish and Logano finished in third. Danica Patrick also managed to have a great finish. After some disappointing finishes, and failures to finish, Patrick finally got a good one. As the race was extended, she started to run out of fuel but still managed to finish in 10th place.
Stenhouse is now just six points behind Elliott Sadler in the standings. There are currently just three races left to go in the Nationwide season. Dillon is the only other driver with any real possibility of taking the championship. He is 26 points behind Sadler. Sam Hornish Jr. is in fourth place, but is 98 points behind Sadler. All three drivers are having great seasons but for Dillon, this season is extra special. This is his first season racing in the series and he has been doing a spectacular job.
I always like to see a Nationwide regular win the Nationwide races. All too often, it is the Sprint Cup regulars that take the Nationwide races. It is good that drivers can only get points in one series or the Sprint Cup drivers would likely be dominating the points as well. I am glad to see Patrick get a good finish and hope that she will continue to do well in the last few races of the season before she switches to racing in the Sprint Cup Series in the 2013 season. This was a race that involved a lot of strategy and luck.
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.
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