Published July 12, 2012
| Sports Network
Philadelphia, PA – The "Dash 4 Cash" is back in the Nationwide Series this season, beginning with Saturday's race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
Elliott Sadler, rookie Austin Dillon, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Michael Annett are those drivers eligible for the $100,000 bonus from Nationwide Insurance, the title sponsor of NASCAR's second-tier series.
Sadler, Dillon and Stenhouse gained eligibility since they are currently the top-three drivers in the point standings. A fourth member presently in the top-10 in points qualifies as well. Michael Annett, sixth in the rankings, earned the last spot for New Hampshire, based on his career-best finishes in his past two starts -- fourth at Kentucky and third at Daytona.
The top-finisher of the four eligible drivers at New Hampshire will receive the $100,000 cash award and will qualify for the bonus in the next round, which is July 22 at Chicagoland Speedway. Indianapolis Motor Speedway (July 28) and Iowa Speedway (August 4) are rounds three and four.
If the same driver is the top-finisher in each of those four rounds, and is the race winner at Iowa, that person's total winnings will reach $1 million.
Sadler comes to New Hampshire with an eight-point lead over Dillon, his Richard Childress Racing teammate, and an 18-point advantage over Stenhouse, the defending Nationwide champion.
"This is definitely a track that I feel we will have a strong run," Sadler said.
Dillon's team is hoping New Hampshire won't be the third straight race they receive penalties for rules infractions. Dillon has been docked a total of 12 points for violations that occurred at Kentucky and Daytona. An illegal open vent hose was discovered in his car during post-qualifying inspection at Daytona. His Kentucky race-winning car was found to be too low during inspection after the event.
Danny Stockman Jr., the crew chief for Dillon's No. 3 RCR team, and Robert Strmiska, the car chief, have been suspended from NASCAR competition until July 25 for violating their probation. They were placed on probation for infractions that occurred in April at Richmond.
Dillon's lone Nationwide race at New Hampshire came in 2010 when he finished 25th. He placed second in last year's Camping World Truck Series race there. Dillon captured the 2011 truck championship before graduating to Nationwide full-time this season.
"We've run really well at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in the past," Dillon said. "Last year, we had a truck capable of winning. We ran behind or beside Kyle Busch the whole race. We raced under him a few times. I learned a lot from racing at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, and hopefully we can use that experience to our advantage this weekend."
Kyle Busch, Kevin Harvick, Kasey Kahne, Brad Keselowski and Jamie McMurray are those Sprint Cup Series regulars competing in this race.
Busch, the Nationwide race winner at New Hampshire the past three years, is driving his own No. 54 Toyota in this event. His elder brother, Kurt, gave the team its first Nationwide win at Richmond.
"Richmond worked out well for Kurt," Kyle Busch said. "We've put ourselves in position to win a few more times, but we have to avoid catastrophe and limit our mistakes in order to finish the deal. What (crew chief Mike) Beam and the team have built so far has proven to be competitive. I know (the win) will happen. It's just a matter of time."
Forty-three teams are on the preliminary entry list for the F.W. Webb 200.
Series: NASCAR Nationwide. Date: Saturday, July 14. Race: F.W. Webb 200. Site: New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Track: 1.058-mile oval. Start time: 3:30 p.m. (et). Laps: 200. Miles: 211.6. 2011 Winner: Kyle Busch. Television: ESPN. Radio: Performance Racing Network (PRN)/SIRIUS NASCAR Satellite.